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Venezuela Increases Troops Close to the Border with Guyana Despite the De-Escalation Agreement

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Contrary to an agreement meant to defuse tensions, satellite photographs show that Venezuela has dramatically reinforced its military posture near the Guyana border. Recent footage from Maxar suggests otherwise, despite Caracas’s stated intention to seek diplomatic solutions to the long-running territorial dispute over an oil-rich region of Guyanese territory.

The photos, which were taken in January, show upgrades at the military installation on Venezuela’s Anacoco Island, located on the Cuyuni River, which borders Guyana. There have been multiple armored vehicles spotted on the property, infrastructure has been built, and new areas of rainforest have been cleared. It has also been reported that the base’s airfield now has a helicopter and that access roads have been improved.

Further indications of military preparations were also seen north of the site, including a large river ferry and substantial deforestation. There were also apparent armored trucks and big mounds of building supplies nearby.

The military of Venezuela openly boasted about the growth of propaganda movies that were posted on social media, highlighting the improvement of reaction capabilities along the border with Guyana.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank, was the first to report on Venezuela’s intensifying actions along the disputed boundary.

Following a Venezuelan referendum in favor of the establishment of a Venezuelan state inside the disputed region last year, tensions over the disputed land—which makes up a sizable percentage of Guyanese national territory—grew more intense. The action was denounced by Guyana as a prelude to annexation, raising the possibility of violent conflict.

But on December 15, Venezuela and Guyana came to a peaceful resolution to stop the conflict from getting worse. Both countries promised not to escalate disputes resulting from the disagreement and not to threaten or use force against one another.

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