Maduro Signed Decrees on the Annexation of Essequibo, Which Belongs to Guyana

President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro announced the incorporation of the disputed Essequibo region into the country, causing significant tension in the region

Nicolas Maduro
Nicolas Maduro / Eneas De Troya, CC BY 2.0 DEED

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, on Friday announced the inclusion of the Essequibo region, belonging to Guyana, into Venezuela.

He did this by signing decrees, as he reported on social media. Maduro called for support of this decision from the people and armed forces of Venezuela.

Earlier, on December 7, Maduro ordered the issuance of licenses for mineral extraction in Essequibo and proposed a law to annex this region to Venezuela.

This caused a reaction from Guyana, which put its armed forces on high alert.

In turn, Venezuela declared the establishment of a new state in this territory and presented a map of the country including Essequibo.

Brazil, in light of these events, announced the deployment of its troops along the border with Venezuela.

Conflict with a 200-Year History

The conflict around the Essequibo region, most of which is covered with impenetrable jungles, has been ongoing for over two centuries.

This area, about 160,000 square kilometers west of the Essequibo River, constitutes approximately three-quarters of Guyana's territory.

The situation worsened after the discovery in 2015 of significant mineral reserves, including oil, in Essequibo. In the fall of 2023, a "significant discovery" of a new deposit was made in the disputed territory.

In December, a referendum was held in Venezuela regarding the annexation of Essequibo to the country. The results of the plebiscite showed that nearly 96% of the Venezuelan population supported this decision.

President Maduro characterized the referendum results as "the beginning of a new historical stage in the fight for rights to what belongs to us." He stated, "The Venezuelan people expressed their will openly and clearly, and this victory belongs to the people of Venezuela."


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