Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has cast his vote in a national referendum to annex Guyana’s resource-rich Essequibo region, which is expected to pass.
Yesterday, the president proclaimed that “The responsibility that falls to our generation today…is to raise the flag of Guayana Esequiba (Essequibo) and begin a new historical stage for the recovery of this land that the Liberators bequeathed to us.”
Hoy #3Dic, todos tenemos el mismo poder, el de la soberanía nacional y constitucional, de un proceso electoral seguro, garantizado, confiable y muy sencillo, donde nuestro país está decidiendo una posición histórica. No hay antecedentes de un hecho igual y de tanta importancia,… pic.twitter.com/7D83vCy6kc
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) December 3, 2023
Essequibo, which makes up a majority Guyana, has long been claimed by Venezuela. Tensions have risen drastically, however, amid increased interest in offshore oil and mining exploration by international companies in recent years.
Annexation, which appears to be inevitable, has lead to fears of invasion by Venezuelan forces. Brazil said it is monitoring the situation and has increased military presence along its border with Venezuela.
Official results are expected to be announced at some point today. Venezuelan officials have denied local reports of low turnout at voting centers.
En el colegio Bellas Artes en #Maracaibo a las 3pm recibí el corte, de los 5 mil votantes de ese centro votaron 210 hasta esa hora. En otros la tendencia es más o menos similar. #Venezuela #Zulia #Esequibo pic.twitter.com/9ErsR9Dr3y
— Lenin Danieri D (@LDanieri) December 3, 2023