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Brazil’s President Lula is Trying to Prevent a War Between Guyana and Venezuela

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24th of November, 2023. Guyana, South America. GSA News. Guyana News.

Last updated: November 24, 2023 at 15:25 pm

Maduro wants to annex a territory called Essequibo through a referendum that will be held on December 12. Celso Amorim was sent on an urgent mission to Caracas.

Celsa Amorin

Lula reportedly does not want conflicts between South American countries. He took office with that spirit and tried to reactivate Unasur to be the space for discussion of tensions between the wings that govern the region, from Nicolás Maduro to Luis Lacalle Pou.

The success of this year’s call has no other meeting on the horizon and enters into crisis with the arrival of Javier Milei, a detractor of all these regional bodies and ally of Jair Bolsonaro.

In this context, Lula works to avoid an escalation between Venezuela and Guyana. The Brazilian president sent his main foreign policy advisor and de facto foreign minister, Celso Amorim, to Caracas to talk with Maduro.

The Brazilian government is concerned about the level of aggressiveness in the electoral campaign for the 03/12 referendum in Venezuela on the proposed annexation of the territory of ‘Guayana Essequibo.’

Essequibo is a territory of 159,542 kilometers with important natural resources – oil, gas, mining, hydraulic and forestry – and great tourism potential and is administered by Guyana, a former British colony.

Venezuela is divided into 23 states and a Federal District, while Essequibo was identified on the map as a “Claim Zone” more than 100 years ago but was revived in 2015 when the American ExxonMobil found oil deposits.

Maduro claimed on several occasions the sovereignty of Essequibo, which comprises about two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, alleging “historical right.”

Essequibo is a territory of 159,542 kilometers that has important natural resources – oil, gas, mining, hydraulic and forestry – and great tourism potential and is administered by Guyana, a former British colony, and claimed by Venezuela in a century-old dispute.

Venezuela claims the Geneva Agreement, signed in 1966 with the United Kingdom before Guyanese independence, does not give the ICJ jurisdiction over the border controversy. Guyana maintains that it does and has submitted its case which is being heard.

For its part, Guyana argues that Caracas agreed to give up Essequibo after that ruling, which Venezuela later retracted and alleges that decision was unfair.

The referendum questions cover support and rejection of both awards, and also consult on the Government’s position of ignoring the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, the UN judicial body, which is handling the case.

Question 4 of the referendum covers the topic: “Do you agree to oppose, by all legal means, Guyana’s claim to unilaterally dispose of a sea pending delimitation, illegally and in violation of international law?

The idea would be that the referendum does not take place and that we can find a diplomatic solution. Lula is willing to fulfill that role

Source close to Lula

Guyana’s Foreign Ministry said it will discuss the questions with its legal team before making a comment. Guyana has already protested to the Venezuelan ambassador about the proposal.

In turn, Venezuela will propose in the consultative referendum on the disputed territory of Essequibo, which it called for December, the creation of a new state in that area and granting Venezuelan nationality to its inhabitants, as reported this Monday by the electoral authority that organizes the process.

“We want to avoid a war,” responded a Brazilian government source to LPO’s query. “The idea would be that the referendum does not take place and that we can find a diplomatic solution. Lula is willing to fulfill that role,” he stated.

Source: La Politica Online

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