Soldados de Guyana se movilizan hacia la frontera por reclamos de oposición venezolana del Esequibo

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Guyanese troops on high alert for Venezuelan opposition

Guyanese troops at the border with Venezuela are on high alert after recent noises in the opposition camp in Caracas concerning Eteringbang on the Cuyuni River. Opposition legislators also recently visited the border community and raised a banner saying that Essequibo belongs to Venezuela.

Speaking during his post-Cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon said such interest has been noted and the Joint Services ranks stationed there have been put on alert. Dr Luncheon added that the interest “is in the context of their attitude towards Guyana’s Essequibo, one that is felt to be massaged in the eve of the imminent electoral process in Venezuela”.

The Cabinet secretary added that the historic opposition parties in Venezuela have fed on this nationalistic overture which they feel would enhance their appeal. He explained that members of Venezuela’s legislature have undertaken to visit and have been visiting Eteringbang accompanied by the Venezuelan paramilitary.

He, however, added, “Our Joint Services detachment in the location have been made aware of these planned visits and have been ordered to remain vigilant in the context of such visits.”

Legislators who have been identified from opposition parties in Venezuela have had at least one visit that has been documented and which occurred “with all the rules and regulations in accordance with such visits”, Dr Luncheon said.

According to the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, a group of Venezuelan opposition deputies travelled to the Essequibo, in defence of Venezuela’s sovereignty earlier this week.

The deputies departed from Tumeremo on Sunday and headed to San Martín de Turumbán, east Venezuela, in an attempt to make it to Eteringbang, in the Essequibo, after crossing the Cuyuní River.

The group of legislators who took part in the initiative were:  Américo de Grazia (LCR); María Corina Machado (independent); Leomagno Flores (AD); Andrés Velásquez (LCR); Juan Pablo García (AD); José Gregorio Contreras (Copei); Luis Barragán (Copei);  Eduardo Gómez Sigala (Independent);  Ángel Medina (AD); Freddy Marcano (AD);  Juan Guaidó (VP); and opposition leader Leopoldo López (VP).

Investigation under way

 In September, the government of Guyana investigated the circumstances of the ‘visit’ by a group of Venezuelan civilians and military personnel to Eteringbang. This landing occurred on the same day that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was on a state visit to Guyana – August 31 – to hold talks with President Donald Ramotar.  Dr Luncheon later told the media that the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldiers had objected to the Venezuelan soldiers landing on Guyanese soil with their weapons although they were advised not to do so.

The 45-member group had included six uniformed Venezuelan soldiers, three ex-Venezuelan generals, and other persons in civilian dress. The El Universal had reported that the Venezuelans went on a mission crossing “the Cuyaní” River and into the Guyana-Venezuela area accompanied by officers of the Venezuelan Army.  “We came here to carry out a civil exercise of sovereignty, but we do not understand what was Nicolás Maduro doing there (in Guyana),” said law student Ricardo de Toma, a member of an organisation called “My Map of Venezuela also Includes Our Essequibo”, who took part in the expedition, along with administrator Jorge Luis Fuguett, and internationalist Rajihv Morillo.

De Toma recalled that in spite of the mining projects Guyana has been developing in the Essequibo, plus the granting of oil concessions ‘in front of the Venezuelan Atlantic front’, President Maduro “paid a visit (to Guyana) only to spread an ideological model”.

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