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