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Montevideo, September 26th 2018 - 10:57 UTC

Maduro recalls ambassador in Guyana: “Venezuela in under new forms of assault and aggression”

Tuesday, July 7th 2015 - 07:40 UTC
Full article 11 comments
“Venezuela is coming under new forms of assault and aggression,” said Maduro. “This is a grave, dangerous situation that we must combat with national unity.” “Venezuela is coming under new forms of assault and aggression,” said Maduro. “This is a grave, dangerous situation that we must combat with national unity.”
Venezuela has long claimed a significant chunk (a third) of Guyana, including a large marine area where Exxon Mobil recently announced an oil discovery Venezuela has long claimed a significant chunk (a third) of Guyana, including a large marine area where Exxon Mobil recently announced an oil discovery

President Nicolas Maduro announced Monday that he was recalling Venezuela's ambassador in neighboring Guyana for consultation amid mounting tensions over their disputed border. During an address to parliament, Maduro said that he also is initiating a comprehensive review of relations with much smaller Guyana and reducing the size of Venezuela's embassy there.

 “Venezuela is coming under new forms of assault and aggression,” he said. “This is a grave, dangerous situation that we must combat with national unity.”

A potentially rich oil discovery in waters off the northern coast of South America has rekindled the border dispute that stretches back to the 19th century.

Venezuela, which has one of the world's largest oil reserves, has long claimed a significant chunk of Guyana, including a large marine area where Exxon Mobil Corp. recently announced it made a significant oil discovery. Venezuela issued a decree soon after that announcement extending its territorial claims farther out into the Atlantic to encompass the area where the discovery was made.

Guyana denounced the decree as a threat to regional peace and said it would formally ask the United Nations to intervene. U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has offered to mediate. Last week Ban Ki-moon offered his good offices to overcome the situation.

Maduro has increasingly lashed out at countries he paints as hostile while he struggles with multiple crises at home, including the world's highest inflation, a soaring homicide rate and approval ratings languishing in the 20% range.

On Monday, he said Guyanese President David Granger had rebuffed Venezuela's sincere efforts to open diplomatic talks. But he ruled out the possibility of war with Guyana, and any armed conflict over the dispute is widely seen as extremely unlikely.

The dispute stems from an 1899 court ruling that required Venezuela to relinquish an undeveloped but resource-rich jungle territory called the Essequibo that constitutes about two-thirds of Guyanese territory. Venezuela contends the ruling was invalid, and many official maps still describe the Essequibo as Venezuelan territory. Guyana says Venezuela pledged to abide by the ruling, but later reneged.

“We are victims of dispossession. I say this to our friends and also to our enemies: No one will ever get Venezuela to renounce her historical rights to the Essequibo,” Maduro.

From Georgetown President David Granger said Guyana will continue commercial and cultural relations with Venezuela, despite heightened tension with Caracas over territorial claims.

Top Comments

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  • HansNiesund

    “Help, Guyana is hitting us on the boot with its scrotum! Bring me the oldest trick in the book!”

    Jul 07th, 2015 - 09:30 am 0
  • ilsen

    More paranoia and populist rantings from Maduro.
    Chavez never cared about the region.

    Jul 07th, 2015 - 09:50 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @2. Have to agree with that. There's also greed. Maduro apparently wants someone to agree that half of Guyana belongs to Venezuela. It is notable that, when spain made an official claim in 1788, it disregarded 20 leagues (52 miles) on the basis that the land was low-lying and swampy. In other words, “We'll have that bit over there because this bit is worthless”. I don't think so. Even when the territory became British Guiana and Venezuela protested in 1824, it was just ignored. A pattern appears. British settlers found gold. Venezuela claimed the land. There was an arbitration in 1899 in which Britain was mostly successful. Venezuela didn't get anywhere for 67 years. Now Venezuela sniffs oil. Venezuela already has four times as much land as Guyana. It also appears to have more than 87 times Guyana's GDP. Whose fault is it the Maduro can't run a country without thieving?

    Jul 07th, 2015 - 11:07 am 0
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