Int’l community will not allow Maduro to play Putin’s Ukraine card in Western Hemisphere – Fmr Colombian Pres.

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Former Colombian President Ivan Duque believes that the situation unfolding in Ukraine will not be replicated in the Western Hemisphere, because of the international community’s support for Guyana. 

Russia invaded Ukraine back in 2022 in an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014. The invasion was the largest attack on a European country since World War II.  Duque recently weighed in on the controversy surrounding Venezuela’s quest for Guyana’s Essequibo territory, in an interview with Newsweek’s Arick Wierson.

“The international community knows that it is not going to allow [Maduro] to play the Putin card in Ukraine here,” Duque said. “There is going to be a very strong response if [Maduro] tries to use force against Guyana, not only from the United States and Canada, but there is also going to be a response from Latin American countries…”

Guyana puts international community on notice as Venezuela continues to push for Essequibo region | OilNOW

The latest controversial act from Venezuela was its establishment of the Organic Law for the Defense of Guayana Esequiba. The Act outlines steps for fulfilling Venezuela’s claim for the Essequibo region. The International Court of Justice has ordered Venezuela not to interfere with Guyana’s administration and control of the territory. Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali has said that Venezuela’s law is an infraction in that regard.

Duque’s opinion on President Maduro’s actions aligns with what industry analysts have said; that he is only using the controversy to drum up support for his re-election bid. “Maduro is desperate to remain in power… He’s trying to use Guyana as a scapegoat for using nationalistic speech,” he explained. 

Guyana calls Venezuela’s latest move “illegal expansionism” in ramped up appeal to int’l community | OilNOW

There have been fears that Venezuela would invade Guyana, as Maduro had heavy troop movement near the shared border, according to satellite imagery. Guyana’s military is not equipped for war though the country has been quickly strengthening its capacity. Duque labeled it “very stupid” for Maduro to attempt such a move and even dismissed the idea that Venezuela has the military capacity to sustain an invasion in Guyana. “He better not play with that because he knows that if he tries to play the card, he’s going to receive a very strong response,” Duque said.

The heart of this legal battle is the Arbitral Award of 1899, a document that settled the boundary between the two South American nations more than a hundred years ago. In 1962, some 63 years after accepting the boundary, Venezuela claimed the Award was null and void. After years of discussions between the two countries under the United Nations Good Offices Process failed to deliver a resolution, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres referred the matter to the ICJ in 2018. Despite Venezuela’s preference for bilateral negotiations and its non-recognition of the Court’s jurisdiction—a stance rebuffed by a 2020 ICJ ruling confirming its jurisdiction—the process has moved forward.

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