Home » Tension over Essequibo: Nicolás Maduro’s regime deployed new troops near the border with Guyana

Tension over Essequibo: Nicolás Maduro’s regime deployed new troops near the border with Guyana

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Tension over Essequibo: Nicolás Maduro’s regime deployed new troops near the border with Guyana

Venezuela Increasing Military Presence Near Disputed Essequibo Region

Venezuela has reportedly increased its military presence near the disputed Essequibo region controlled by neighboring country, Guyana. A new report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) presents satellite images as evidence that Venezuela is building a military base on Anacoco Island, on the border with Guyana. Images from mid-January show a staging area with accumulated construction materials, armored vehicles, a heavy river ferry, and the clearing of a new area to the north.

The conflict between Venezuela and Guyana over the sparsely populated territory has intensified following the discovery of large oil fields off the coast of Guyana by companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. Tensions flared late last year after Nicolás Maduro’s regime held a referendum that reportedly showed overwhelming support for his nation’s effort to take control of the Essequibo.

The CSIS report warns that the escalation in Venezuela’s behavior creates opportunities for miscalculations and loss of control over events on the ground. The report also emphasizes that there is still no clarity on whether Maduro will be able to effectively avoid misunderstandings and manage the forces he unleashed with the December referendum.

Venezuelan commander Elio Estrada Paredes recently announced on social media that more than 65,000 soldiers have begun construction of a school and hospital in Anacoco to benefit local communities. However, analysts argue that the military buildup is taking place throughout the entire border with the Essequibo region and is quite out of the ordinary.

Following a meeting with his Guyanese counterpart, Irfaan Ali, Maduro pledged to refrain from using weapons against each other and agreed to maintain dialogue. However, tensions continue to rise as Venezuela sent troops to the east coast of the country to counter the arrival of a British Royal Navy patrol ship to carry out military exercises with Guyana.

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This latest development comes after Exxon announced plans to drill two exploratory wells off the coast of Essequibo, prompting Venezuela’s defense minister to issue a warning of a “proportional, forceful, and lawful response.”

The dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo territory remains unresolved, and the escalating military presence is raising concerns of further destabilization in the region.

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