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News > Venezuela

Venezuela Rejects SouthCom Interference in the Essequibo Issue

  • Meeting in support of the Venezuelan claim to the Essequibo territory.

    Meeting in support of the Venezuelan claim to the Essequibo territory. | Photo: X/ @_NewsCentral

Published 15 March 2024

Previously, Gen. Laura Richardson acknowledged 'the efforts' that the U.S. SouthCom is making in support of Guyana.

On Thursday, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Yvan Gil denounced the interference of the United States Southern Command (SouthCom) in Venezuelan internal politics as well as in the territorial dispute over the Essequibo.


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Previously, during a testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), SouthCom Commander Gen. Laura Richardson spoke about the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy and mentioned the efforts her organization is making in support of Guyana.

She described this South American country as a very important and "willing partner" of the United States in the region and acknowledged that Washington is closely monitoring Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's actions regarding the Essequibo issue.

In this context, she dared to characterize Venezuelan territorial claims over that territory as an "unjustified claim." Richardson also admited to having "a very solid plan with Guyana," which includes visits by SouthCom members to that country, military exercises, and "subject matter exchanges."

The text reads," In the exercise of their democracy and sovereignty, the Venezuelan people reaffirmed their inalienable rights over Essequibo. This is Venezuela's complete map, which includes our Guayana Esequiba territory."

In response to her statements, which were posted in a video by SouthCom, the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Gil said the following:

"Here we see how SouthCom Commander Laura Richardson self-proclaims herself as political leader of the Venezuelan right and commander of the surnames that serve her, supporting ExxonMobil against Venezuela, and once again threatening our region's peace and stability."

These observations are not new. On January 22, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) also accused ExxonMobil of financing plans to assassinate President Maduro with the aim of seizing the Essequibo region.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez's text reads, "There is no doubt that Guyana Essequiba belongs to Venezuela. The history of dispossession is continued by Guyana, which does not govern its country but ExxonMobil. We will never renounce our historical rights over Essequibo."

Reacting to Richardson's recent remarks, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez also expressed strong criticism of the U.S. injerence.

"Acting as an agent of ExxonMobil, SouthCom makes it clear its intention to continue conducting 'military exercises' in the Essequibo territory, irresponsibly meddling in a controversy where only Venezuela and Guyana are involved, according to the Geneva Agreement and the commitment assumed in the Argyle Agreements not to involve foreign powers," Padrino said.

"They always act with their false mask of democracy -so applauded by the Venezuelan far-right flatterers-  to legitimize their interventionism in Latin America and the Caribbean and to undermine regional peace, as they have always done. The FANB is aware of this reality and maintains its operational deployment in the region to respond proportionally and forcefully to any provocation," he stressed.

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