Both President Irfaan Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo reiterated that the visit of the HMS Trent or any of Guyana’s military maneuvers pose no threat to Venezuela or any sovereign state. But Nicolas Maduro insists that accepting the HMS Trent on Guyana’s shores violates the Peace Agreement signed in St. Vincent.
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While Venezuela may have spent a lot of money building up its military, it is no position to sustain a full scale war. With its stockpile of 5,000 Russian-made MANPADS surface-to-air weapons, Venezuela may be very capable of defending itself against an attack and stave off an incursion into its own territory. But while its defense capability may be strong, its collapsed economy has weakened the military’s attack capabilities. In spite of this, Venezuela’s dictator president, Nicolas Maduro, is threatening to annex the Essequibo region of Guyana and occupy it by force.
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.
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.