Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has ordered the nation’s state-owned corporations to “instantly” start to discover and exploit the oil, gasoline and mines in Guyana’s Essequibo area, a territory bigger than Greece and wealthy in oil and minerals that Venezuela claims as its personal.
The announcement got here a day after Maduro declared victory in a weekend referendum on whether or not to assert sovereignty over the area.
Maduro mentioned he would “instantly” proceed “to grant working licenses for the exploration and exploitation of oil, gasoline and mines in your complete space of our Essequibo.”
He additionally ordered the creation of native subsidiaries of Venezuelan public corporations, together with oil big PDVSA and mining conglomerate Corporación Venezolana de Guayana.
On Sunday Venezuelans accredited a referendum known as by Maduro to assert sovereignty over Essequibo.
Venezuela has lengthy argued the territory, which includes two-thirds of Guyana, was stolen when the border was drawn greater than a century in the past. However Guyana considers the referendum a step towards annexation, and the vote has its residents on edge.
Guyana has denounced the referendum as pretext to annex the land. It had appealed to the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice, the United Nations’ high court docket, which on Friday ordered Venezuela to not take any motion to vary the established order till the panel can rule on the 2 international locations’ competing claims, which might take years.
There have been reviews that voting stations throughout the nation had been largely quiet on Sunday as most voters shunned the problem. The turnout appeared so underwhelming that the Venezuelan authorities has been extensively accused by analysts of falsifying the outcomes.
Guyana’s international secretary mentioned on Monday that Venezuelans had “despatched Maduro a really robust message” and sources inside Guyana’s authorities informed the Guardian they had been “relieved” by the surprisingly poor turnout.
Related Press contributed to this report