The Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela arrived in St. Vincent for a crucial meeting on the Essequibo early Thursday morning, marking a historic effort to resolve the longstanding dispute over the Guyanese territory. The Essequibo region, inhabited by around 100,000 Caribbean nationals, encompasses a substantial 70% of Guyana’s lands and is a region rich in resources, intensifying the conflict between Venezuela and Guyana that dates back to the 19th century.

The meeting between the presidents aimed to navigate the high-stakes scenario surrounding the threatened annexation of this disputed territory by Venezuela. Guyanese President Irfaan Ali remained resolute on his country’s sovereignty, emphasizing that Guyana, as a small island developing state, stands firm on its claim over the Essequibo.
Ahead of the talks, President Maduro of Venezuela issued orders for tours in the Essequibo to explore oil, minerals, and other valuable resources, actions deemed illegal by Guyana. President Ali conveyed to President Maduro during the meeting that Guyana stands unwavering in its claim over the Essequibo and intends to continue exploiting the territory’s resources for the nation’s benefit.
However, neither party has shared substantial updates on the Essequibo matter. President Ali is expected to return to Guyana Thursday evening to update the press soon after he’s briefed his government.

Reporter: Ramon Gordon

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