The US Accused of Militarizing Territorial Dispute Between Venezuela and Guyana
Allegations of U.S. Involvement in Territorial Dispute
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Yván Gil, has accused the United States of attempting to “militarize” the ongoing territorial dispute with Guyana. The dispute is centered on a 160,000-square-kilometer area, where the U.S. is allegedly trying to establish a military base. The Foreign Minister made this statement to the United Nations, arguing that the U.S. is using the South Command to create a base with the aim of launching aggression against Venezuela and seizing its energy resources.
Appropriation of Venezuela’s Oil Resources
Apart from the militarization allegations, Gil has also accused the U.S. of attempting to take control of Venezuela’s oil resources. He claims that the American company ExxonMobil is being used to achieve this objective. Gil alleges that ExxonMobil has included the Guyanese government in its payroll. He criticized the company for granting oil concessions in an undelimited maritime territory, an action he considers a violation of international law.
Persistence of Guyana’s Government
Despite the territorial dispute, Gil mentioned that the Guyanese government is persisting in its illegal conduct. He explained that it is not possible to unilaterally dispose of a disputed territory. In light of this, Venezuela reaffirms its determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The ‘Guayana Esequiba’ Dispute
The issue at hand pertains to the ‘Guayana Esequiba’ region, a region rich in natural resources and minerals. This region has been the center of a dispute between Venezuela and Guyana for nearly 200 years. The dispute is back in the spotlight following the International Court of Justice declaring its competence to resolve the matter, a decision that Venezuela has rejected.
Claim Basis of Guyana and Venezuela
Guyana’s claim is based on an arbitration award of 1899, which granted it the territory (then under British rule). Venezuela immediately protested this decision and maintains its claim to date. Venezuela, on the other hand, argues that the Geneva Agreement, signed in 1966, is the legal instrument governing this controversy. It asserts that this is the only valid legal instrument deposited at the UN to resolve the dispute through negotiations.
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