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- Venezuela Votes To Claim Disputed Guyana Territory
Venezuela Votes To Claim Disputed Guyana Territory
Maduro's Referendum Gets Approval
Venezuela approved a referendum called by President Nicolás Maduro's government to assert sovereignty over a disputed region in neighboring Guyana, according to the country's electoral authority. The referendum, which asked voters five questions related to the disputed territory known as Essequibo, saw low voter turnout but a reported count of over 10.5 million votes.
Venezuela has long claimed that the territory was stolen when the border was drawn over a century ago. However, Guyana views the referendum as a step towards annexation and has expressed concerns. The vote has left residents of both countries on edge.
The questions posed to Venezuelan voters included whether they support establishing a state in the disputed territory, granting citizenship to current and future residents, and rejecting the jurisdiction of the United Nations' top court in resolving the disagreement between the two South American nations.
President Maduro hailed the referendum as a "total success for our country, for our democracy." Speaking to supporters in the capital city of Caracas, Maduro emphasized the "very important level of participation" in the referendum.
Despite the electoral authority's claim of massive participation, there were no long lines typically seen during electoral events outside voting centers in Caracas. Nevertheless, the country's top electoral authority, Elvis Amoroso, announced that polls would remain open for an additional two hours due to what he described as "massive participation."
The exact details of the reported number of votes were not clarified by the electoral council. It remains unclear whether the number represents individual voters or the sum total of each individual answer.
The outcome of the referendum has significant implications for both Venezuela and Guyana. Venezuela's claim to the disputed territory has long been a point of contention between the two nations. The referendum result may further strain relations and exacerbate tensions in the region.
The international community will also be closely watching the aftermath of the referendum. The rejection of the United Nations' top court's jurisdiction by Venezuela could complicate efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
As the results of the referendum are analyzed and its implications unfold, Venezuela and Guyana will grapple with the consequences of this contentious vote. The future of the disputed territory hangs in the balance, and its resolution will undoubtedly shape the relationship between the two neighboring countries.