“We have heard lies and manipulations. Guyana never ceases to amaze us. (Not only) they are heirs of a territory that the United Kingdom stole from Venezuela (in reference to the Essequibo), but they also inherited that lineage of imperialist and colonialist arrogance. Pretend that the people of Venezuela does not vote on December 3 in an attempt to convert to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a instrument“. Delcy Rodriguez has transferred the usual Bolivarian verbiage to The Hague, where he has been able to go despite the European sanctions renewed for six months, to defend the position of the government of Nicolás Maduro in its dispute with neighboring Guyana.
The ICJ must decide on Georgetown’s request for the referendum proposed by Maduro on Essequibo is paralyzeda tool with which he also intends to increase support in his country (he only has the support of 15% of Venezuelans) in the face of Hurricane María Corina Machado, the new leader of the opposition.
For 20 years, Chavismo forgot the old national claim over the 160,000 square kilometers east of the Essequibo River, in whose maritime area an enormous oil reserve has been found, more than 15,000 million barrels of black gold. Fidel Castro’s alliance with Guyana and the support of Caribbean countries in international organizations outweighed the national claim for 20 years.
The Guyana government considers the referendum as an “existential threat” for a poor country that lives today a economic awakening thanks to findings from the oil company Exxon Mobil. The Essequibo occupies two thirds of Guyana’s territory. In his arguments before the ICJ he has expressed his concern about Venezuela’s imminent withdrawal from the court and the military invasion of the disputed territory.
“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces, with Constitution in hand, are calling on our people to vote this December 3, the government of Guyana sees that as a threat,” the vice president apologized at the end of the hearing. Rodríguez has accused the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, of dressing as a soldier and carrying out military exercises with the United States, an extension of the “war drums” alluded to by herself.