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U.K. Redeploys Warship to Guyana Amid Territorial Dispute

Royal Navy warship, HMS Trent, which was sent to Guyana. Credit: The Royal Navy

Like a demented bloodhound, the British Crown, catching a whiff of a conflict, decided to re-task the Royal Navy warship HMS Trent, from its normal public duties of tracking down drug smugglers in the Caribbean, to the waters off Guyana.

Reuters quotes a spokesperson as saying, “HMS Trent will visit regional ally and Commonwealth partner Guyana later this month as part of a series of engagements in the region during her Atlantic Patrol Task deployment.”

The new deployment came in the wake of the visit by Minister for the Americas and Caribbean Overseas Territories David Rutley to Guyana on Dec. 18, to “reaffirm its support for Guyana on the first ministerial visit to the country from a G7 nation since the Venezuelan regime renewed its border claim on the Essequibo region,” as reported by a Foreign Office press release. It continued, “David Rutley … will meet President Ali and senior government and military officials to stress unequivocal backing for Guyana’s territorial integrity.”

The disputed Essequibo region is a 160,000 sq km area which has been contested for decades, and is known to have rich oil reserves.

Guyanese President Irfaan Ali and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held talks on Dec. 14 in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

Sputnik reported that, “Venezuela and Guyana have since agreed not to threaten or use force in any circumstances to settle the dispute, as per a joint statement, published by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The sides also agreed to meet in Brazil within the next three months to ‘consider any matter with implications for the territory in dispute’ and immediately establish a joint commission on the level of foreign minister and experts to address the dispute.”

Guyana achieved independence from the British only 57 years ago, in 1966.