A few months ago, starting around October, 2023, Venezuela’s dictator President, Nicolas Maduro starting railing up like a fuming dragon, threatening to seize the once disputed Essequibo territory of Guyana “by all means possible.” He held expensive street rallies and activated the military as together, citizens, Presidential Palace and Defense Ministry beat the drums of war all the way to December 3, 2023. Then came the results of the referendum. Although questionable, it showed that the government won popular support in its ambition to annex the Essequibo by force.
Next, Nicolas Maduro announced that he would give concessions to Venezuelan oil companies to explore crude off the shores of the Essequibo, that he would grant citizenship to all Guyanese residents of the Essequibo, and that he would start developing tourism in the Region. He also gave EXXON MOBIL and other transnational companies three months to leave.
This was an act of war. Nation after nation, world power after world power, organization after organization, started condemning Venezuela’s action and expressing support for Guyana. The most forceful of these statements came from UK Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, who said he will see to it that Venezuela does not advance any further.
Beaten into submission, a softened Maduro attended the CARICOM brokered peace talks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on December 14. During the meeting, President Ali hammered home the point that the Essequibo is, was, and will always remain with Guyana. A subdued Maduro lowered his guns, raised the white flag, and extended a hand of peace to Guyana as he signed a peace treaty.
Coming back home, Maduro hilariously declared victory, and his rhetoric miraculously transformed from the cries of war to peace and goodwill. Maduro has now taken on the outfit of a preacher of peace and goodwill, but this sudden, abrupt, and unexpected transformation is not well received by a fraction of the Venezuelan population who were too worked up “in defense of the Essequibo.”
Maduro has thrown a bucket of cold water on the heads of millions of his supporter who were ready to go to war for the Essequibo. Sources inside Venezuela told this publication that many Venezuelans who once supported Nicolas Maduro have now lost confidence in him. This doesn’t bode well for an already troubled Maduro. The US has temporarily lifted sanctions from Venezuela on the grounds that Maduro facilitates free and fair elections. If he reneges, sanctions will return. Maduro, largely because of his recent Essequibo defense blunder, is now more unpopular than ever in Venezuela.
For communist dictator Nicolas Maduro, the future in government seems bleak. He is walking on slippery ground.