The United States has thrown its unequivocal support behind Guyana in the face of heightened tensions with Venezuela over the disputed Essequibo region. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a call with Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday, reaffirmed Washington’s stance, emphasizing Guyana’s full sovereignty over the oil-rich 159,500 square kilometers Essequibo territory.
During the call, Secretary Blinken urged for a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis, underscoring the United States’ commitment to stability in the region. The Venezuelan government, asserting a historical claim, recently voted to annex the contested territory, a move that drew swift condemnation.
President Irfaan Ali expressed Guyana’s appeal for a robust response from the United Nations Security Council, seeking enforcement of the International Court of Justice’s order against Venezuela’s actions.
Despite the ICJ’s warning to Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has called for the creation of a “Guyana Esequiba” province, escalating tensions further by instructing Venezuelan companies to explore for fossil fuels and minerals in the disputed area.
In response to the threat of annexation, Guyana has taken precautionary measures, including putting its armed forces on high alert. Regional cooperation is also evident, with Brazil deploying troops to Guyana’s northern border with Venezuela. President Ali emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating that the region must be prepared for a collective response if Venezuela proceeds recklessly.
Despite the escalating tensions, both Guyana and Venezuela have agreed to maintain open communication channels. The longstanding territorial dispute over Essequibo, rooted in historical claims, adds a complex layer to the geopolitical landscape.
The region’s strategic significance, boasting vast natural and mineral resources, including substantial oil reserves, has further intensified the contest between the two nations.
With Guyana poised to become a major player in global oil production, tensions between the two countries are likely to persist, posing challenges to regional stability.
As the international community closely monitors the situation, the United States’ resolute backing of Guyana adds a significant dimension to the evolving geopolitical dynamics in South America.