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28 Feb 12:10

About our Essequibo news

Latest news on Guayana Esequiba, also known as Esequibo or Essequibo, an area of ongoing territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela.

Guayana Esequiba is a resource-rich territory, larger than Greece, with significant oil and mineral reserves. Historically, Venezuela has claimed this region, which is part of Guyana's territory.

Venezuela is planning a consultative referendum on 3 December 2023 regarding its claim to the Guayana Esequiba region. The referendum, supported by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, includes several questions that challenge the legitimacy of the 1899 Paris Arbitration Award and propose the creation of a Guayana Esequiba state as part of Venezuela.

The proposed referendum has been condemned by the Guyanese government, which has sought intervention from the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Commonwealth of Nations and the Caribbean Community have also voiced support for Guyana in this matter.

The ICJ ruled on 6 April 2023, that it has jurisdiction over the border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela. This decision paves the way for the World Court to make a final, binding determination on the status of the territory. Guyana had requested the ICJ to affirm the border as defined in the 1899 arbitration, while Venezuela had argued that the UK should be involved in the case. The ICJ's ruling rejects Venezuela's objections and moves forward with hearings on the merits of the case, which could take years to conclude.

Guyana's President Irfaan Ali welcomed the ICJ's decision and expressed his commitment to a peaceful resolution. He remains confident that the ICJ will help establish a definitive boundary with Venezuela. Despite the ICJ's ruling, Venezuela insists on bilateral negotiations to reach a solution. Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez emphasized that negotiations are the only way to achieve a practical and satisfactory resolution, and President Maduro plans to evaluate all measures to defend Venezuela's rights and territorial integrity.

While Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has not explicitly threatened military intervention in Guayana Esequiba, there have been several indications of a heightened military posture related to the dispute.

The Guyanese government has alleged a significant Venezuelan military build-up along the disputed border, including the construction of an airstrip, indicating preparations for potential military actions.

Following the planned 3 December referendum on Venezuela's claim to the Essequibo region, Venezuela has indicated that it will rely on its armed forces to defend its claimed annexation of the new state of Guyana Esequiba. Military preparations, including works at a Venezuelan border town, have reportedly already begun.

The US Supreme Court has voted to keep in place Title 42. The policy, which has been applied about 2.5 million times since March 2020, gives the government the power to automatically expel undocumented migrants seeking entry to the US. The policy was originally due to expire on 21 December, but two days before the deadline, Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts blocked its termination. The court has then voted 5-4 to extend the temporary stay ordered by Justice Roberts while the case moves forward.

The Biden administration continued the policy until 11 May 2023, when it expired along with other Covid-related measures. The end of Title 42 is expected to cause an influx of migrants at the border who will be allowed to request asylum again.

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