Brazil’s Ministry of Defense announced the strengthening of the country’s northern border. This is the result of a referendum organized by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and tensions between this country and Guyana. Maduro has just ordered the “immediate” start of mining in the territory that the Venezuelans have voted for.
The Brazilian army is moving its soldiers and armored vehicles to Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima state, which borders Venezuela and Guyana. The armored vehicles will be attached to the modernized 18th Mechanized Cavalry Regiment, which will increase to 600 soldiers, in order to improve security along the border and increase surveillance. – Neither side will be able to use our territory – said an army officer.
Senior Brazilian diplomat Gisela Padovan said the main road link between Venezuela and Guyana runs through the territory Brazil due to the inaccessible terrain of Essequibo, but her country will not agree to its use in any military activities. – We are monitoring the situation with concern. I don’t think there will be an armed conflict, she said in an interview in which she called for a peaceful solution.
Venezuela supports taking over part of Guyana’s territory
On Sunday, it was organized by the president Nicolas Maduro referendum in which Venezuelans voted for the creation of a new state from Essequibo, and thus for taking over more than half of the territory of another country – Guyana. In recent years, Venezuela has renewed its claims on the approximately 160,000-square-meter area. square kilometers of the region after the discovery of large oil and gas deposits there in 2015. Maduro calls Sunday’s vote “a historic event that mobilized all of Venezuela.” – Now we must recover what the liberators left us: Guyana Esquiba! – added.
On Tuesday, President Maduro ordered state-owned companies to “immediately” begin oil and gas exploration and production in the disputed region. He announced on state television that he would start granting operational licenses for exploration and extraction of raw materials “in the entire area of our Essequibo.” The Venezuelan president said that state-owned companies PDVSA and CVG will create special local branches for this purpose. He also admitted that he had already submitted a bill to create a new state from Essequibo.
The Guyanese authorities’ immediate reaction to Sunday’s referendum was to announce an appeal to the United Nations Court. Already last Friday – before the referendum – the International Court of Justice ordered Venezuela “to refrain from any action that could aggravate the situation in the territory administered by Guyana.” According to the first comments of the Latin American media, if Venezuela tried to seize Essequibo, Guyana would not only suffer huge material losses, but would also have to take into account a possible armed conflict.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Rayner Pena R