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Venezuela’s Maduro Sends Provocative Essequibo Legislation to National Assembly for Final Vote

The Brazil-sponsored Dec. 14, 2023 meeting between the Presidents of Venezuela and Guyana succeeded in derailing a short-term confrontation between the two countries over the disputed Essequibo region of Guyana (and related offshore oil deposits), but the British-authored geopolitical crisis was by no means solved by that one meeting—as EIR warned at the time. After that mid-December agreement, the Guyanese government acceded to a British warship docking briefly in Georgetown, which the Venezuelan government rightly protested as being a de facto British-American military threat against Venezuela. And now on Jan. 8, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has returned to his earlier provocative Dec. 3 national referendum and call for legislation which would declare the existence of a new Venezuelan state, Guayana Essequibo, consisting of precisely the contested area. According to a TASS account, Maduro told a meeting of Venezuelan political leaders which was broadcast live on TV: “The Dec. 3 referendum, in the holding of which the National Assembly played a key role, triggered a powerful force of consent to defend [Venezuela’s] historical rights to Guayana Essequibo.” He said that Venezuela “can protect what belongs to us,” adding that “I am very happy as I celebrate and applaud Venezuela’s National Assembly, which has expanded its legislative agenda to include a final vote on the Guayana Essequibo law.”

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