Guyana reassures Venezuela it has no plans for U.S. military base as territorial dispute deepens

Guyana’s Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, stated on Thursday that the country’s government has assured Venezuela that there are no plans for the U.S. to establish a military base in Guyana. He clarified that there has been no formal request for such a base. This statement follows a visit by Daniel P. Erikson, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Western Hemisphere, to Guyana, during which Guyanese officials sought assistance from the U.S. to enhance their defense capabilities.

The reassurance aims to ease tensions with Venezuela over the disputed Essequibo region, which is abundant in oil and minerals and represents a significant portion of Guyana. Venezuela claims sovereignty over this area. Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, emphasized that the U.S. hasn’t approached them for a military base and noted that the government doesn’t discuss public policy through press conferences.

Chairman of the Special Commission for the Defense of Guyana Essequibo Hermann Escarra, stands next to Venezuela’s new map that includes the Essequibo territory, a swath of land that is administered and controlled by Guyana but claimed by Venezuela, during an unveiling ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, on Dec. 8, 2023.

The visit by Erikson occurred amid increased tensions following Venezuela’s December referendum asserting sovereignty over the Essequibo region. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reportedly remains convinced that Guyana could host a U.S. military base, a claim Guyanese President Irfaan Ali denies. Despite an agreement between Guyana and Venezuela to refrain from using force, the territorial dispute persists. Venezuela argues that Essequibo was part of its territory during the Spanish colonial period and contests the validity of a 1966 agreement that nullified a border drawn in 1899 by international arbitrators.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend