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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Brazil on alert as Venezuela-Guyana border dispute escalates

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Brazil has increased its military presence along its northern border in response to a significant movement of Venezuelan troops and equipment near the border of Guyana.

 The Brazilian Ministry of Defense said it was monitoring the situation and had intensified defensive actions to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 The move comes amid rising tensions between Venezuela and Guyana over a long-standing territorial dispute that dates back to the 19th century. Venezuela claims more than half of Guyana’s territory, known as the Essequibo region, which is rich in natural resources such as oil, gold and diamonds. Guyana, a former British colony, maintains that the border was settled by an international arbitration award.

 Venezuela’s National Assembly, controlled by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro, has approved a referendum for Dec. 3 that includes questions about the future of the Essequibo region. One of the questions proposes creating a Venezuelan state in the disputed territory and granting Venezuelan citizenship to the current and future residents of the area. Maduro and his allies are urging voters to answer “yes” to all the questions.

 Guyana has denounced the referendum as an illegal and provocative act that violates international law and threatens regional peace and security. Guyana has also appealed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to call for a halt to parts of the referendum, saying it poses an “existential threat” to the country.

 Guyana launched a case at the ICJ in 2018 seeking to have the court uphold the 1899 arbitration award and the course of the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela.

 Brazil, which shares borders with both Venezuela and Guyana, has expressed its support for a peaceful and legal resolution of the controversy at the ICJ.

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