The Venezuelan Government is claiming that 95% of the citizens who cast their ballots in Sunday’s referendum claiming Guyana’s territory, voted in favour of the questions asked in the referendum, and rejected the International Court’s jurisdiction to settle the border controversy, while continuing the claim of Guyana’s Essequibo region.
International news agencies, the Associated Press and the Reuters News Agency, both reported a low turnout of voters, despite claims by Venezuela that more than 10 million of its citizens participated in the referendum vote.
Venezuelan analysts have described the referendum vote as a show of strength for incumbent President Nicholas Maduro, ahead of next year’s Presidential elections in the neighbouring country. The referendum has been rejected by a number of international organisations including the Commonwealth, the OAS and CARICOM. It is non-binding, and the International Court has already ordered Venezuela to refrain from any action on the Essequibo region.
Guyana continues to reject the referendum and Venezuela’s ongoing claims of Guyana’s territory.
Across Guyana on Sunday, citizens came out in their thousands to participate in joining hands in unity, and on Sunday night, hundreds gathered a Guyana’s national stadium for a night of patriotic reflection.
The Guyana Defence Force remains on high alert at border locations, while the Government of Guyana continues to urge citizens to remain calm.
Meanwhile, the Government of Guyana continues to warn citizens about sharing propaganda material from Venezuela. Last evening, the Guyana Defence Force was forced to issue a statement making it clear that Guyana’s flag continues to fly on top Mount Arau, where it was hoisted over a week ago on Guyana’s side of the border. The GDF’s statement came in response to a video from a Venezuelan group showing the Venezuelan flag being hoisted in a similar area. The Venezuelan flag raising was done in that country.