Venezuela builds forces near border with Guyana despite agreement to de-escalate


CARACAS – Satellite images show Venezu­ela has bolstered its military presence near the border with Guyana, despite Caracas saying it would pursue a diplomatic avenue to try and resolve the long-standing territorial dispute over an oil-rich piece of Guya­nese land. Imagery from Maxar collected in January showed an expansion of operations at Ven­ezuela’s Anacoco Island mili­tary base, on the Cuyuni river, which borders Guyana, with sev­eral new sections of rainforest cleared recently and others be­ing bulldozed when the images were captured.

The pictures also show new infrastructure and several ar­mored vehicles present on site.

While the base’s airstrip ap­peared unchanged, a helicopter could be seen on it, and access roads were improved.

North of the base, on the Cuyu­ni River crossing that provides land access to the base, a heavy river ferry is visible, and large swaths of rainforest have been cleared. Large stockpiles of what appear to be construction sup­plies are visible on the side of the road, as are three armored vehicles.

In January, Venezuela bragged about expanding its military presence in the region in pro­paganda videos released on its army’s social media accounts, showing bulldozers clearing land, as well as light tanks and infantry fighting vehicles on the move and an Mi-17 military transport helicopter.

“The expansion of the base promoted by the 11th Ar­moured Brigade together with the 6th Venezuelan Army Corps Engineers, is improving the re­sponse system of the FANB in this important border area with the state of Guayana Esequiba and repelling any eventuality that attempts against the Re­public,” the Venezuelan Army said in a post on X.__The Nation