Venezuela Unilaterally Creates New State in Disputed Territory with Guyana

World | March 22, 2024, Friday // 16:22
Bulgaria: Venezuela Unilaterally Creates New State in Disputed Territory with Guyana

In a move likely to escalate tensions with neighboring Guyana, Venezuela's lawmakers, aligned with President Nicolas Maduro's government, have passed legislation to establish a new state within the disputed Essequibo region. The decision comes amidst a longstanding territorial dispute between the two nations, with the legal case pending in the UN International Court of Justice.

Maduro's administration has been vocal about Venezuela's claim to the 160,000 square kilometer Essequibo area, despite ongoing international arbitration. While the recent legislative action reflects Maduro's assertions of sovereignty, it is not expected to have immediate practical implications.

The creation of the new state, named Guyana Esequiba, follows a referendum held in December, where Venezuelan citizens purportedly backed the move. However, concerns have been raised regarding the legitimacy of the vote, as witnesses reported minimal voter turnout on the day of the referendum, despite electoral authorities claiming over 10 million participants.

Guyana, steadfast in its stance on territorial integrity, has affirmed that its borders are non-negotiable and vowed to defend its sovereignty against any encroachment.

The law establishing Guyana Esequiba delineates its borders as the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south, Guyana to the east, and the Venezuelan states of Delta Amacuro and Bolivar to the west. The capital of the new state is designated as Tumeremo, located in the Bolivar state, until a resolution to the territorial dispute with Guyana is reached.

Venezuela's reassertion of its claim over the Essequibo region coincides with heightened domestic political turmoil and economic challenges. The resurgence of territorial disputes follows significant oil and gas discoveries in the area, amplifying geopolitical tensions in the region.

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Tags: Venezuela, Guyana, dispute, Essequibo

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