(CMC) — The Venezuelan military is scaling down its presence at the Guyana/ Venezuela border.
Guyana’s Minister of State Joseph Harmon made the disclosure late Saturday while defending the government’s decision last week to deploy additional troops and equipment to its border in response to the stance taken by Venezuela.
According to Harmon, the Government’s response was adequate given that Venezuela’s show of force is now subsiding.
“The way we were responding to Venezuela is appropriate…as of yesterday, the reports we have, is that Venezuela has started to remove. They started scaling back – the gun boat that was in the Cuyuni is now removed and the armament they had there is now moved towards inland Venezuela,” said Harmon.
He said the response from Government was also due to the analyses taken from the reports received and it was not lacking in any form or manner.
Guyana’s President David Granger is scheduled to meet with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro on Sunday in a meeting facilitated by the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.
On May 26, Maduro issued a decree claiming two thirds of Guyana’s territory igniting controversy from a dispute that was settled since 1899 by an Arbrital Award.
The purported annexation of the waters off Essequibo now takes in the oil-rich Stabroek Block, where American oil giant Exxon Mobil in May found a “significant” reserve of high quality crude oil.
ExxonMobil said the discovery was made in one of the two wells it dug, in the Liza-1 drill site, which realised more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone.
At the end of their annual summit in Barbados in July, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries reaffirmed the “longstanding, deep and wide-ranging friendship between CARICOM and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.