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Security & Strategic Review - February 2021

GUYANA: Escalating tension between Guyana and Venezuela

On 21 January, Venezuela escalated its territorial dispute with Guyana with the interception of two Guyanese fishing vessels operating within Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The captains of the Guyanese fishing vessels were instructed to sail them to Port Güiria in Venezuela. Guyana’s foreign ministry issued a statement declaring: “This Venezuelan action amounts to an interference with the sovereign rights of Guyana in its EEZ, contrary to international law.” There is no doubt about that, but it is also in line with Venezuela’s continuing rejection of the referral of the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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