Venezuelans vote to claim sovereignty over area in bordering Guyana

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Venezuelans who turned out to vote in a referendum on the status of a long-running border dispute with Guyana have overwhelmingly backed Venezuela’s territorial claim. Stephen Gibbs has more from Caracas.

The vote asked Venezuelans if they agreed with five questions, including that an area called Essequibo, roughly the size of Florida, inside modern Guyana, should become a Venezuelan state. Almost all who voted, agreed.

The dispute in fact goes back to the 19th century, when the border between the then British colony of Guyana, and newly independent Venezuela, was established.

In recent years, vast oil reserves have been discovered offshore in Guyana, some of it beneath water Venezuela claims. The extraction of that oil has made Guyana the world’s fastest growing economy.

President of Guyana Irfaan Ali said Maduro is ignoring international order.