Planned exam for a consultative referendum on the territorial conflict between Venezuela and Guyana to be held on December 3. The TV station Venezolana de Televisión reported on voting in polling stations across Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro congratulated the National Electoral Council on the successful organization of the referendum test and drew attention to the active participation of Venezuelans in the vote. He congratulated all those who participated in the defense of the historical rights of Venezuela in the territory of Guyana-Essequibo, stressing that this proves the unity of the people. Maduro emphasized that Venezuela is demonstrating its unity to the world.
In the upcoming referendum, Venezuelan citizens will have to answer five questions, including the creation of the state of Guyana-Essequibo and the development of a plan to serve the people of the territory, as well as the granting of citizenship and Venezuelan identity cards.
Earlier, representatives of Guyana called on the International Court of Justice to stop the referendum, which they saw as an attempt by Venezuela to take control of Guyana-Essequibo. Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, meanwhile, defended the right to hold a referendum at the meeting in The Hague.
International Court of Justice President Joan Donoghue said last week that the decision on the referendum would be carried out and transferred to the parties that appealed to the court. Venezuelan authorities emphasized that regardless of the court's decision, the referendum will be held in a timely manner in accordance with the country's constitution and legislation.
The territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana arose a long time ago. It escalated after the discovery of large oil fields in Guyana-Essequibo in 2015 and the granting of a concession to ExxonMobil to extract oil on the disputed shelf, the boundaries of which are not defined. In April, the International Court of Justice ruled admissible to consider Guyana's border delimitation claim against Venezuela based on an arbitration award from 1899. Venezuela insists on border delimitation through direct negotiations in accordance with the Geneva Agreement of 1966.