Venezuela recalls ambassador to Guyana over border dispute
The president of Venezuela said on Monday, in a special parliamentary session in Caracas, that he recalled the country’s ambassador to Guyana for consultations, as the bilateral border dispute continues to escalate over a significant offshore oil find.
(Soundbite) Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela
“There is a political, economic, diplomatic and media campaign against Venezuela to create a sophisticated operation in the region that can end up in high-intensity military conflicts.”
Maduro declared Guyana was provoking Venezuela with U.S. support, and decided to reduce the size of the embassy in Guyana and conduct a review of relations with the eastern neighbor.
Maduro created by decree a new area of “comprehensive defense” offshore, leaving Guyana, the former British colony with no direct access to the Atlantic.
Venezuela also asked Guyana to immediately revoke its permission for United States’ oil giant Exxon Mobile to operate in the area.
Earlier this month, Guyana warned Venezuela against escalating the border dispute, after Caracas laid claim to waters off the Essequibo region, which comprises two-thirds of Guyana’s 215,000 square kilometers of territory.