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The Venezuelan Military is Constructing a Bridge Linking the Ankoko Island to Guyana

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8th of May, 2024. Guyana, South America. GSA News. Guyana News.

Last updated: May 9, 2024 at 16:57 pm

The Strategic Operational Commander of the FANB, Domingo Hernández Lárez, indicated that the bridge to be installed is 47 meters, however, they are making an embankment so that it can support greater capacity.

A few months ago, I followed the Venezuelan government’s media pages and read with interest the stories of the Venezuelan military building a steel base concrete bridge connecting the once disputed Ankoko Island to the rest of Venezuela. For those of you who didn’t know, Venezuela seized the disputed Ankoko Island and turned it into a military base in 1966 without an ounce of resistance or a shot fired from Guyana. Forbes Burnham was in power at the time.

I didn’t do much media coverage on the development of the earlier bridge connecting the Ankoko Island with Venezuela because that was technically an “internal affair” going on in Venezuela which ideally shouldn’t concern Guyana. Or should it? This first bridge was built to facilitate the easy movement of tanks and other military equipment to the military base on Ankoko Island. Given the generally impractical, carefree, and happy-go-lucky nature of the Guyanese populace, I just decided to drink water and mind my own business while this was taking place.

But here is where the shit hits the fan. Venezuela is now in the process of constructing a bridge linking the Ankoko Island to Guyana. Is it not reasonably fair to speculate at this juncture that Venezuela might be planning a military occupation of the Essequibo? They are certainly encroaching, and by no means at a slow pace. When we examine this new bridge against the backdrop of Venezuela’s “Organic Law for the Defense of the Essequibo,” the fact that the Venezuelan government has already redrawn its map, and the fact that Venezuelan law states that the Essequibo is a state in Venezuela called Guayana Esequiba, we have a very worrying scenario unfolding before our eyes.

“We are in the Cuyuní River exactly in the middle of the river, an embankment is being built to launch a 47-meter bridge,” he said, while showing the other end of the tributary where he explained that “work is being done of the opposite party to shorten the span of the bridge and be able to support greater capacities.”

Yes, we know that Venezuela’s encroachment on the Essequibo is driven by envy as much as it is driven by greed. And we know that we have allies such as the United States, UK, and Brazil. But we also know that Venezuela has some of the world’s best surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile defense system. This, combined with the large number or armed gangs and paramilitary groups loyal to Maduro which are scattered across Venezuela, makes Venezuela a very difficult country for even the United States to engage militarily.

The Venezuelan military is currently conducting training exercises under the theme “the Essequibo is ours.” The training exercises began on April 19 and is expected to conclude on May 12, 2024.

After the December 3, 2023 referendum, Venezuela promptly commenced the construction a naval base just 70 km from the Essequibo. Venezuela has constructed a landing strip, helipad, and tankodrome close to the border with Essequibo. These developments can no longer be viewed under the lens of “scare tactics” or “internal politics” of Venezuela. Anyone who studied the history of the Chavista government knows that the Chavistas take their “referendums” very seriously, and it is glaringly obvious that Venezuela means business where it comes to the Essequibo.

The United States has already sent a strong message of deterrence to Venezuela over its encroachment on the Essequibo. The United Kingdom has sent an even stronger message of support for Guyana, suggesting that Venezuela might have to face off with the much-feared UK military if it invades Guyana. Nicolas Maduro, however, has expressed that the Venezuelan military has no fear of the US, UK or any military, and even used false allegations of US military bases in the Essequibo as a pretext for military action in the Essequibo.

A Venezuelan military occupation of the Essequibo would be difficult for Guyana to fight even with the help of its allies. Guyana has neither the population nor the military capabilities to go to war with Venezuela. A war with Venezuela would prove disastrous for both countries and must be averted at all costs.

The million dollar question here is, is Nicolas Maduro daring enough to defy the warnings of the United States, the United Kingdom, CARICOM, and so many other nations, and forge ahead with his diabolical plans to annex the Essequibo? As peace loving, patriotic Guyanese citizens, we can only hope and pray that he fails.

Reference: Globovision

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