On the brink of conflict: Venezuela’s military buildup near Guyana border challenges peace

Recent satellite imagery reveals Venezuela’s intensified military activity near its border with Guyana, contradicting Caracas’ claims of pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the longstanding territorial dispute over a resource-rich piece of Guyanese land.

Images captured by Maxar in January depict significant expansion at Venezuela’s Anacoco Island military base, situated along the Cuyuni river bordering Guyana. The imagery highlights freshly cleared sections of rainforest and ongoing bulldozing activities within the vicinity.

Notably, the pictures unveil new infrastructure developments and the presence of several armored vehicles at the site, indicating heightened militarization in the area.

Further analysis of the satellite imagery reveals improvements to access roads and the presence of a helicopter on the base’s airstrip. Additionally, a heavy river ferry is observed north of the base, accompanied by extensive deforestation and stockpiles of construction materials.

Venezuela’s military escalation in the region was underscored in propaganda videos released by its army’s social media accounts in January, showcasing land-clearing operations, deployment of military vehicles, and aerial transportation assets. The Venezuelan Army, in a statement, emphasized that the expansion aims to enhance the response capabilities of the FANB (National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela) along the border with Guyana.

This development comes despite a previous agreement between Venezuela and Guyana in December, aiming to prevent escalation and resolve the dispute peacefully. The accord pledged both parties to refrain from using force or escalating tensions.

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