On Sunday, 3rd of December, 2023, dictator president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, held a referendum which sought the approval of the Venezuelan people to annex the Essequibo territory and make it part of Venezuela – by force and without consultation with, or the approval of, the Guyana Government. According to the National Electorate Council of Venezuela, over 10 million voters turned up to the polls and over 95% voted yes to all five of the following questions:
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Maria Coria Machado, Venezuela’s political front runner and leader of the main opposition party which is expected to challenge Nicolas Maduro for the Presidency in October 2024, has condemned Nicolas Maduro’s December 3 referendum which seeks public support in annexing the Essequibo. But she has chosen her words very carefully and wisely. On one hand, she seems to want to send a message of peace and respect for international law to the Guyanese Government and people, but at the same time, she has to avoid being seen as a traitor to the Venezuelan people who were erroneously being taught since primary school that “the Essequibo belongs to Venezuela.”
Maduro’s philosophy right now seems to be, “if I’m going down, I’m taking some people down with me.” And those include leaders, civilians, and soldiers in both Guyana and Venezuela. Since the Chavista took office in 2013, he has done nothing good for the people of Venezuela. He has heartlessly overseen mass migration, unprecedented inflation of the Venezuelan currency, medical and food shortages, and the overall suffering of the Venezuelan people.
There’s just about three days left before Venezuela’s 3rd of December referendum which seeks to ratify the support of the Venezuelan people for forcefully annexing the Essequibo county of Guyana and making it into a new state within the country of Venezuela. While the Guyana Government has petitioned the ICJ to issue a ruling that confirms the illegality of such a move, and the court is scheduled to do so on Friday, December, 1, 2023, president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has said that that won’t stop him from flooding the Essequibo with Venezuelan soldiers and civilians and demarcating new boundaries for Venezuela after the referendum.
While the failed Chavismo economic policies have put millions of Venezuelan citizens on the breadline, and sent millions more fleeing the ongoing economic crisis to the shores of various nations around the world, the new front runner in Venezuela’s political race, Maria Corina Machado, is the hope millions of Venezuelans desperately cling to — the redeemer whom they hope will return the oil capital of the world, the once most glorious, bright and shining star of South America, Venezuela, to the heights of its former glory.
In this context, Lula works to avoid an escalation between Venezuela and Guyana. The Brazilian president sent his main foreign policy advisor and de facto foreign minister, Celso Amorim, to Caracas to talk with Maduro.
Since the discovery of humungous reserves of sweet light crude off the shores of Guyana in 2015, a sleeping monster has once again reared its ugly head. The Guyana/Venezuela border dispute dates back centuries but was settled by the British through the Arbitral Award of 1899 which handed the disputed territory to Great Britain in what was then British Guiana.