Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed a decree on the 7th local time to delineate a new territorial sea area along the Atlantic coast of the country, which involves the disputed oil-rich Esequebo region of the country and Guyana.
Maduro said on social media on the 8th that he had signed a decree establishing Venezuela’s Atlantic territorial sea area as part of the country’s legal, political, diplomatic and national actions to defend the country’s rights.
In addition, according to Venezuela’s The Latest News on the 7th, Maduro also signed a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, indicating that the country rejected the ruling of the International Court of Justice on the Essequibo region and hoped to resolve the territorial dispute with Guyana through peaceful dialogue.
On 18 December 2020, the International Court of Justice ruled that the body had the power to rule on the dispute over the Essékouébo region. Venezuela condemns this.
According to previous reports, in March 2015, ExxonMobil found more than 13 billion barrels of oil reserves in the disputed waters of Venezuela and Guyana, and began to cooperate with the Government of Guyana in oil exploration and exploitation in this area since May.
Venezuela subsequently issued a decree declaring sovereignty over the sea area near the Escubo region and incorporating the sea area into the new national defense plan, which aroused the dissatisfaction of the Government of Guyana and accused Venezuela of posing a threat to regional peace.