According to the Guyana Chronicle paper, incumbent President Maduro’s opposition candidate for the 2024 presidential elections, María Corina Machado, has called for the suspension of the December 3 referendum aimed at annexing Guyana’s Essequibo. Maduro claims two thirds of Guyana‘a territory. The claim is before the World Court. The claim was settled in 1899 but Venezuela rejects it.
In a statement released on her official ‘X’ (Twitter) page, Machado asserted” “Sovereignty is exercised, not consulted,” calling for “The referendum on Essequibo to be suspended”.
She referred to the referendum as a mechanism which she says is “a distraction amid the challenging political, economic, and social climate leading up to the 2024 presidential elections”.
She adds: “It is an error that not only does not contribute to the defence of our territory but can also harm us in our defence in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)”.
Guyana filed papers, made an application, before the ICJ last week asking the court to stop Venezuela from the current course of action. The world is awaiting a ruling from the ICJ regarding the application for provisional measures stopping Venezuela from action to annex Essequibo.
The substantive case of the border dispute is before the ICJ for a final ruling. The ICJ is expected to rule anytime.