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Venezuela demands Guyana halt 'imperial' oil exploration

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez addresses the media during a news conference in Caracas. Photo: Reuters
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela on Tuesday demanded that neighboring Guyana halt oil exploration being carried out by Exxon Mobil Corp in disputed offshore territory in an escalation of a long-running border dispute between the two South American nations.

Exxon last month said it found oil off Guyana's coast, spurring complaints from Caracas that Guyana is unfairly exploiting a disputed territory that must be negotiated through a mechanism created via a 1966 treaty signed in Geneva.

"Until there is a resolution of the issue of territorial reclamation ... there can be no unilateral use of these waters," Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said in televised comments.

"The new government of Guyana shows a dangerous political provocation against a peaceful Venezuela, supported by the imperial power of an American transnational, Exxon Mobil," she said, referring to Guyanese authorities elected in May.

Exxon has said it has no comment on the bilateral dispute.

The sparsely populated and dense jungle area known as the Essequibo encompasses an area equivalent to around two-thirds of Guyanese territory. It functions in practice as part of Guyana and shows no discernable trace of Venezuelan influence.

Guyana says Caracas agreed to relinquish the Essequibo following a ruling by an international tribunal in 1899, but that Venezuela later backtracked on that decision.

Venezuela says the 1899 ruling was unfair and insists the territory is still in dispute. Maps in Venezuela usually describe the Essequibo as the "reclamation zone."

(Reporting by Girish Gupta; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Richard Chang)

4 Responses to “Venezuela demands Guyana halt 'imperial' oil exploration”

  • Gt to d bone (11/06/2015, 16:18) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yll need to leave us alone it's our oil for god's sake, is years apon years Venezuela humming about this oli that belongs to Guyana... My granny say is our oli and old people always rite get over it!!!!
  • dfr (13/06/2015, 06:58) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maduro is looking for any news item that can deflect the bad state of affairs that the country is in . If the Venezuelan conquistadores had their way the whole Guyana would belong to them.
  • peace (13/06/2015, 12:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Does not matter if the 1899 ruling was fair or not. If Venezuela at that time agreed to abide by it, then they have no case today.
  • Ambassador (14/06/2015, 10:45) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Venezuela should change its name to 'Vent & Wail'. Another mean rotten banana dictatorship. Flush twice.


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