Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Latest News

Venezuelans approve takeover of oil-rich region of Guyana. What happens next?

Venezuelans voted by a wide margin Sunday to approve the takeover of an oil-rich region in neighboring Guyana – the latest escalation in a long-running territorial dispute between the two countries, fueled by the recent discovery of vast offshore energy resources.

The area in question, the densely forested Essequibo region, amounts to about two-thirds of Guyana’s national territory and is roughly the size of Florida.

Sunday’s largely symbolic referendum asked voters if they agreed with creating a Venezuelan state in the Essequibo region, providing its population with Venezuelan citizenship and “incorporating that state into the map of Venezuelan territory.”

In a news conference announcing preliminary results from the first tranche of counted votes, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council said voters chose “yes” more than 95% of the time on each of five questions on the ballot.

It is unclear what steps Venezuela’s government would take to enforce its claim, however.

Venezuela has long claimed the land, which it argues was within its borders during the Spanish colonial period. It dismisses an 1899 ruling by international arbitrators that set the current boundaries when Guyana was still a British colony, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has cast the referendum in anti-imperialist sentiment on social media.

Guyana has called the move a step towards annexation and an “existential threat.”

Last week, Guyanese President Irfaan Ali visited troops in Essequibo and dramatically hoisted a Guyanese flag on a mountain overlooking the border with Venezuela.

The International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, ruled before the vote that “Venezuela shall refrain from taking any action which would modify the situation that currently prevails in the territory in dispute.” It plans to hold a trial in the spring on the issue, following years of review and decades of failed negotiations. Venezuela does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction on the issue, however.

What happens next

The vote’s result was widely expected within Venezuela, although its practical implications are likely to be minimal, analysts say, with the creation of a Venezuelan state within the Essequibo a remote possibility.

It’s unclear what steps the Venezuelan government would take to follow through on the result, and any attempt to assert a claim would certainly be met with international resistance.

Still, the escalating rhetoric has prompted troop movements in the region and saber-rattling in both countries, drawing comparisons from Guyanese leaders to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many residents in the predominantly indigenous region are reportedly on edge.

“The longstanding row over the border between Guyana and Venezuela has risen to a level of unprecedented tension in the relations between our countries,” Guyanese Foreign Minister Robert Persaud wrote Wednesday in Americas Quarterly.

Even without implementing the referendum, which would require further constitutional steps and the likely use of force, Maduro may stand to gain politically from the vote amid a challenging re-election campaign.

In October, the Venezuelan opposition showed rare momentum after rallying around Maria Corina Machado, a center-right former legislator who has attacked Maduro for overseeing soaring inflation and food shortages, in the country’s first primary in 11 years.

“An authoritarian government facing a difficult political situation is always tempted to look around for a patriotic issue so it can wrap itself in the flag and rally support, and I think that’s a large part of what Maduro is doing,” said Phil Gunson, a Caracas-based analyst with the International Crisis Group.

This post appeared first on

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News And Articles.

    Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

    You May Also Like

    Latest News

    North Korea may be known as the hermit kingdom, but the isolated nation could be edging toward opening its borders to small numbers of...

    Editor's Pick

    One of the perks of being speaker of the House — or at least, one of the characteristics of it — is that you...

    Latest News

    Evacuations are underway across Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui as passing Hurricane Dora helps fuel wildfires that have damaged structures, prompted rescues and spurred...

    Latest News

    Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won her first competitive tennis match in three-and-a-half years on Tuesday, defeating Australian Kimberly Birrell 6-2 6-2 at...

    Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively “The Company”) do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

    Copyright © 2024