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Venezuela and Guyana agree not to use force over Essequibo

This meeting at St Vicent`s Argyle International Airport between Guyana`s President Irfaan Ali and Venezuela`s President Nicolas Maduro was intended to diffuse rising tensions over the oil-rich Region of Essequibo.

Considerable petroleum deposits were discovered there offshore in 2015.  The territory covers 159,500 square km, constituting two-thirds of Guyana`s landmass and 125,000 of its 800,000 population live there.

It became part of what is now Guyana, via an international tribunal ruling in 1899…. something which Venezuela has always disputed.  The current issue is being assessed by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. 


The situation came to a political boil after Venezuela held a Referendum on December 3rd claiming that 95 percent of those who voted said it must become part of Venezuela. 

Even prior to this closed-door meeting, a statement from Guyana`s Government stressed: “It`s not up for discussion, negotiation or deliberation.”

Venezuela has condemned joint military exercises involving US Southern Command and Guyana`s military. 

President Ali has said that the notion that this is aimed at Venezuela, is false, misleading and provocative. But during a break in these latest talks, he said: “Guyana isn`t seeking war but reserves the right to work with all of our partners to ensure the defence of our country.”

Source: Vatican News