For more than a century, the inhabitants of the Essequibo region have been trapped in a territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela. This week President Nicolás Maduro insisted on negotiating the ownership of this area with his Guyanese counterpart Irfaan Ali.
The nearly 160,000-square-kilometer area is administered by Guyana, which upholds a boundary set in 1899 by an arbitration court in Paris. For its part, Venezuela insists on defending the Geneva Agreement, signed in 1966 with the United Kingdom before Guyanese independence, where the previous border was unknown and a negotiated solution was agreed.
The Venezuelan migrant population arriving in Essequibo is concentrated in an area called the "green house," a huge building abandoned by a Chinese company in Port Kaituma. Thousands of people have arrived there seeking better working and economic conditions.
Due to the dispute between the two countries, Maduro has declared as illegal the oil concessions that Guyana has granted in the maritime areas off Essequibo.
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