US Backs Guyana As Tensions Rise Over Contested Essequibo Region 

The United States reaffirmed its support of Guyana amid a growing dispute with neighboring Venezuela over the oil-rich Essequibo region.

Both countries claim the region, but it has been administered by Guyana since 1899 and represents two-thirds of its territory. Tensions rose over the weekend when Venezuela held a referendum in which the country voted overwhelmingly to establish a new state in Essequibo.

A ruling is pending from the International Court of Justice over the jurisdiction of the region, though Venezuela voted in the referendum to reject the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

Following the results of the referendum, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered oil companies operating under Guyana’s authority to halt operations in Essequibo within three months.

Guyana has questioned the legitimacy of the Venezuelan referendum. President Irfaan Ali said he would put the country’s troops on high alert and that he was in contact with Guyana’s partners, including the U.S., which announced joint flight drills with the Guyanese military.


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 Edited by Jesus Chan

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