Venezuela Condemns UK for Patrol Ship (Guyana)
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
The United Kingdom sent the HMS Trent (a patrol vessel) to the coastal waters of Guyana in a show of solidarity. This comes after the leader of Venezuela made hostile comments concerning annexing a disputed region with Guyana.
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela strongly rebuked the actions of the United Kingdom. Henceforth, Maduro ordered a military exercise of 5,600 military personnel.
Maduro said this was “in response to the provocation and threat of the UK against peace and the sovereignty of our country.”
The Guardian reports, “Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has ordered more than 5,600 military personnel to participate in “defensive” exercises after the UK deployed a warship to waters off the coast of Guyana in a show of support for the former British colony.”
A recent referendum was held in Venezuela concerning Essequibo (Esequiba), a region administered by Guyana and not Venezuela but is claimed by this country. The outcome threatens to unleash tensions with Guyana (despite peace talks since). Therefore, Maduro is utilizing the referendum – to lay claim to the oil-rich region of Essequibo.
President Irfaan Ali of Guyana immediately denounced Maduro and the referendum. Yet, it appears that Maduro is set on the annexation of Essequibo.
Reuters reports, “Guyana, which is currently producing some 400,000 barrels per day of oil and gas, this year received bids for new shallow water and deep water blocks from local and foreign companies in its first international bidding round. The exploration licenses for those areas have not been signed.”
Maduro said, “We believe in diplomacy, in dialogue, in peace”
He continued, “But no one should threaten Venezuela, no one should mess with Venezuela…”
David Rutley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Americas and Caribbean, said, “The border issue has been settled for more than 120 years … We welcome the recent agreement by Venezuela … to refrain from the use of force and any further escalation.”
France 24 reports that Maduro “has since started legal maneuvers to create a Venezuelan province in Essequibo and ordered the state oil company to issue licenses for extracting crude in the region.”
The leader of Guyana denounced the move taken by Maduro.
Lee Jay Walker says, “Maduro might sense G7 nations and the European Union being overly concerned by the crisis between Ukraine and the Russian Federation – and the ongoing violence involving Hamas and Israel after the recent pogrom of over 1,200 Jews by Hamas. Equally, Maduro knows America is focused on Taiwan along with Japan. Henceforth, the timing looks opportunistic.”
It is hoped that Guyana, Venezuela, and honest brokers can solve the ongoing crisis after recent statements by Maduro.
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