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International News: United States defense official visits Guyana amid border tensions with Venezuela

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2024. 10:31 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On January 8, 2024, a top U.S. Defence official visited Guyana for a 2-day meeting as tensions between Guyana and Venezuela simmer in a border dispute over the oil-rich Esequibo region.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere Daniel P. Erikson’s visit to Guyana highlights the U.S. push for a “U.S.-Guyana bilateral defense and security partnership in support of regional stability,” the U.S. Embassy said.

In December, both nations agreed to avoid any use of force in their long-running feud over the Esequibo territory, Reuters report.

The 160,000-square-km (62,000-square-mile) region is generally recognized as part of Guyana, but in recent years Venezuela has revived its claim to the territory and to offshore areas after major oil and gas discoveries.

More recently, Britain dispatched Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Trent to Guyana, its former colony, angering Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s administration.

Meanwhile, diplomats are urging the government of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has maintained friendly relations with Maduro, to mediate in the dispute.


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