As Venezuela continues to beat the drums of war, tensions between Guyana and Venezuela are at an all time high. The Maduro Regime has said it will annex the Essequibo into Venezuela after the December 3rd referendum, and by all indications it has popular support.
For far too long, the Guyana Government has simply shrugged at the thought of Venezuela invading the Essequibo and occupying it, but in recent days, they seem to be taking it a bit more seriously. Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, in a press conference yesterday, 23rd of November, 2023, said that all options are on the table for protecting Guyana from a Venezuelan invasion of the Essequibo, and this includes use of force.
A US Defense Team is expected to be in Guyana next week (late November 2023) to discuss military cooperation between Guyana and the United States. It is not clear at this time what level of commitment from the United States is indicated by this move.
Nicolas Maduro has stated explicitly that he will use the Venezuelan Armed Forces (FANB) to retake the disputed territory after the referendum. Guyana has thus far been relying on diplomatic strength and peace talks intermediated by international powers to keep Maduro at bay until the ICJ rules. Many Guyanese are also hopeful that “the US will protect its interests in Guyana” – referring to Exxon Mobil oil explorations and perhaps other US based companies/corporations operating in Guyana. However, to date, the US has not shown any hard evidence that it intends to face off with Venezuela if it attacks Guyana.
The fate of the Cinderella county and the future of the Guyanese people now hang in the balance as the people pray for peace and God’s mercies on Guyana.