Maduro’s Vote to Annex Territory From Guyana Is Seen as a Diversion


Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, finds himself in a political bind. He’s below strain from the US to carry free and honest elections after years of authoritarian rule or face a reinstatement of crippling financial sanctions. However analysts say he’s unlikely to surrender energy and would probably lose in a reputable election.

Now, Mr. Maduro has reignited a border dispute with a a lot smaller neighboring nation in a transfer that appears pushed, at the least partly, by a want to divert consideration from his political troubles at dwelling by stoking nationalist fervor.

Mr. Maduro claims that the huge, oil-rich Essequibo area of Guyana, a rustic of about 800,000, is a part of Venezuela, a nation of roughly 28 million individuals. On Sunday, greater than 95 p.c of voters supported that declare in a referendum organized by the federal government, Venezuela’s electoral authority mentioned.

Mr. Maduro’s argument relies on what many Venezuelans contemplate an illegitimate settlement courting to the nineteenth century that gave the Essequibo area to Guyana. Though most international locations have accepted that Essequibo belongs to Guyana, the problem stays a degree of competition for a lot of Venezuelans, and specialists had anticipated the referendum to be authorised. However there have been indications Sunday that voter turnout had been low.



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