Esequibo, Maduro challenges Guyana: Venezuela will begin exploring resources

The situation in South America is heating up. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday ordered the country’s state-owned companies to “immediately” begin exploring for oil, gas and mines in Guyana’s Esequibo region, a territory larger than Greece and rich in oil and minerals that Venezuela claims as its own. The announcement came one day after Maduro won the referendum where Caracas’ claim to sovereignty over the territory of Esequibo was confirmed. Maduro said he would “immediately” proceed with granting exploration licenses for the exploration and exploitation of oil, gas and mines “across the entire area” and also announced the creation of local subsidiaries of Venezuelan public companies, including oil giant PDVSA and the mining company. conglomerate Corporación Venezolana de Guayana. Maduro then announced the creation of a new operational defense zone for the disputed strip.

The Esequibo area of ​​159,500 square kilometers represents two-thirds of Guyana. Venezuela has always considered Esequibo as its own because the region was within its borders during the Spanish colonial period. Venezuela’s commitment to pursuing its territorial claim has fluctuated over the years. His interest was piqued again in 2015 when ExxonMobil announced that it had found oil off the Esequibo coast.

“Maduro’s words are a direct threat to territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence”, reacted the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali. The rich zone could trigger a new conflict: Maduro in fact released a new official map of the country that also includes Guiana Esequiba. A radical change.

Source: IL Tempo