Venezuela Launches Military Deployment in Response to UK and Guyanese Provocation (+Argyle Declaration)

Orinoco Tribune,December 29, 2023 —

The commander-in-chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) of Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro, has ordered the immediate deployment of the “General Domingo Antonio Sifontes” Joint Operation, set to be a series of joint military exercises between various armed personnel of Venezuela that will take place on the eastern Caribbean and the Atlantic Façade of Venezuela—near the border with the disputed Essequibo territory—in response to Guyana & the United Kingdom’s military provocations.

This announcement was made during his presidential end-of-the-year greeting ceremony to the FANB this Thursday, December 28, where President Maduro informed that this defensive action was put into operation following reports from the government of Guyana that it would accept the entry of a British warship into undelimited waters.

“This threat is unacceptable to Venezuela and to any country in the region,” the president stated during the national broadcast. “We have taken an initial step, still in its first phase; our FANB, united, has taken a step. We won’t start anything with anyone, but we won’t let anyone come and harm Venezuela.”

President Maduro also liaised with the commander of the Bolivarian National Navy, Admiral Neil Villamizar Sánchez, to activate the joint military drills that will take place in the Gulf of Paria, Sucre state. The operation consists of the deployment of 5,682 FANB soldiers, three ocean patrol vessels, two logistical transport vessels, three multipurpose vessels, three coast guard patrol vessels, seven missile boats, five helicopters, and 23 fighter jets; among them, five F-16s, six K8s, and twelve Sukhoi 32 MK2s.

The Venezuelan head of state took care to reaffirm Venezuela’s willingness to dialogue and diplomacy; however, he noted that territorial integrity will be defended by all military bodies and with all the strength of a nation that is sovereign and anti-imperialist.

“We believe in diplomacy, in peace, but no one should threaten Venezuela, no one should attack Venezuela,” the president highlighted. “This threat is unacceptable for any sovereign country. A threat by the decadent former empire of the United Kingdom is unacceptable. We do not accept it.”

On December 14, a high-level meeting was held between President Nicolás Maduro and his Guyanese counterpart, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, to directly address the territorial controversy over the Essequibo region. This meeting, held in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, resulted in an agreement—known as the Argyle Declaration—between both parties, to maintain dialogue to resolve the controversy over the disputed territory.

The Argyle Declaration further held that both parties agreed that “directly or indirectly, they will not threaten or use force against each other under any circumstances, including those arising from any controversy existing between both States.” In addition, it was agreed for both states to cooperate and avoid incidents on the ground that would lead to an increase in tensions between both countries.

However, President Maduro noted that the provocation made by Guyana and the UK—involving the presence of a British warship off the coast of Guyana—in fact violated the joint Argyle Declaration signed by him and the Guyanese president.


(Últimas Noticias) by Ariadna Eljuri with Orinoco Tribune content

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