# Venezuela’s Accusations Against ExxonMobil and the US: A Brewing Military Conflict in Essequibo
Venezuela Raises Alarm over Essequibo Dispute
In a recent public statement, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro pointed fingers at the international oil giant ExxonMobil and the United States Southern Command for what he perceives as provocation towards a military conflict in the disputed region of Essequibo. During an event with supporters of the Patria para Todos Party, President Maduro expressed his concerns over the actions that he believes threaten Venezuelan sovereignty.
Allegations of Foreign Influence in Guyana
According to Maduro, the Government of Guyana is not acting independently but rather under the influence and orders of ExxonMobil. The Venezuelan head of state accused the American company of seeking to exploit the energy resources in the controversial territory. He also referred to historical events, invoking the era when British forces posed a similar threat to the eastern part of Venezuela over a century ago.
Consultative Referendum and Defense of Historic Rights
The President highlighted a forthcoming consultative referendum set for December 3 as a measure through which Venezuelan citizens can assert and defend their historic claim over the Essequibo territory. Maduro regarded the Paris Arbitration Award as a “big trap” intended to deprive Venezuela of its rightful territory and reassured the public about the National Assembly’s initiative to conduct this referendum.
Rejection of UN’s Stand on the Territorial Dispute
The Venezuelan government has also recently rebuffed a statement issued by the United Nations concerning the Essequibo territorial dispute. Official communications indicated that the UN is attempting to distance itself from what Venezuela views as a bilateral crisis between itself and Guyana. The Venezuelan authorities urged the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, to adhere to the principles laid out in the 1966 Geneva Agreement, consistent with their previous appeals to his forerunner, Ban-Ki Moon.
Increased Tensions Over Oil Block Biddings
Tensions between Caracas and Georgetown have escalated since Guyana accepted bids for eight of the fourteen oil blocks tendered in December 2022. One of the key bidders was ExxonMobil, a detail that has not gone unnoticed by Venezuelan officials. The Venezuelan parliament expressed the situation as a US collusion with ExxonMobil meant to undermine Venezuela’s territorial claims.
The Call for a Referendum
The call for a consultative referendum that emerged on September 21 from the Venezuelan parliament seeks to empower the citizens of Venezuela in expressing their opinion on the Essequibo dispute through their vote. The significance of this referendum is underscored by President Maduro’s personal endorsement and his assertion that no force can prevent this event from occurring.
As the date of the consultative referendum approaches, the eyes of the world are on Venezuela, Guyana, and the disputed Essequibo region. With both historical grievances and prospective economic interests at stake, the outcome of these tensions remains uncertain, but it is clear that the matter is far from resolved. Observers await further developments as the referendum aims to clarify Venezuela’s position and potentially chart a course for future action regarding this longstanding territorial contention.