[ View the story "Guyana and Venezuela at odds over the Essequibo" on Storify] Guyana and Venezuela at odds over the Essequibo Oil discovery off the Guyanese coast reignites territory dispute.
The Stream· Wed, Jul 22 2015 18:18:41
The Venezuelan government is
two-thirds of Guyana's territory, after ExxonMobil
an oil discovery off the coast of the Essequibo region. The two South American nations have been quarreling over the Essequibo, a large swath of isolated jungle, for more than 100 years, but the international community recognises the territory as Guyana’s. Venezuela has rejected the internationally-recognised boundaries, referring to the region as the '
What do you think is behind Venezuelan President Maduro’s intention to annex two-thirds of Guyana’s Essequibo region?
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has
for a peaceful reclamation of the territory. He says the waters in which Exxon drilled are a part of Venezuela's "Maritime Defense Zone". On March 27, Maduro created the "Atlantic Maritime Integral Defense Zone", giving Venezuela the power to conduct military operations within that area. Additionally, he formed "The Essequibo Rescue Office" agency and plans to issue 200,000 Venezuelan identity cards to Guyanese living in the Essequibo region.
The President of Guyana, David Granger, responded to Maduro's actions during an address to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) saying, “Guyana’s border with Venezuela was fixed 116 years ago. Maps were drawn. Atlases were adjusted. Border markers were cast in stone."
Opening Ceremony of the 36th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOMThirty-Sixth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community
The oil discovery could have significant
for Guyana, the third-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with few natural resources and no local oil production. For years, Guyana
some of its oil from Venezuela. In a trade deal between the two countries, Guyana traded a large portion of its rice for Venezuela's oil. Amid the escalating land dispute, Venezuela has said it will
buying rice from Guyana by the end of the year.
Venezuela also has its own
, with many of its citizens jobless and unable to afford basic goods. The country
on oil for 95 per cent of its foreign currency earnings and has seen
oil prices drop
drastically this year.
We asked the Stream community: What do you think is behind Venezuelan President Maduro’s intention to annex two-thirds of Guyana’s Essequibo region?
@AJStream now that the. VENUEZULIAN know it is rich with petroleum they want it badly and are bullying the small nation. not fairtesfagabir
@DeemaAlpha @AJStream they now want in the oil found there, which is a lot, and they need something that attracts votersMarcia Guevara
@AJStream @KameliaKilawan Maduro is mustering the spirit of national unity to stall Ven. elections or ride to victory on the Essequibo claimDerwayne M.Wills
@AJStream @NicolasMaduro it definitely appeals to nationalistic tendencies, which always flare up during times of economic hardship. So yesΜΔΧ
The Essequibo is another distraction from this Government to evade the inflation issue coming in the next few days and the increase [in the price of] of gasoline.
El esequibo es otra distracción de este gobierno para evadir el tema inflacionario q viene en los próximos días y el aumento de la gasolinaDANNY SÁNCHEZ PABÓN
We also asked what impact this dispute will have on regional peace:
@ajstream politicians decide while common people pay the price.Ayieko James
@AJStream #Guyana #Venezuela what does such leads to? Wars of course unless the two countries comes to an understandingMCLAKESIDE.
@AJStream I am from Guyana, and first let me say, there is no "dispute". It is a claim, or a controversy. The issue was settled decades ago.Derwayne M.Wills