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Do Venezuelans Really Believe that the Essequibo Belongs to Venezuela?

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5th of December, 2023. Guyana, South America. GSA News. Guyana News.

Last updated: December 5, 2023 at 22:17 pm

This publication interviewed a number of Venezuelans living both inside and outside of Venezuela. And the answer to the above question is complicated yet simple to explain.

It has been taught in Venezuelan schools for the last 50 years or more that the Essequibo belongs to Venezuela and that the British stole it from them. But when Venezuelans wanted to visit the Essequibo, they made sure they got their passport stamped. They learned in theory then that the Essequibo belongs to Venezuela and in practice that it belongs to Guyana. This causes serious mental crosscurrents in their minds.

To put this into perspective, we can use an analogy. We’re taught in school that life evolved over billions of years from a single cell amoeba, then to more complex organisms, and eventually to humans. But we’re taught in church that God created life in six days. In order to pass our exams, we have to write that life evolved, but in order to achieve salvation, we have to believe in creation.

In the same way, Venezuelans have to satisfy patriotism and the education system by saying that the Essequibo is Venezuela, but in practice, they live the reality that the Essequibo is Guyana.

Most Venezuelans living in Guyana don’t want the Essequibo to be integrated into Venezuela because that way, the Guyanese economy would be ruined and they wouldn’t be able to rebuild their lives over here or send money back to their family in Venezuela.

Whenever there is a rally, Venezuelans may take part and even vote in a referendum, but for most of them, the morale isn’t strong enough to inspire them to fight a war for it. There is still a possibility of a military incursion into the Essequibo because the Venezuelan military is loyal to Maduro, but it will be very risky business for Venezuela fraught with difficulties.

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