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Dec. 4, 2023

Would Venezuela Really Invade Essequibo?

By R. Evan Ellis US Army War College

R. Evan Ellis | 

In the context of unfolding global conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and the dangers of an increasingly aggressive yet economically fragile People’s Republic of China (PRC), Venezuela’s provocative referendum on its claim to two thirds of the territory of neighboring Guyana has received understandably little attention in Washington, D.C. 

In seeking legal action from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the government of Guyana presented evidence not only that Venezuela was holding a referendum on a decision not yet resolved by the Court but that it was seeking to use the preordained results of such a vote to justify military action in the Essequibo following the vote, calling attention to Venezuela’s construction of an airfield near the border which could be used to support an invasion, and its conduct of military exercises in the area 

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