February 29, 2024

Britain has stationed a patrol vessel off the coast of Guyana

On the border issue between Venezuela and Guyana, Great Britain sides with the oil-rich forests. The British Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday that the Royal Navy patrol ship “HMS Trent” will dock in Guyana this month. It will visit a regional ally and Commonwealth partner. Two weeks ago, the US announced military exercises with Guyana.

The dispute between Venezuela and Guyana covers 160,000 square kilometers of the sparsely populated border area around the Esequibo River, which is mostly forested.

It is about an area off the coast where major oil and natural gas discoveries have been made. Both countries claim territories for themselves. The border was established in 1899 when Guyana was still part of the British Empire. US company Exxon Mobil has conducted exploratory drilling in Guyana.

Venezuela voted in a referendum to annex two-thirds of Guyana

The dispute escalated in early December when Venezuelans voted in a referendum to annex two-thirds of Guyana, according to the government. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) previously banned Venezuela from annexing Guyana. In the spring, the ICJ took responsibility for the dispute itself, but did not expect a ruling for years.

After the vote, Guyana and Venezuela agreed not to use force and not to escalate tensions in the dispute.