US Backing Guyana In Territory Dispute
The United States are committed to backing Guyana against Venezuela’s claims to its oil-rich western territory as tensions boil between the two countries.
US Secretary of State – Antony Blinken – is reported to have reaffirmed the US position, that in their view Guyana has full sovereignty over the Essequibo region, which Venezuela is trying to annex.
In a recent ballot, Venezuelans voted overwhelmingly to annex the oil-rich region, which their government claims is a natural part of their territory and was unfairly delegated to Guyana more than a century ago.
Venezuela’s President called for a bill to create a “Guyana Esequiba” province, and urged Venezuelan companies to be prepared to enter the territory to explore for fossil fuels and minerals.
Guyana’s president has responded by suggesting they will do whatever it takes to repel the threat and he has put the country’s armed forces on alert. Guyana has also turned to South America allies for assistance and Brazil is reportedly sending troops to its northern border with Venezuela.
Guyana is a small country with a population of just 800,000 on the north-eastern coast of South America, but it currently boasts the fastest growing economy in the world thanks to recent discoveries of huge amounts of oil. The Essequibo region makes up about two thirds of its land mass and is home to around 125,000 of its people.
The US have asked the United Nations Security Council to issue a very strong statement to Venezuela and requested their full commitment to ensure that they do everything in their power to keep this region peaceful and stable.