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Venezuela’s referendum on the Essequibo claim is a charade

Venezuela’s referendum on the Essequibo claim is a charade


Dear Editor,

Venezuela’s initiative to go to a referendum to seek its citizens’ opinion regarding that country’s claim over the Essequibo, is but a reiteration of that nation’s greed, and of its ill will toward the Guyanese people, under the régime of Nicolás Maduro.

In the late nineties, while I was serving as Guyana’s Ambassador to Venezuela, I encountered a Venezuelan young lady who was married into my extended family. “Maria” was bold and uncompromising in her conviction that the residents of Essequibo were culturally and ethnically Venezuelan, and that the region came under the civil jurisdiction of the Venezuelan state.

Only upon the realization that her very own brother-in-law was married in Essequibo to an Essequibian did she reconsider her views, explaining that, if she were wrong, it was because that’s what she had been taught in school.

Successive Venezuelan Governments have brainwashed the population from their childhood, with misinformation, about the supposed merits of the territorial claim. With defeat now looming at the ICJ, Maduro wants his duped population to validate the claim – by voting in a referendum that relies on Venezuela’s own deceitful propaganda. Josef Goebbels would have liked it.

It would be good thing if this hapless charade could be exposed and condemned by Guyanese everywhere for just what it is.


Bayney Karran