Venezuela army movements small in scale; no indication of impending hostilities – US security spokesman’

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White House National Security Communications Advisor, John Kirby, said the United States (U.S.) is closely monitoring Venezuela’s build-up of military forces near the border with Guyana and described the gathering(s) as small in scale. 

“Our assessment is that whatever military movements there have been by Venezuela have been of a very small nature in size and scale and scope. We see no indication that there’s about to be hostilities or that the Venezuelan military would be capable of conducting any significant military activities there,” Kirby stated. 

He said the U.S. continues to urge a peaceful resolution and that it will continue to keep an eye on the situation. 

“I would remind that anything that we’re doing down in Guyana or in that area is done purely for defensive purposes,” the U.S. spokesman noted.

An alarm was raised recently when Venezuela’s Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino – incensed by ExxonMobil’s drilling plans – pledged a “forceful” response.

However, ExxonMobil Guyana President Alistair Routledge told Bloomberg that the planned wells will be drilled  “well south” of the territory under contention between Guyana and Venezuela.

Five of the wells are in the southeast portion of the Stabroek block, closer to Suriname, while two are in the central section, he said. He added that wells have been drilled closer to Venezuela in recent years with no problems.

“We’re getting on with development and activity within acreage that is clearly Guyana’s territory,” Routledge said.

He acknowledged that the two countries have agreed not to exacerbate the controversy and that the matter is being addressed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

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