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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Brazil Boosts Military Presence on Northern Border Amid Venezuela-Guyana Tensions

On Wednesday, Brazil’s defense ministry announced an escalation of defensive measures along its northern border in response to the ongoing territorial dispute between its neighbors, Venezuela and Guyana.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defense confirmed active monitoring of the situation: “Defensive actions in the northern border region have been heightened, leading to an increased military presence.”

This strategic move by Brazil coincides with escalating tensions between Venezuela and Guyana, particularly concerning the oil-rich “Esequiba” region, comprising more than two-thirds of Guyana’s total land area.

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The dispute over Esequiba, a longstanding issue, gained renewed intensity following Guyana’s recent discovery of oil and gas near the maritime border. Venezuela, contesting sovereignty over Esequiba, has objected to Guyana’s oil tender in September, asserting that offshore areas are subject to dispute and that companies awarded exploration rights lack the legitimacy to exploit them.

Adding to the complexity, Venezuelans are scheduled to participate in a referendum on December 3 to assert their claims to Esequiba. Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to decide on Guyana’s request to halt the referendum on Friday. Despite this, Venezuela’s government has declared its intention to proceed with the referendum regardless of the ICJ’s decision.

Notably, Brazil’s increased defensive actions align with the heightened geopolitical sensitivity in the region, although there has been no immediate response from Venezuela’s communications ministry regarding Brazil’s actions.

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