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Venezuela’s Referendum on Essequibo Sovereignty: National Support Versus International Disputes

A recent referendum in Venezuela has seen an overwhelming majority of voters support President Nicolás Maduro’s efforts to claim sovereignty over a substantial, resource-rich part of neighboring Guyana. More than half of the eligible Venezuelan population voted, and over 95% approved the territorial claim to the prosperous region of Essequibo, according to electoral officials. These results reflect the strong national desire fostered by Maduro’s government to gain control over Essequibo’s notable oil and mineral resources.

However, despite the strong internal support, the referendum’s legitimacy is being challenged by Guyana, whose vigilance remains undeterred. As the latest escalation in the long-standing border dispute, they reject the jurisdiction of Venezuela’s national vote over their territory. Therefore, the Guyanese government has stated firm opposition to the Venezuelan-led referendum, affirming their territorial integrity and the validity of the international court’s decisions.

This uncompromising stand-off casts a shadow of uncertainty over the dispute, raising concerns over potential future conflicts between the neighboring South American nations.


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