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In response to Venezuela’s territorial threats, the US government is significantly increasing its military aid to Guyana, officials disclosed on Monday.
This increased support includes the provision of new aircraft, helicopters, military drones, and, notably, radar technology for the first time. While the financial details were not specified, Guyanese officials have kept the expected expenditure under wraps.
Jon Finer, the US deputy national security advisor, said, “That cooperation is fundamentally defensive in nature and grounded in our desire for Guyana to be able to defend its territorial integrity against any possible threats.”
Guyanese President Ifraan Ali has announced plans to bolster Guyana’s military assets, revealing, “My administration would soon buy a fleet of at least four US helicopters along with drones, fixed-wing planes and other equipment.”
This comes as tensions with Venezuela escalated last year when Venezuelan troops gathered near the border and hinted at annexing Guyana’s resource-rich Essequibo region. The tension between both saw a temporary de-escalation following diplomatic interventions by Brazil and Caribbean leaders. A pivotal moment in these efforts was a meeting in Brazil, aiming to set the stage for a summit between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Guyanese President Irfaan Ali.
Amidst these diplomatic activities, the US had previously supported Guyana with surveillance flights and military advisors, reflecting the significant disparity in military capabilities between the two nations.