Caracas, Jan 11 (EFE) .- The Government of Venezuela on Monday accused the United States of trying to create “provocations, threats and aggressions” with the joint military exercises that it has been carrying out since Saturday with Guyana in an area near an area in dispute between the two Caribbean countries.
In a statement to the media, the executive vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, described these exercises as “an agonizing action in the last hours of the Donald Trump government, which aims to create provocations, threats and attacks against the Venezuelan people.”
He also assured that these exercises are directed against Venezuelan sovereignty and “territorial integrity.”
As he stated, “there is a presence of a United States coast guard vessel”, so they are “very attentive to the development of military exercises that are not carried out in jurisdictional waters of Venezuela.”
PRESENCE OF THE US NAVY
The head of the US Navy Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, plans to visit Guyana this Monday, where he will remain until next Wednesday, in the context of joint surveillance maneuvers that are designed, among other matters, to intercept drug trafficking nearby from the border with Venezuela.
This visit follows that of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September 2020, when the two countries signed a maritime cooperation agreement.
According to a statement released by the US Embassy in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, the admiral will meet with government and defense leaders and discuss the bilateral security partnership between the United States and Guyana.
The announcement of the joint maritime patrols last September aroused interest in the South American country to develop in an area near the disputed area of the Essequibo and that affects Venezuela.
Venezuela and Guyana dispute a territory that the first country calls Guayana Esequiba and covers almost 160,000 square kilometers west of the Essequibo River, which represents almost two-thirds of the former British colony.
Controversy over the area has intensified in recent years after the US company ExxonMobil discovered, in 2015, oil fields in the waters adjacent to the disputed area.
VENEZUELA IN ALERT
Rodríguez assured that, in 2018 and 2013, Venezuela “repelled” several “actions and presence of ExxonMobil vessels contracted by Guyana.”
In this sense, the Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino, explained that, in 2013, “research vessels dared to explore, to carry out investigations in non-controversial jurisdictional waters” of Venezuela.
In 2018, two vessels, one for research and the other for support, that had also been hired by the US oil company “dared to go into” Venezuelan jurisdictional waters where the Navy “practiced the rigorous protocols” and expelled them, he added.
“That is, we have exercised permanent sovereignty in our jurisdictional waters that are not being controversial and there is no doubt that they are part of the geographical spaces of Venezuela,” he stressed.
Padrino, who called Admiral Faller a “proconsul”, also assured that the United States acts in “these agonizing, desperate hours of the Donald Trump Administration”, with the aim of “generating and creating a state of anxiety, threat, not only to Venezuela (…) but also to the entire region. ”
“We see these exercises as a clear provocation to the interests of the country,” concluded the Defense Minister, who emphasized that they have begun a “constant patrolling” of Venezuelan waters, as well as a “permanent observation by air” of the Venezuelan Atlantic facade.
LETTER TO GUTERRES
The executive vice president took the floor again to recall that Venezuela has sent a letter to the secretary general of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, “warning of this threat to peace and tranquility” in the region.
He also called on the Caribbean countries to speak out and reject the military exercises, which he considers a threat. EFE
(Photo / Video)
| K: POL: political, EXTERIOR |
| Q: POL: en-ES: 11002000: Policy: Foreign Affairs |
| P: VEN |