Venezuela, which has the largest proven oil reserves in the World, it attempting to bully its tiny next door neighbor, Guyana, for a well discovered by the Exxon-Mobil corporation in the Essequibo off-shore region.
Venezuela has had a territorial dispute with the tiny country since the early 19th century. In fact, Venezuelan school houses to this day show the country of Guyana, not as a country on the map, but as a “claimed zone”.
After the oil discovery, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro claimed Venezuelan sovereignty over the Essequibo River waters, sparking the most recent round of diplomatic back and forth which has cause Guyana to petition the UN and put its military on full alert. Guyana’s top military chief, Brigadier General Mark Phillips commented:
Our armed forced will not sit idly by awaiting for an illegal incursion… Any claim over Essequibo is illegal and illegitimate….We stand ready to defend our territorial integrity”
Voice of America reports:
In April, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez wrote a letter to Exxon’s Guyana country manager, Jeff Simon, saying Venezuela would not accept the incursion or interference of any multinational company in the disputed territory.
For his part, Nicolas Maduro, who always finds someone to blame, is putting the fault squarely on Exxon-Mobil and the “American Empire”. In a televised statement he told the Guyana president David Granger:
Reflect. Take the necessary steps to begin dialogue and abandon your inflammatory rhetoric. Do not take bad and false advise from Exxon and those advisors purchased by Exxon. This is all Exxon’s doing.
Hispolitica will be watching the situation closely.