Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected declarations from Guyana’s new U.S. Ambassador Perry Holloway regarding the dispute between the neighboring territories over the Essequibo region.
“United States, take your hands off of the Guyana Essequibo,” said Maduro. “We will not accept your interference any longer.”
Maduro's comments came just a few hours after the Foreign Ministry expressed its strong opposition to recent statements from the U.S. ambassador in Guyana.
The text argues that Ambassador Holloway's comments are "further evidence of intrusion on the part of the U.S. government in the issues that concern only Venezuela and Guyana, in its obsession to damage brotherly relations between the countries of the Caribbean."
The criticism comes after Ambassador Holloway called on Venezuela to respect the 1899 decision over the territory. However, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry responded that the parties responsible for that decision were "senior U.S. officials in collusion with right-wing mercenaries of the old British Empire."
In the statement, the Venezuelan government denounces U.S. interference, claiming it stems from a "calculated strategy to try to validate, by way of intimidation, the null rights of Exxon Mobil to carry out extractive activities in a disputed territory and regulated by the Agreement Geneva 1966."
The statement urged the United States not to get involved "directly or indirectly in matters that exclusively belong to the parties involved in the territorial dispute," particularly because the United States "is one of those responsible for the abritral fraud against Venezuela and therefore responsible for the existence of the dispute itself. "
These latest declarations come less than two weeks after Maduro and Guayanese President David Granger agreed to allow the U.N. to mediate between the two countries over the disputed territory.
Click the map below, to see more in-depth teleSUR coverage of Venezuela's Essequibo claim.
The disputed border between Venezuela and Guyana goes back to Venezuela's own independence battle, which was achieved in 1821.
The precise boundaries were disputed by newly independent Venezuela – which always regarded the entire area west of the Essequibo River as its border – and Great Britain, which, according to Venezuela, stole the territory by simply re-drawing maps of the region to give the Essequibo to then British Guiana, which the world then accepted as the border between the countries.
A series of dubious studies and agreements culminated in a 1966 agreement between Venezuela and the newly independent Guyana, with the two neighbors agreeing to postpone the settlement of the disputed territory.
In May, tensions flared as Granger’s newly elected government unilaterally gave an oil concession in the region to Exxon, leading Venezuela to call the incident a provocation.
Maduro reiterated on Tuesday that Venezuela has a “brotherhood” with Guyana.
"We want brotherly relations with Guyana,” Maduro said at the U.N., after his meeting with Granger in late September. “For the many differences we may have, our people are destined to brotherhood."