venezuela guyana border dispute

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Understanding the Venezuelan Rhetoric of the Border Controversy

For most Guyanese, the idea of a Venezuelan takeover of the Essequibo is as repulsive as it is unthinkable. That’s because Guyana has been administering the Essequibo territory for centuries. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the thought that Venezuelans actually believe that the Essequibo belongs to them. However, a practical approach to this showdown demands that we understand the Venezuelan rhetoric with regards to the border dispute, thus shedding light on why so many Venezuelans say, “El Esequibo es de Venezuela.”

Essequibo Belongs to Guyana: Here are the Facts

Under the Geneva Agreement, the following were pursued by Guyana and Venezuela: Four (4) years (1966-1970) of meeting through a Mixed Commission involving bilateral talks between Guyana and Venezuela, a twelve (12) year moratorium (with the purpose of allowing both governments to promote cooperation and understanding while the border claim was in abeyance) and twenty years (1989 – 2017) of the Good Offices Process, under the aegis of the United Nations Secretary General (a process that allowed for bilateral discussions on a resolution of the controversy in the presence of the Secretary General’s personal representative).

Risk of Venezuelan Invasion of Guyana Now Greatly Reduced

From rallying an army of liberators whom he compares to the likes of Bolivar Simon, to proclaiming an unwavering commitment to peace and freedom tempered with the defense of sovereignty, the back and forth between war and peace coming from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been a hard one to keep up with. One thing is for sure, in the last two months or so, the Chavista had the Guyanese people and Government on their knees and toes.

Is Nicolas Maduro Daring Enough to Test the Resolve of the United Kingdom?

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.

Do Venezuelans Really Believe that the Essequibo Belongs to Venezuela?

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.

GDF Bans Officers from Leaving Country as Fears of a Venezuela Incursion Grow

The Guyana Government, through the Guyana Defense Force, has confined all GDF officers to remain within the country’s borders as of yesterday, 16th of November, 2023. This move came as tensions between Guyana and neighboring Venezuela intensifies, nurturing fears of a possible war between the two countries. Further, the GDF is ramping troops and military equipment near to Guyana’s border with Venezuela.