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Guyana-Venezuela crisis: Guyanese helicopter crash is a sign of 'afterlife', says Maduro

2023-12-08T21:08:38.671Z

Highlights: Guyana-Venezuela crisis: Guyanese helicopter crash is a sign of 'afterlife', says Maduro. Tensions continue to rise between the two countries due to claims to the oil-rich territory of Essequibo. Venezuela argues that the Essequibe River should be the natural boundary, as it was in 1777 during the time of the Spanish Empire. Guyana argues the border, dating back to the British colonial era, was ratified in 1899 by a court of arbitration in Paris.


Tensions continue to rise between the two countries due to claims to the oil-rich territory of Essequibo.


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday (December 8th) that Wednesday's crash of the Guyanese military helicopter was a sign of the "afterlife" in the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the oil-rich territory of Essequibo.

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I offer my condolences to the Guyanese people and the military forces, but this is a message from the afterlife: don't play with Venezuela, whoever plays with Venezuela gets burned," Maduro said at a rally in front of the Miraflores presidential palace.

Five dead

Five members of the Guyanese army died in the accident, which occurred on Wednesday in the Essequibo region about 50 kilometers east of the border. Two soldiers survived. "Unfortunately, they had a helicopter crash and the Guyanese media immediately accused me of shooting it down," Maduro added. Announcing the disappearance of the aircraft on Thursday, the chief of staff of the Guyanese forces, Omar Khan, said that "nothing would suggest" Venezuelan action. The helicopter was travelling as part of the crisis between the two countries.

For decades, Caracas has laid claim to Essequibo, a 160,000-square-kilometer region that makes up more than two-thirds of Guyana's territory and is home to about a fifth of its population, some 125,000 people. Venezuela's claim has become even more pressing since ExxonMobil's discovery of oil in the Essequibo in 2015. Guyanese tenders in September for oil concessions have revived Venezuela's claims.

The tension has been rising ever since. Venezuela argues that the Essequibo River should be the natural boundary, as it was in 1777 during the time of the Spanish Empire. Guyana argues that the border, dating back to the British colonial era, was ratified in 1899 by a court of arbitration in Paris.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-12-08

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