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GDF monitoring Venezuela economic meltdown; Refugee crisis possible

Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Mark Phillips.

Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Mark Phillips.

With experts predicting an impending economic meltdown for Venezuela and indications that there might be refugees fleeing to neighboring countries, the Guyana Defence Force is keeping a keen eye on the rapidly developing situation.

The President Nicolas Maduro led country is currently facing serious economic decline with reports indicating persons resorting to catching birds for food and several instances of looting.

There is also a reported basic shortage of medication in the South American nation. Experts have indicated that thousands of Venezuelan’s will soon be looking to flee the country and Guyana could be a target destination.

Speaking to Demerara Waves on Thursday GDF Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips was resonant that the GDF remains prepared to protect the integrity of Guyana’s borders.

Phillips indicated that a lot of theories are being reported on but the Defence Force cannot conduct operations based on these theories

“A lot of experts who have a lot of theories we cannot plan our operations based on these theories,” he said adding “We have our deployment – we are monitoring situation and we are following the economic and political situation.”

So far, according to Phillips, there have been no reports of any unusual cross border activity between Guyana and Venezuela.

“There are no reports to lead us to any conclusion that there is increased movement across our borders,” he emphatically noted.

Guyana and Venezuela are currently embroiled in a diplomatic controversy with the country claiming more than two-thirds of Guyana’s land and maritime space. Guyana is preparing to go to the International Court of Justice on the issue.