The Real Impact of Maduro’s Guyana Referendum

By Oliver Stuenkel

Maduro is less interested in Essequibo than in diverting attention from Venezuela’s economic crisis.

SÃO PAULO — "There’s one thing South America does not need right now: trouble," replied Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, when a reporter asked him about Venezuela's December 3 referendum on seizing the Essequibo region of Guyana. "If there's one thing we need to grow and improve the lives of our people, it's for us to calm down and work hard to improve the lives of the people, and not think about fighting," he said. Most analysts agree that the Venezuelan government's increasingly belligerent rhetoric toward Guyana should not be understood as a precursor to an actual...

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