UK backs Guyana in dispute with Venezuela by sending HMS Trent

The Royal Navy's HMS Trent heads to Guyana as border dispute with Venezuela continues.

UK to send HMS Trent to Guyana amid dispute with Venezuela. (Image Credits: Reuters)
UK to send HMS Trent to Guyana amid dispute with Venezuela. (Image Credits: Reuters)

The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy Patrol Ship HMS Trent is making its way to Guyana on a patrol, as a show of the nation’s support for Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela. British support for Guyana is quite important as tensions with Venezuela continue to escalate after President Nicholas Maduro’s government conducted a referendum, which showed immense support for the annexation of the Essequibo region.

ICJ Ruling and Peace Talks

Essequibo makes up two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass and is known to be blessed with large mineral reserves, a resource that Venezuela is attempting to lay claim to. Despite the ruling of the International Court of Justice going against Venezuela’s advances, the referendum was conducted anyway, putting Guyana and other CARICOM states, as well as South American nations such as Brazil on notice.

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Since then, St Vincent and the Grenadines have hosted peace talks, which saw leaders from Guyana, Venezuela and other regional partners converge upon Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’s nation.

While efforts to find a lasting solution failed, many leaders saw the attempt as a positive development as it led to the scheduling of another round of talks in Brazil. The hope is to establish common ground between the two nations and their respective leaders, President Irfaan Ali and President Nicholas Maduro.

In the mind of PM Gonsalves and CARICOM leader Prime Minister Skerrit, it is possible to do so by helping the two leaders converse and maintain an open dialogue with the assistance of their regional partners.

HMS Trent

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense issued a statement, “HMS Trent will visit regional ally and Commonwealth partner Guyana later this month as part of a series of engagements in the region during her Atlantic patrol task deployment.”

The HMS Trent, an offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy, is in Barbados for Christmas and is expected to head towards Guyana shortly. The vessel is not expected to dock at Georgetown but will conduct activities at sea according to its current mission parameters.

Foreign Office Minister for the Americas and Caribbean, David Rutley, stated the following during a visit to Guyana earlier this month, “the border issue has been settled for over 120 years; sovereign borders must be respected wherever they are in the world.”

The Guyana Defense Force also conducted joint aerial operations with the United States Army’s Southern Command earlier this month, in a show of solidarity between the two nations.

A silver lining to this dark cloud came in the form of the Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela, following Peace Talks in St Vincent and the Grenadines. President Irfaan Ali and President Nicholas Maduro agreed that any issues between their two nations would be resolved in accordance with the tenants of International Laws, including the Geneva Agreement of 17th February, 1966.