UK says Venezuela's military build-up on border with Guyana is unjustified | the world

UK says Venezuela's military build-up on border with Guyana is unjustified |  the world

The President of Venezuela has ordered military security exercises along the Guyana border

The United Kingdom has asked Venezuela to halt military exercises along its border with Guyana.

On Thursday, Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro said he had determined that some 5,600 Venezuelan soldiers would conduct military exercises in front of the waters in a dispute with Guyana (read more about the dispute below).

A British government spokesman said the ship, HMS Trent, was en route to Guyana as part of a routine engagement. The UK government said the ship was already on a cruise in the Caribbean.

A spokesman said the UK government was in contact with “partners” in the region and were monitoring the situation to avoid escalation.

For the British, there was no dispute about the extent of the country's borders, as the matter had been settled by international arbitration since 1899.

About 125,000 people, one-fifth of Guyana's population, live in Essequibo, which covers two-thirds of the country's land area.

Nicolás Maduro released a map covering part of Guyana's territory – Photo: JN

Venezuela claims Essequibo, an area rich in natural resources covering 160,000 km², as part of its territory. There was an arbitration award over the territory in 1899, at which time it was decided that Essequibo belonged to Guyana, which at the time was a British colony.

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