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Venezuela announces a referendum to annex Guyana

Venezuela announces a referendum to annex Guyana

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro It announced that it would hold a consultative referendum to annex a large portion of its territory Guyana the Venezuela.

The two countries dispute the area where Guyana-Esquipa is currently located, which is rich in natural resources.

The region represents 70% of Guyana’s area. Maduro stated, in a post on the X website (formerly Twitter), that the referendum will be held on December 3.

He has published publications supporting the integration of the region. “Our people will decide their future and destiny democratically,” Maduro wrote.

“On a day that calls on everyone, regardless of differences, to defend our lands and respect our sovereignty. Esequipa from Venezuela!

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Guyana refused

In October, the Guyana government expressed its rejection of plans to annex most of its territory. The country’s presidency stated in a statement that this would be an international crime.

“The Government of Guyana categorically rejects any attempt to undermine the territorial integrity of the sovereign State of Guyana,” a statement read.

The case will be analyzed by the International Court of Justice, which meets on Tuesday, 14th of this month, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

The meeting is being held in response to the request of the Government of Guyana for interim measures to be taken regarding the situation.

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The country realizes that the referendum aims to gain support for a unilateral solution to the conflict between the two countries.

Nicolas Maduro published leaflets supporting the incorporation of the region west of the Essequibo River. Guyana expressed its refusal Photo: Marcelo Camargo/Agence Brasil

Venezuela claim

Debate over sovereignty over the area of ​​more than 160,000 square kilometers west of the Essequibo River began in the 19th century.

Caracas claims the area as part of its territory because, during the colonial period, it was part of the General Command of Venezuela.

After Spanish rule, the region had been administered by the Dutch since 1648 – before Venezuela declared its independence from Spain in 1811 – and the United Kingdom since 1814.

In 1899, an arbitration award issued by a Paris court granted sovereignty over the region to the British Empire.

In 1962, Venezuela filed a lawsuit with the United Nations to challenge the 1899 resolution.

In 1966, the year Guyana gained independence from the United Kingdom, the Geneva Convention was signed, which limited Guyanese control over the region, but recognized Venezuela’s challenge.

The conflict was supposed to be resolved within four years, but that did not happen.