Diplomatic tempers continue to flare in a border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo region. This is under the control of Guyana, but Venezuela has recently revived a longstanding claim to it: this coinciding with the discovery of large petroleum resources.
ExxonMobil had recently expressed the intention of exploring for oil and gas of the coast, in a region which Venezuela considers part pf the disputed region. Venezuela has previously expelled oil companies attempting to explore in this area – and has promised a ‘forceful’ response if they attempt to do so – while Guyana has asserted their rights to do so.
Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez attacked ExxonMobil, saying that the company was acting ‘to protect its illicit operations in a sea which is pending delimitation, under the war-mongering mantle of the United States in complicity with Guyana.’
Venezuela, meanwhile, was reported to be deploying troops and materiel into its border regions with Guyana.
Brazil, meanwhile, has been active in trying to diffuse the situation. Brazil has mediated between the two and secured pledges to resolve the issue peacefully.
However, in the event of a war, it is likely that Venezuelan troops would need to move through Brazilian territory to get at Guyana. Brazil has recently deployed units to the area where such activity would likely take place.