Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com) — The United Kingdom is preparing to send a warship to Guyana allegedly in a gesture of diplomatic and military support for the former British colony. But in reality, this is a clear military provocation that violates the agreements reached by Guyana and Venezuela in a recent presidential summit in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The decision occurs within the framework of Venezuela’s claim on the Essequibo territory, a territory rich in oil and minerals, which Venezuela claims as its own, with historical documents supporting the claim. The British Ministry of Defense confirmed that the ship HMS Trent will take part in joint exercises after Christmas.
In the recent Argyle Declaration, signed in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guyanese President Irfaan Ali, both countries agreed to avoid any action to escalate the conflict.
Reino Unido enviará un barco de guerra a Guyana en el marco de su disputa con Venezuela por el Esequibo https://t.co/7VXToZYtj8
— BBC News Mundo (@bbcmundo) December 24, 2023
“They agreed that both states would refrain, whether in word or deed, from escalating any conflict or disagreement arising from any controversy between them. The two States will cooperate to avoid incidents on the ground that lead to tensions between them. In the event of an incident of this type, the two States will immediately communicate with each other, with the Caribbean Community (Caricom), with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and with the President of Brazil to contain it, reverse it and prevent it from happening again,” reads point 6 of the declaration.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called a referendum on December 3, to vindicate popular support for his country’s claim to Essequibo, after Guyana, in clear violation of international law, granted oil rights for multinational corporations to drill in Venezuela’s sovereign waters. These illegal concessions extended into internationally recognized Venezuelan waters and beyond the disputed territory.
The Essequibo referendum, with a turnout of over 50%, overwhelmingly supported the questions raised by the Venezuelan government to exercise sovereignty over a territory that was stolen by UK imperialism and now is being claimed by Guyana. Venezuelans voted with a 97.1% average in support of the actions proposed by the Maduro administration.
This week, UK’s merchant insurer Lloyd’s added Guyana to its list of riskiest shipping zones. A British Ministry of Defense spokesperson told the BBC: “HMS Trent will visit our regional ally and Commonwealth partner Guyana later this month as part of a series of events in the region during her deployment on the Commonwealth Patrol Mission.”
HMS Trent provocation
HMS Trent has 65 crew, a maximum speed of 24 knots, and a range of 5,000 nautical miles. The ship is armed with 30mm cannons and a contingent of Royal Navy cadets. She can also deploy Merlin-type helicopters and unmanned aircraft.
HMS Trent departed from her home port in Gibraltar at the beginning of December and is currently docked in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, over Christmas. The warship is expected to anchor off Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, and conduct visits, joint activities, and training with that country’s navy and other allies. She can’t dock in the harbor because it isn’t deep enough.
According to UK officials, the vessel is primarily used to combat piracy and illegal trafficking, fisheries protection, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and search and rescue operations, but the Royal Navy says it is also designed for border patrols and defensive diplomacy. The decision to send HMS Trent to Guyana is part of a growing effort by the United Kingdom to destabilize the region an escalate tensions between neighborly countries. Imperialism cannot abide by a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
This week, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the UK “will continue to work with partners in the region to ensure Guyana’s territorial integrity is maintained and prevent escalation [of tensions].” David Rutley, British Foreign Minister for the Americas, visited Georgetown on December 18, the first G7 representative to do so since Venezuela renewed its claim.
For his part, Venezuela rejected the visit, accusing the United Kingdom of destabilizing the region in a crisis created by UK imperialism. The Essequibo territory is currently administered by Guyana, according to a recent rule by the International Court of Justice, but that does not grant it legal ownership over the territory.
Venezuela has one of the most robust defense systems in the region with more than 4 million militia fighters, a civil-military unity that is the strength of the Bolivarian Revolution. Despite all US and UK incitement over the Essequibo territory, the Chavista people are not intimidated by imperialist provocations.
The UK has also illegally seized 2 tons of gold belonging to Venezuela, since the failed regime change operation attempt by puppet Juan Guaido. The stolen gold is valued at almost $2 billion, and this money is needed by the Venezuelan people to improve the healthcare and social programs heavily affected after years of US and European sanctions and blockade.
Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff
- orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/March 4, 2024