Since the early 1960s, a narrative based on falsehoods, deliberate omissions, and senseless hysteria has come to dominate the Venezuelan media and educational institutions, making it far too easy for its citizens to cheer at the prospect of annexing the Essequibo county of Guyana.
As the Maduro regime tables a referendum aimed at officially integrating the Essequibo into Venezuela and setting the stage for a military incursion, tensions between the two countries are at an all time high. While Venezuelan citizens, government, and opposition are united in their misguided claim of the Essequibo, Guyanese citizens are left to live in constant worry about a possible military incursion which, if it happens, would very likely not only ruin Guyana, but have rippling effects across the entire Caribbean Region.
But wresting the Essequibo from Guyana’s grip will be no walk in the park for the Venezuelan government or its people. Even though Venezuela has a superior military, there are still too many obstacles and stumbling blocks between Venezuela and materializing its absurd claim of the Essequibo. One of the greatest (but least talked about) hindrances to Venezuela seizing the Essequibo is the British affiliation with the Iwokrama Rain Forest Reserve.
The Iworkrama Forest Reserve consists of 31,700 hectares of tropical rainforest in the Essequibo county of Guyana, South America. It is managed by the Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development. The Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development is an international not-for-profit organization governed by an International Board of Trustees and managed by a professional team of around seventy permanent staff in Georgetown and at the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Centre at Kurupukari. The organization is sponsored by His Royal Highness, Price Charles of Wales.
Although England’s relationship with its former colony, Guyana, is still experiencing growing pains, it is still better than the British connection with Venezuela which is almost non-existent. It is more than likely that the British government would prefer that the Iwokrama Forest Reserve stays under Guyana’s control. In light of this British interest in Guyana, it is impossible for Venezuela to seize the Essequibo without coming into direct conflict with the United Kingdom–a country whose formidable military is ranked No. 5 in the world, and of which Venezuela is dreadfully afraid.