CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Saturday that next Monday he will inform the National Assembly of his country about what he calls Guyana’s “aggression” against Venezuela, as part of the territorial dispute between the two countries.
“This Monday I will report with details, with precise information, about all this aggression being launched against the homeland,” Maduro said at a promotion ceremony in Caracas for high-ranking officers of different branches of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, or FANB.
Venezuela was dispossessed in 1835, 1840 and 1899 of the Essequibo territory “for the purpose of occupying access to the Orinoco River, in order to reconquer us for the British Empire... so now we’re supposed to accept provocations by Exxon Mobil and insults from the Guyana government,” he said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon held a meeting with Guyanese President David Granger, who said afterwards that the head of the international organization had expressed a willingness to mediate the problem.
Maduro said last week that there is an “international maneuver” being organized by “the right” and by Exxon Mobil to “cause Venezuela problems with the countries on its borders.”
This particular border controversy covers an area of some 160,000 sq. kilometers (62,000 sq. miles), which signifies some three-quarters of the territory of Guyana, according to a decree signed recently by Maduro.
For its part, Guyana claims that Venezuela modified its maritime borders to include the area in dispute, which includes territory where large petroleum deposits were recently discovered.
Maduro blames the conflict on U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil, which in this territory leads a large oil-exploration project together with several local companies.