Venezuela Seeks to Exploit Disputed Region Held by Guyana
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela focuses on power concentration. Accordingly, it is worrisome that Maduro is upping the ante against Guyana concerning a region disputed by Venezuela.
The recent referendum in Venezuela concerning Essequibo (Esequiba), a region administered by Guyana, bodes ill for Guyana. Accordingly, Maduro is utilizing the referendum – to lay claim to the oil-rich region of Essequibo.
The BBC reports, “Critics of the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, say he called the non-binding referendum to whip up nationalist fervor and distract from calls for free and fair elections to be held.”
President Irfaan Ali of Guyana naturally denounced Maduro and the referendum. However, it appears that Maduro is set on the annexation of Essequibo.
The leader of Guyana said, “The Guyana Defense Force is on high alert … Venezuela has clearly declared itself an outlaw nation.”
The Guardian reports, “Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has ordered the country’s state-owned companies to “immediately” begin to explore and exploit the oil, gas and mines in Guyana’s Essequibo region, a territory larger than Greece and rich in oil and minerals that Venezuela claims as its own.”
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 might sense the concerns of G7 nations and the European Union being overly concerned by the crisis between Ukraine and the Russian Federation – and the violence involving Hamas and Israel after the recent pogrom of over 1,200 Jews by Hamas. Also, Maduro knows America is focused on Taiwan along with Japan. Therefore, the timing looks opportunistic.
The Miami Herald reports, “Venezuelan ruler Nicolás Maduro announced Tuesday the creation of a new military zone that would be in charge of defending an oil -and mineral-rich territory of neighboring Guyana that he’s claiming belongs to his nation.”
The statements by Maduro are increasingly hostile.
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