Sufficient GDF troops at border; Venezuela military buildup not increasing – Brigadier Philips

A section of the GDF officers at base Camp Stephenson. [iNews' Photo]

By Jomo Paul

Brigadier Mark Phillips addressing ranks. [iNews' Photo]
Brigadier Mark Phillips addressing ranks. [iNews’ Photo]
[] – Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Mark Phillips has affirmed that the military strength at the Cuyuni Border shared with Venezuela is enough to carry out its mandate of defining acts of aggression against Guyana’s sovereignty.

Phillips told the media on Friday, September 25 that despite no additional troops being deployed, the amount present at the border is sufficient to defend Guyana.

This comes on the heels of an “extraordinary” buildup of Venezuela military forces on that side of the border, in line with a recent claim made by Venezuela on two thirds of Guyana’s territory.

“We wouldn’t give you the strength. We have adequate amount of troops to fulfill our objective but we would not give out our strength,” said Phillips.

The Chief of Staff also reported that there has not been an increase of Venezuela’s military presence.

“We are still monitoring…there is no evidence of any increase on the Venezuelan side,” said the Army Chief.

Some of the paratroopers. [iNews' Photo]
Some of the paratroopers. [iNews’ Photo]
On Friday, the GDF carried out a countrywide battle muster at its bases across Guyana where the troops were briefed on the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy and what government’s view on the issue is.

“Throughout the GDF, troops at all of our bases have been sensitized about the activities at the Venezuelan border. As I said, we are ready to define aggression. Our task is to define aggression on the settled border between Guyana and Venezuela,” said Phillips.

The battle muster included paratroopers and Special Forces from the GDF.

A section of the GDF officers at base Camp Stephenson. [iNews' Photo]
A section of the GDF officers at base Camp Stephenson. [iNews’ Photo]
Over at base camp Stephenson where a similar muster was held, the soldiers made it clear that they were ready for war only to be reminded by Phillips that the likelihood of a war is low. But the Chief of Staff was pellucid that the officers should be ready to define aggression.

“We have a settled border. In the year 1899, that border was settled. So as far as I am concerned, as far as you are concerned have a settled border…we all remain ready – operationally ready to define aggression on our frontiers,” said Phillips.

GDF will continue its exercises in the coming weeks and will include a march through the streets of Georgetown scheduled for Saturday, September 26.


  1. Re Lancelot’s comments, Mr. Granger is new to this business. It will be interesting to see how he negotiates through this. Also,no disrespect to Mr. Greenidge, but Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett has been a distinguished and remarkable representative not only of the government, but also of the people of Guyana.

  2. The problem was always there waiting to flare up again. This recent flare up has nothing to do with who is in power. It relates to the discovery of oil off the coast of Essequibo. As any self respecting school child knows, Guyana is not a match for Venezuela militarily. Does this mean that the GDF must stand aside and say ‘its all yours, be my guest’. They must at least be prepared to put up some form of resistance, even if its only for a few days and confined to a particular locality.Diplomacy however, is clearly the only option we have that would keep our territory intact.

    If Guyana is under threat of invasion I would prefer to have Granger and Greenidge addressing it rather than Jagdeo/Ramotar and Rodrigues-Birkett. Granger would have studied such issues and as a former military officer has technical. strategic and tactical insight into these matters . Greenidge has had experience dealing with international agencies and would know a thing or two about opening doors and lobbying. Rodrigues-Birkett would be way out of her depth here, As for Jagdeo, don’t forget his idiotic diplomatic forays into the Arab world. What do we have to show for it? He does not know his ass from his elbow where international affairs are concerned.


  4. Phillips is constantaly mentioning “ready to define aggression” … what da hell does that mean?
    Is he ready to fight if required or just “ready to define aggression” and run like hell after he determines if there is agression … am confused.

  5. Guysna cannot defend itself against venezuela. Those who feel otherwise are living a fantasy The only solution is for president Granger to use all diplomatic means for us to go to some settlement. We need to lobby through UN Caricom OAS and also seek the help of UK and US A who were involved in the 1899 treaty.Cuba and Brasil can also help us with a diplomatic solution.I can only hope and pray that in the meantime the troops do not clash.

  6. they voted for change let them go fight less that 6 month and we at war great job Granger . GDF voted for them let them go be men about it go fight for our country. they doing well marching up the east bank lol and sailing to the bridge lol. that show they are ready according to mark!

  7. The best way to win a war is offer friendship. Lets not give up on the principle of peace and friendship. Let cool heads prevail.

  8. Oh lad, me really hope you guys can handle Venezuela if it gets to that but I do pray that we dont have to go to battle for piece a of land where blood have flow because of the battle for mother earth, with Venezuela population is over 31 plus million and our Guyana is just under one million, leave we Guyana alone!!

  9. Good luck troop. Honestly I hope this issue works out diplomatically simply because we don’t have the man power and mechanisms to fight with Venezuela.


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