Brazil asserts that it is establishing a military presence along its Venezuelan frontier in response to the Venezuelan government’s declaration of intention to incorporate a region under Guyana’s control into its territory.
The contentious Essequibo region has been a source of contention since British colonial rule in Guyana in the nineteenth century.
A few years ago, following the discovery of offshore oil and gas reserves, Venezuela reaffirmed its land claims.
It is reported that over 95% of electors endorsed the government’s assertion of ownership over Essequibo.
Since then, Nicolás Maduro, the leader of Venezuela, has requested that the state energy company issue extraction licenses. He has also proposed that the National Assembly pass a bill to incorporate the region into Venezuela.
The measures have generated apprehension throughout the region. Guyana has placed its military on high alert. However, the Brazilian army is sending more troops and weapons to Boa Vista, the state capital of Roraima.
As per the AFP news agency, the Brazilian army has declared its intention. They aim to “guarantee the inviolability of the territory” by bolstering its presence in the area.
On Wednesday, a Guyanese army helicopter carrying seven individuals was reported missing in the vicinity of the Venezuelan frontier. Omar Khan, the chief of staff for Guyana, stated that “no information suggests Venezuela was involved.”