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Venezuela Moves Substantial Troops to Guyana Border, CSIS Report Says

A member of a militia group stands guard at a polling station during the referendum on Venezuelan control over the Essequibo region of Guyana, in Caracas in Dec. 2023.Photographer: Pedro Rances Mattey/AFP
Report presents satellite images from mid-March to late April. Maduro could use an invasion threat to delay elections: Report
A member of a militia group stands guard at a polling station during the referendum on Venezuelan control over the Essequibo region of Guyana, in Caracas in Dec. 2023.(Pedro Rances Mattey/AFP)

Andreina Itriago Acosta, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 05 15 2024

Venezuela’s armed forces have moved “substantial quantities” of personnel and equipment near the disputed Essequibo region that’s controlled by Guyana, a Washington-based think tank reports, potentially escalating tensions ahead of presidential elections.

The report published Tuesday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies presents updated satellite images from mid-March to late April as evidence that Venezuela has sustained construction and expansion of a military base near Anacoco Island on the border with Guyana.

While Venezuela and Guyana have disputed the sparsely populated territory since the 19th century, the argument has grown more heated in recent years following massive oil discoveries off Guyana’s coast. With presidential elections just two months away, President Nicolás Maduro could use an “imminent threat of invasion” to derail or delay the vote, wrote CSIS Director for the Americas Program Ryan Berg.

Recent videos and images posted on X by Venezuela’s Strategic Operational Command Chief Domingo Hernandez Lárez have shown increased activity near Anacoco island.

Maduro, who is seeking a third consecutive presidential term, is facing increasing pressure from Venezuela’s opposition, which has united behind Edmundo González after its most popular candidate was banned from running.

“While the period between now and July 28 is a risky time for Maduro, there is also a risk he may seek to manufacture a crisis after the election, too,” Berg wrote.

bloomberg.com 05 14 2024

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