Will The US Defend Oil-Rich Guyana Against Venezuelan Invasion?

- July 13, 2024
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If you want to combat , there are a lot of things you shouldn't do and trust that it'll keep the bad guys off balance.

For example, gun control.

by Tom Knighton, Bearing

Terrorist networks can get around any anti-gun restriction you care to throw at people. They can move personnel and munitions across the globe with relative ease, so they'll bypass all the restrictions you want.

Look at attacks such as we've seen in Paris or Mumbai, for example. Neither of those were.

ANALYSIS – A few days ago, I wrote about how socialist Venezuela just illegally claimed two-thirds of oil-rich . This, after Venezuelans' “approved” a controversial, manipulated referendum called by the government of socialist leader Nicolás Maduro to claim sovereignty over a huge, oil-rich swath of territory called Essequibo, from its English-speaking neighbor.

The Guyanese Defense Force (GDF), with about 5,000 soldiers, would seemingly be quickly overrun by 's significantly larger and better equipped armed forces. However, many experts doubt the ability of Venezuela's 100,000-plus poorly trained soldiers to fight their way into the dense jungle of the Essequibo.

As I noted earlier, this entire Venezuelan display could be a huge bluff to give Maduro an edge prior to upcoming elections where the opposition is increasing its strength. Still, the U.S. is not taking any chances. Within two days the Pentagon announced it would be conducting joint military flight drills in Guyana on Thursday.

Fox News reported:

“In collaboration with the Guyana Defense Force, the US Southern Command will conduct flight operations within Guyana on December 7,” the American embassy in Guyana wrote in a statement.

“This exercise builds upon routine engagement and operations to enhance security partnership between the United States and Guyana, and to strengthen regional cooperation,” the statement continued. “In addition to this exercise, USSOUTHCOM will continue its collaboration with the GDF in the areas of disaster preparedness, aerial and maritime security, and countering transnational criminal organizations.”

“The U.S. will continue its commitment as Guyana's trusted security partner and promote regional cooperation and interoperability,” the statement concluded.

According to the Miami Herald, few experts imagine a scenario in which the U.S., which provides Guyana with military expertise, would deploy troops to defend it. “I think the Americans would try to rally a coalition of nations to condemn Venezuela and put added pressure” on Maduro, says Brian Fonseca, an adjunct professor at Florida International University.

Meanwhile, a Guyanese military helicopter went missing on Thursday. Seven people were aboard the helicopter, which was traveling along the border with Venezuela before it dropped from radar and communications. While it was likely a weather-related incident, the timing and location couldn't be worse.

Neighboring Brazil, a regional powerhouse which shares a border with both countries, also reinforced its military force in the border cities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista to “guarantee the inviolability of the territory.”

In response to the U.S. military activity, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez called the drills a “provocation” that proves “another step in the wrong direction.” “We warn that we will not be diverted from our future actions for the recovery of the Essequibo,” he wrote on X.

As Newsweek explained, the U.N.'s top court, the ICJ's, response has so far been weak:

The vote's results were perceived by Guyana as a step toward annexation. And there's precedent for such anxieties, as Russia has held referendums widely believed to be sham votes to try to legitimize claiming swathes of Ukraine.

“We have taken the first steps of a new historical stage to fight for our Guayana Esequiba, for peace and to recover what the liberators left us,” Maduro said following the announcing of the referendum's results, referring to the region by its alternative name.

The U.N.'s top court, the International Court of Justice, had said that Caracas should not take any action that could change Guyana's control over the Essequibo region, but it stopped short of blocking Venezuela's vote.

However, the UN Security Council is holding a closed-door session Friday afternoon to discuss the growing crisis. Don't expect much from them either.

Some say the concern is exaggerated and Team Biden claims it not seeing imminent signs of an invasion.

The Miami Herald reported:

An internal State Department assessment, as well as the consensus of international observers and independent analysts, is that Maduro is seeking leverage against the United States at the negotiating table by threatening an invasion of western Guyana, a region rich in oil and gas that has been the subject of dispute between the two countries for over a century.

Maduro has been under U.S. sanctions for years for undermining Venezuelan democracy and is currently under pressure from Washington to hold free and fair elections…

But the possibility is raising anxiety levels in the region…

In Washington, concerns [have also] mounted that Venezuelan military action against Guyana could provide Maduro with an excuse to impose martial law in his troubled South American nation of 28 million, setting favorable conditions for himself in a sham presidential election next year…

Still, Washington is increasingly concerned over how far Nicolás Maduro may be willing to go. And miscalculations are a key factor in many conflicts.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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