U.S. conducts joint military flight drills with Guyana as tensions rise with Venezuela
There is a border feud going on between the two countries in the Essequibo region.
The U.S. conducted joint military flight drills with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), as tensions are starting to rise with its neighboring country, Venezuela.
The joint drills the GDF and the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) conducted were reportedly an effort to deter Venezuela from invading Guyana, according to The Daily Wire.
There is a border feud going on between the two countries in the Essequibo region. Venezuela recently conducted a referendum claiming that it should have more control over the region. As of now, Guyana controls the majority of it.
Guyanese officials responded to Venezuela, saying it is preparing to defend itself and its borders in case an invasion occurs, according to CBS News.
The Miami Herald reports that as of now, U.S. officials don't see any signs of Venezuela preparing to launch an invasion.
Coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council in the White House, John Kirby, said Thursday not to read too deeply into the military exercise.
“I’d be careful drawing too strong connective tissue between routine military operations that we do in the region and this particular issue,” said Kirby, according to The Daily Wire. “That said, as I said before, we recognize the sovereign territory of Guyana, and as we do with many nations — sovereign nations — in the region, we conduct operations and exercises as appropriate.”
The territorial dispute goes back nearly 200 years, according to Time magazine. It had been largely quiet for over 100 years before oil was discovered off of Essequibo's coast in 2015, which revived the dispute over the more than 60,000 square mile region.