US and Guyana Plan Joint Military Drills Amid Venezuela Border Dispute

The United States has announced joint military flight exercises with Guyana, escalating tensions over a disputed oil-rich region near Venezuela.

The move comes as the UN Security Council schedules an urgent meeting due to the heightened conflict. The US Southern Command, in collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force, will conduct routine flight operations on December 7 to enhance their security partnership.

The conflict revolves around the Essequibo region, controlled by Guyana for over a century but claimed by Venezuela. ExxonMobil’s oil discovery in 2015 has intensified the dispute.

Venezuela’s Defense Minister denounced the military drills as a provocation, emphasizing their intent to recover the Essequibo.

The International Court of Justice is currently reviewing border disputes, and the UN Security Council will discuss the rising tensions at Guyana’s request.

Brazil’s President expressed concern, calling for peaceful solutions through multilateral bodies. Meanwhile, the Brazilian army reinforces its presence in northern cities.

Venezuelan President Maduro has gained support in a recent referendum on Essequibo’s fate, increasing pressure. US Secretary of State Blinken reaffirmed unwavering support for Guyana’s sovereignty.

However, Maduro proposed creating a Venezuelan province in Essequibo and ordered a halt to oil operations by companies with Guyanese concessions, prompting Guyana’s President to label it a “direct threat.”

In response to Maduro’s actions, Guyana’s armed forces are on alert, with cooperation from partners like the United States.

Despite these tensions, an official statement denies Venezuelan involvement in the reported disappearance of a Guyanese army helicopter.

Adding a unique perspective, it’s crucial to highlight the complex geopolitical implications of this conflict, with various nations involved and competing interests at stake.

The struggle for control over valuable resources in the region and the potential impact on regional stability should be emphasized.

Credit to France 24 for the original report.

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