Britain is warned ‘don’t mess with Venezuela’ as President Maduro slams ‘decadent,


Britain has been warned not to ‘mess with Venezuela’ as President Nicolas Maduro slammed the ‘decadent, rotten, ex-empire of the UK’ for sending a Navy warship to protect Guyana. 

President Maduro on Thursday ordered more than 5,600 military personnel to participate in a ‘defensive’ exercise near the border with Guyana, in response to Britain sending a warship to the area.

Maduro said he was launching ‘a joint action of a defensive nature in response to the provocation and threat of the United Kingdom against peace and the sovereignty of our country.’

Britain said on Sunday that it would divert the patrol vessel HMS Trent to Guyana, a former British colony, amid the South American country’s simmering territorial dispute with neighbouring Venezuela over the oil-rich Essequibo region.

The South American neighbours, during a meeting between Maduro and Ali earlier this month, agreed not to resort to force to settle the dispute.

‘We believe in diplomacy, in dialogue, in peace,’ said Maduro.

‘But no one should threaten Venezuela, no one should mess with Venezuela. We are a people of peace, but we are warriors and this threat is unacceptable for any sovereign country,’ he said.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday ordered more than 5,600 military personnel to participate in a 'defensive' exercise near the border with Guyana (FIle Photo)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday ordered more than 5,600 military personnel to participate in a ‘defensive’ exercise near the border with Guyana (FIle Photo)

HMS Trent - a vessel used for 'defence diplomacy', according to the government - will take part in joint exercises with Guyana later this month

HMS Trent – a vessel used for ‘defence diplomacy’, according to the government – will take part in joint exercises with Guyana later this month

‘The threat of the decadent, rotten, ex-empire of the United Kingdom is unacceptable.’

A Guyana foreign ministry source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ship from the UK was due to arrive on Friday and would be in its territory for ‘less than a week’ for open sea defense exercises. The ship will not dock in Georgetown.

The television broadcast accompanying Maduro’s announcement showed fighter jets participating in the Venezuelan exercise, as well as ships and ocean patrol vessels.

The Venezuelan government earlier asked Guyana, in a statement, ‘to take immediate action for the withdrawal of the HMS Trent, and to refrain from involving military powers in the territorial controversy.’

Guyana President Irfaan Ali sought to soothe tensions, saying on Thursday that ‘neither Venezuela nor any other State has anything to fear from activities within Guyana’s sovereign territory or waters.’

‘We harbour no ambitions or intentions to covet what does not belong to us. We are fully committed to peaceful relations with our neighbours and all countries in our Region,’ he said in a statement on Facebook, sending ‘best wishes to the people of Venezuela, our neighbours.’

Guyana Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said earlier that the HMS Trent’s visit was part of ‘long-planned’ and ‘routine’ measures to build the country’s defenses.

Guyana and Venezuela agreed earlier this month to avoid any use of force and not to escalate tensions in the long-running dispute. Pictured Guyana (File Photo)

Guyana and Venezuela agreed earlier this month to avoid any use of force and not to escalate tensions in the long-running dispute. Pictured Guyana (File Photo)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during the notification ceremony for the referendum about the future of a disputed territory with Guyana, in Caracas, Venezuela, on December 4, 2023

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks during the notification ceremony for the referendum about the future of a disputed territory with Guyana, in Caracas, Venezuela, on December 4, 2023

Venezuela earlier this month published a new map showing Esequiba under Venezuelan control

Venezuela earlier this month published a new map showing Esequiba under Venezuelan control

Maduro claims that Essequibo – which makes up about two-thirds of Guyana’s territory – is actually Venezuelan land, a decades-old contention that has flared since massive oil deposits were found in its waters.

The rising tensions have raised fears in the region of a potential conflict over the remote area of 160,000 square kilometres (62,000 square miles).

A UK foreign minister, David Rutley, visited Guyana earlier this month and reiterated sovereign borders ‘must be respected’ and that London would work internationally ‘to ensure the territorial integrity of Guyana is upheld.’

Maduro’s government held a controversial referendum on December 3 in which 95 per cent of voters, according to officials in the hard-line leftist government, supported declaring Venezuela the rightful owner of Essequibo.

He has since started legal manoeuvres to create a Venezuelan province in Essequibo and has ordered the state oil company to issue licenses for extracting crude in the region.

Guyana’s Ali has branded the moves a ‘grave threat to international peace and security.’



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More