Home » United States announces joint military exercises with Guyana amid threats from Venezuela

United States announces joint military exercises with Guyana amid threats from Venezuela

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United States announces joint military exercises with Guyana amid threats from Venezuela

The United States announced on Thursday that it will conduct joint military exercises with Guyana, following threats from the Venezuelan Government to annex the Essequibo region. The United Nations Security Council convened an urgent meeting to address the escalating tensions between the two countries. These threats come after the Nicolás Maduro regime declared its intention to immediately explore and exploit the natural resources of the Essequibo territory, after holding a referendum on December 3 to take control of the region.

In response to these actions, Guyanese authorities have indicated their readiness to defend their borders and resist any potential invasion. President Irfaan Ali stated that they are preparing to face the worst-case scenario, while also expressing hope that tensions will not lead to a confrontation.

Given the alarming situation and heightened threats from the Maduro regime, the United States has taken steps to bolster security in Guyana. In collaboration with the Guyana Defense Forces (GDF), the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) announced that it will conduct flight operations inside Guyana on December 7, as part of efforts to enhance the security partnership and strengthen regional cooperation. The U.S. embassy affirmed its commitment to remain Guyana’s trusted security partner and support regional cooperation.

However, further complications have arisen, as the Government of Guyana reported the unfortunate loss of five armed forces officers in a helicopter crash near the Venezuelan border. The helicopter was conducting a routine inspection of troops in the forested area when it disappeared in bad weather. While five officers perished, two survived, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The situation escalated earlier this week when Maduro issued an order to explore and exploit oil, gas, and mineral resources in the contested Essequibo territory, following a popular referendum in Venezuela that claimed sovereignty over the region. The move aimed to incorporate the region into Venezuelan territory, disregarding the decades-long territorial dispute between the two nations.

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Despite the ongoing tensions, the United States has urged both Venezuela and Guyana to seek a peaceful solution to the dispute, emphasizing that referendums cannot resolve complex territorial issues. The impasse originated with the Paris Arbitration Award in 1899, which granted control of the territory to British Guyana, setting off a longstanding dispute that persists to this day.

The resolution was contested by Venezuela in 1962, and despite negotiations in 1966, the territorial dispute has continued, heightening the geopolitical tensions in the region. Despite these ongoing challenges, international leaders are urging a peaceful resolution while remaining vigilant and ready to act in response to potential threats and conflicts.

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