US defense official to visit Guyana amid border tensions with Venezuela

US defense official to visit Guyana amid border tensions with Venezuela

GEORGETOWN (Reuters) — A top U.S. defense official will visit Guyana on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. embassy in the South American country said, as tensions between Guyana and neighboring Venezuela simmer in a border dispute over the oil-rich Esequibo region.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere Daniel P. Erikson’s visit to Guyana highlights the U.S. push for a “U.S.-Guyana bilateral defense and security partnership in support of regional stability,” the embassy said in a statement.

Guyana and Venezuela agreed last month to avoid any use of force in their long-running feud over the Esequibo territory.

The 160,000-square-km (62,000-square-mile) region is generally recognized as part of Guyana, but in recent years Venezuela has revived its claim to the territory and to offshore areas after major oil and gas discoveries.

In late December, Britain dispatched Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Trent to Guyana, its former colony, angering Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s administration.

Western diplomats have urged the government of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has maintained friendly relations with Maduro, to mediate in the dispute.

Erikson is set to meet with the Guyanese government, military leaders and representatives for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) during his visit.


Reporting by Kylie Madry, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

One comment

  1. Opportunity for US Military Industrial Complex to sell weapons to Guyana for its petrodollars.
    Saudi Arabia comes to mind?

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