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BREAKING: Venezuela building up troops near Guyana border

Guyana’s President David Granger and the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro

President David Granger on Tuesday said Venezuela was building up troops near the border with Guyana.

“We have recently received reports that Venezuela has been making extraordinary military deployments in eastern Venezuela, that is western Guyana,  which seem to be impacting on Guyana’s territorial defence,” he told reporters.

He said he and top security chiefs were meeting Tuesday to craft a response.

Asked how convicned he was that the build-up of marine vessels and various forms of ground forces near the border between the two South American countries had anything to do with the controversy over the Essequibo Region, the retired Brigadier of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) said “I have been in my earlier profession familiar with Venezuelan behaviour and what we have noticed during the month of September is an extraordinary escalation of Venezuelan military activity in eastern Venezuela,” he said.

The President stressed that the military build-up was “abnormal” and that the Police Commisisoner, Seelall Persaud; Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Mark Phillips; Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo were Tuesday meeting at Cabinet to address Venezuela’s persistent “aggressive” and “hostile” behaviour towards Guyana.

“We feel that Venezuela is treading a dangerous course at this point in time rather than seeking a peaceful resolution of the matter, Venezuela seems to be pursuing a very offensive and aggressive course,” he added.

Venezuela’s security forces have been also battling vioolent food riots across that country.

Granger reiterated that he would be raising Venezuela’s claim to the mineral and forest-rich Essequibo Region in his address to the United Nations General Assembly next week and in bilateral talks with other world leaders.