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The Essequibo or a War? Which Does Maduro Want More?

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8th of December, 2023. Guyana, South America. GSA News. Guyana News.

Last updated: December 9, 2023 at 1:43 am

Nicolas Maduro is looking for two things right now: a war and the Essequibo. But whether he wants a war or the Essequibo more is a matter of speculation. Venezuela is more than 4 times bigger than Guyana with immense unexplored land space full of gold, diamond, oil, and minerals, so why is Nicolas Maduro so desperate to clip off two-thirds of Guyana’s territory? Especially when it would be territory that he most likely won’t have the funds to develop? Yes, there is sweet light crude offshore Essequibo, and lots of gold, diamond, and minerals inside of it too. But what impact will 4 or 5 billion barrels more of oil make to the Venezuelan economy when Venezuela already has more than 300 billion barrels of proven oil reserves?

Nicolas Maduro is desperate for one thing only: power. He wants to stay in power indefinitely. And if it takes a war to keep him there, he’s willing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of one million Venezuelans for an unjust cause. In his eyes, winning the Essequibo will give him support, and he will be able to boast that he has done what no other Venezuelan leader in the past was able to do. If he takes control of the Essequibo, it’s a feather in his cap, and one which will help him gain support for the upcoming elections.

One one hand, Maduro hopes that the takeover will be swift and carefully executed with little resistance from Guyana and its allies. But if it escalates into a war, that may be even better for Maduro. A war with Guyana will give Nicolas Maduro the ability to declare a state of emergency and postpone elections indefinitely. It will also give him the opportunity to subsequently alter the constitution of Venezuela to make it more autocratic and cement himself stronger into the seat of government.

For the Venezuelan economy, the Essequibo is “small potatoes.” And Maduro knows as well as everyone that robbing Guyana of the Essequibo will only hurt the Venezuelan economy and will also ruin Guyana. The cause of the Essequibo, however, gives him the opportunity to wrap himself in the Venezuelan flag and whip up national patriotism. A war will also make Maduro a more centralized figure to the Venezuelan military, and possibly drive fear into the hearts of political rivals while proving the loyalty of the military to Maduro.

Autocratic rulers, or dictators, rely heavily on military strength rather than good governance policies to stay in power. Maduro keeps the military in line by giving promotions and issuing higher salaries to military personnel who demonstrate loyalty, and by punishing those who demonstrate the slightest tinge of disloyalty, among other tactics.

Nicolas Maduro knows that an invasion into Guyana is going to put Venezuela in a really bad light on the world stage. Yet, he is moving forward with his plans. He has currently given Exxon Mobil and other international companies operating in the Essequibo region, or its waters, three months to pack up and get out. He is presently in the process of issuing licenses to Venezuelan companies to explore the oil resources of the county of Essequibo which he calls “Guayana Essequiba.”

Nicolas Maduro will face serious resistance in his attempt to steal the Essequibo from Guyana, but he doesn’t mind a war at all. In fact, the Chavista is now comparing himself to Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan hero who led the revolutionary war for Venezuela’s independence. As he rallies his military, he tells them that the Venezuelan soldier is the greatest thing for the country, and that he dreams to be reborn as a Venezuelan soldier.

Nicolas Maduro sure is crazy. He calls the Venezuelan military an army of “liberators” who will “liberate” the Essequibo from “British Imperialism.” In this context, the United Kingdom has already issued a strong statement against Venezuela, and in an upcoming article, we’ll examine the following question: Is Nicolas Maduro is crazy enough to test the resolve of the United Kingdom?

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