“We are not a war-mongering nation but we have got to protect this territory and our country” – Guyana VP 

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Speaking at a public meeting over the weekend held in Anna Regina, Guyana’s Essequibo region, Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, issued a stern warning to Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro.

“Do not ever question our resolve Maduro or do not ever question the unity of our people and the solidarity that we will get from abroad on this matter. Do not ever question that. Do not miscalculate on this issue,” declared Jagdeo, underlining Guyana’s steadfastness in the face of escalating tensions.

“We never threatened the peace; Venezuela has been the aggressor” – Jagdeo | OilNOW

Jagdeo emphasized the defensive stance of Guyana, stating, “Let me make it clear: we have to defend, by all means, this country. We are not a war-mongering nation but we got to protect this territory and our country.” 

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo addressing residents of Essequibo on November 26, 2023 (Source: Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo Facebook)

Addressing the December 3 referendum that Venezuela has planned, Jagdeo emphasized Guyana’s stance stating, “We do not want your ID cards, we do not want you anywhere near our country.”

Jagdeo clarified Guyana’s position, expressing concerns over specific articles of the referendum that could potentially affect the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) proceedings. He highlighted Guyana’s submission to the ICJ, awaiting a verdict on provisional measures to prevent Venezuela’s actions that could impact the territorial controversy. Jagdeo also articulated confidence in the impending ICJ ruling, emphasizing the imperative for Venezuela to honor established borders, emphasizing the potential global ramifications if borders were unilaterally repudiated.

Referendum on Essequibo “must be suspended” – Maduro’s main presidential challenger | OilNOW

The backdrop of this address is rooted in Venezuela’s intensified claims over the Essequibo territory following Guyana’s recent bid round, escalating tensions marked by threats and increased Venezuelan military presence along the border. In contrast, Guyana has placed its trust in the ICJ’s impartiality and adherence to peaceful conflict resolution methods, urging Venezuela to respect the UN Charter.

In a bid to strengthen defenses and alliances, Guyana anticipates visits from U.S. Department of Defense officials this week. 

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