Aerial view of the Rupununi Savannah in western Guyana, near the border with Brazil and Venezuela, taken on April 12, 2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Guyana is not planning any offensive action against Venezuela amid the Essequibo territorial dispute, Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo has said, after the recent deployment of a UK warship near the Guyanese coast caused concerns in Caracas. Last week, UK media reported, citing a UK Defense Ministry spokesperson, that the country would deploy a naval patrol ship to Guyana as a sign of support for its former colony in the territorial dispute with Venezuela over the Essequibo region. On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he had instructed armed forces to start “defensive actions.” “We don’t have any plan to take offensive action against Venezuela,” Jagdeo said at the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) news conference on Thursday, as quoted by the News Room Guyana website, explaining that “whatever we do here has been routine, it has been long planned and part of building a defensive capability in Guyana.” WorldUK to Deploy Royal Navy Warship to Ex-Colony Amid Guyana-Venezuela Dispute24 December 2023, 13:30 GMTIn early December, Venezuela held a referendum in which almost 96% of the population voted in favor of incorporating the Essequibo region into the country. Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali said that Georgetown was considering Caracas’ actions to incorporate Essequibo, which makes up two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, as a threat to the country’s national security and would raise the issue at the United Nations Security Council. Ali and Maduro met earlier in December in the island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines under the auspices of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Caribbean Community in an effort to defuse tensions over the disputed Essequibo region. Following the talks, the Venezuelan presidency said Maduro and Ali had agreed to continue the dialogue to resolve the dispute.