In a move that further escalates the ongoing dispute between Guyana and Venezuela over the Esequibo region, Guyana's Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, has openly rejected the offer of Venezuelan identification cards to the inhabitants of the contested territory. This pronouncement was made amidst the growing controversy revolving around the fifth question of an impending consultative referendum in Venezuela, slated for December 3, which encompasses the issue of identification for Esequibo residents.
Esequibo Dispute & Venezuelan Referendum
The Esequibo territory, a disputed region between Guyana and Venezuela, has been the center of contention for years. The upcoming Venezuelan referendum, which includes a question about the issuance of identification to the inhabitants of the Esequibo, has added fuel to the fire. Jagdeo's comments were made during a speech in Ana Regina, located in the north of Esequibo, where he conveyed that the Guyanese are content with their nationality and do not aspire for Venezuelan identification cards.
Jagdeo's Critique and Venezuelan Response
Moreover, Jagdeo criticized the Venezuelan government, suggesting that the referendum is a deflection from the country's internal issues that have resulted in mass emigration due to hardship and scarcity. In retort, Delcy Rodríguez, the Vice President of Venezuela, accused Jagdeo of acting as a pawn for Exxon Mobil, and playing a regrettable part in governance. She cautioned him against interfering with Venezuelan affairs and expressed her optimism about the forthcoming election day in Venezuela.
International Court of Justice Involvement
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to rule on Guyana's plea for protective measures against Venezuela's impending referendum. The application provides insight into the questions forming part of Venezuela's referendum and Guyana's request for provisional measures, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing geopolitical strife.