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Friday, 25 June, 2021

Maduro’s regime accuses the US of supporting ExxonMobil in Guyana

Nicolas Maduro never attacked Guyana verbally when David Granger was the ruler over there. However, over the weekend, the Maduro regime unleashed a social-media barrage about Guyana, accusing US oil giant Exxon of developing oil deposits in that territory, which has been doing since 2015, under the Granger administration.

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The Maduro regime highlighted and rejected the visit of the US Southern Commander in chief, Craig Faller, to Guyana on Monday, which it sees as an attempt to shore up US oil interests there, meddling in an ongoing dispute, in favor of Guyana.

Now, Guyana and its relation with oil giant Exxon is a fair target for the Venezuelan regime. Maduro suddenly remembered a 120 years old border dispute and is objecting to Guayana developing an oil industry in and near disputed areas, the same subject the local opposition headed by National Assembly President Juan Guaido accused him of ignoring while Granger was President. The Monday visit of Fawler follows that of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September 2020, when the US and Guyana signed a maritime cooperation agreement.

Over the weekend, in a series of tweets, Jorge Arreaza, foreign minister to the Maduro regime, accused the United States of protecting the “rapacious interests” of the US oil company ExxonMobil in Guyana. The term former colony and ex-colony, used in a derogatory manner, began appearing in Maduro regime propaganda applied to Guyana, which gained independence from the UK in 1966, something that never happened before in official language.

However, it must be noted that neither Venezuela nor Guyana is a party to has signed the International Court of Justice statute, a requirement for the intercession of The Hague in any legal dispute.

Venezuela has said it only recognizes the Geneva Accords signed in the Swiss city 55 years ago during the Raul Leoni administration.

In dispute: an immense area, more than 159,000 km² in extension, from the Essequibo River to Mount Roraima, rich with oil, gold, timber, and other prizes. Exxon and Guyana have been 2015 developing offshore oil deposits, but the Caracas regime never complained. Until now, when Granger was out of the picture.

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About Faller’s official visit, Arreaza stated: “The United States confesses its complicit participation in the conspiracy that intends to take away the territory of Guayana Esequiba from Venezuela. It protects the rapacious interests of the transnational oil company ExxonMobil, and it instruments Guyana, due to obscure corporate pretensions.”

The dispute

Since 1966 both countries have appealed to the United Nations to come up with a peaceful solution they can live with, but to no avail: the dispute continues, sometimes flaring up or dormant.

The territory that Venezuela calls Guayana Esequiba, divided into several regions in the Republic of Guyana, is a disputed area covering almost 160,000 square kilometers west of the Essequibo River.

Arreza considers recent US-Guyana activity in the oil and diplomatic fronts a “serious threat to peace and security” in Latin America. The regime official also called on Venezuelans to side with Maduro: “We call for national unity in the monolithic defense of our historic rights and the rejection of imperialist interventionism.”

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