U.S. defence teams to arrive here next week; Venezuela warned not to ‘miscalculate’ Guyana’s response

planned referendum for December 03 to secure the support of its citizens, two teams from the United States Department of Defense will be present in Guyana from next week.

This was announced by Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference at the Office of the President in Georgetown on Thursday.

Jagdeo did not reveal details of the size of the teams or the length of stay but said Guyana is exploring all options available to defend the country against Venezuela’s ambitions even as it has already rejected any ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to stop the referendum from going forward in its current form.

“We are going to be working with our allies to ensure that we plan for all eventualities. I know that we’re going to be working on greater defence cooperation with a number of countries.

“We have the U.S. Department of Defence with two visits to Guyana next week by two teams, and then several other visits in the month of December,” he told media operatives.

Additionally, Jagdeo said although assurances were given to the ICJ and CARICOM leaders that Venezuela will not invade Guyana, utterances from Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodríguez paint a different picture.

“You can never be sure…she talks as if next week they will be in Guyana,” Jagdeo said.

He told reporters that the international community stands with Guyana and that any attempt to invade Guyana would be a miscalculation of the response.

“If she thinks we will roll over and succumb to their imperialist ambitions they are false.

“It would be a grave miscalculation on their part,” the Vice President said as he continued to hint at outside military and defence support.

He said while Guyana’s military has grown over the years with big investments in capital resources, the army was never built to fight a war or be the aggressor.

He said the core purpose of investing in the army is to defend Guyana’s borders and protect the country’s exclusive economic zones. Notwithstanding, Guyana is prepared to stand up to Venezuela with a much larger army.

“We were never interested in military bases but we have to protect our interest.

“We are not going to succumb to Venezuela’s bullyism,” Jagdeo said.

The border controversy is squarely before the World Court and Guyana hopes for a final, binding settlement that reaffirms the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the existing boundary between itself and Venezuela.

Essentially, Guyana wants the court to reaffirm that the Essequibo region is its own.

Jagdeo said Guyana is open to dialogue with Venezuela but there will be no stopping of the process before the ICJ.