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Essequibo: Brazil asks anyone for military support

Essequibo: Brazil asks anyone for military support

Brazil expressed concern this Friday (29) over the developments in the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo territory and to return to negotiations. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Military demonstrations favoring any side should be avoided so that the ongoing dialogue process can yield results.”

The appeal comes days after the United Kingdom sent a warship to Guyana, a move Caracas responded to with military exercises off the country's Atlantic coast this Thursday (28).

“The Brazilian government follows with concern the latest developments in the dispute surrounding the Essequibo region”, Itamaraty revealed. Brazil was one of the mediators of the dialogue between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Guyana President Irfan Ali in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on December 14.

:: What's Happening in Venezuela ::

In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said the agreement signed between Maduro and Ali was “a milestone in efforts to resolve the issue peacefully, bearing in mind the spirit of peace, cooperation and integration that moves us as a region. Unity”.

“[O Brasil] Regional companies like Celac are firm [Comunidade dos Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos] and Karikom [Comunidade do Caribe] appropriate forums for dealing with the topic; […] and calls on the parties to restrain, return to negotiations and respect the spirit and letter of the Argyle Declaration,” he said.

The arrival of a British ship in Guyana and Venezuelan military exercises again strained relations between Caracas and Georgetown, which were briefly cooled by the meeting in São Vicente. Both countries claim sovereignty over the bordering Essequibo enclave.

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:: Essequibo: Former Venezuelan vice chancellor says Brazil got involved when Guyana wanted military expansion ::

The 160,000 km² territory is rich in oil and became the focus of tensions between the countries after Guyana awarded US company ExxonMobil concessions to explore offshore reserves off the coast of Essequibo. Venezuela characterizes the move as “illegal” and calls for the dispute to be resolved through direct negotiations.

'We are not going to invade Venezuela'

Following the Venezuelan military response to the UK move, Guyana's Vice President Bharat Jagdeo said there was “no plan for offensive action” against Venezuela and defended himself by saying the British ship's arrival was a move. Already planned.

“These are long-planned routine activities that are part of building security capabilities,” he said. We are not planning to invade Venezuela, President Maduro knows this, he said, and we have no offensive plans against the country.

The United Kingdom is the second military power to engage with Guyana during the recent escalation of tensions over the Essequibo dispute. Since at least September, the US Southern Command has been conducting joint military exercises with Guyanese troops along the border with Venezuela.

:: 'America wants to own Essequibo,' says Venezuela's Angel Prado ::

Caracas has condemned the actions and has already accused the US of wanting to establish a military base in the disputed territory.

Editing: Geesa Marks