• Contested territories
  • Claimed by Guyana and Venezuela
  • Area 159,500 km2
  • Population 125,000

Essequibo is a disputed region that makes up two thirds of the country Guyana, a coastal republic in Latin America between Venezuela, Brazil and Surinam. The area is rich with oil and gold. Recently, Venezuela has threatened to annex the region up to the river Essequibo and claim it as Guayana Esequiba. In December 2023 Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela, organized a referendum to seek support for annexation. The dispute stretches back to the colonial powers that once held this region: Spain (Venezuela) and the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (Guyana). In an 1899 international arbitration the territory Essequibo was assigned to Guyana, yet Venezuela claims there have been procedural mistakes and the arbitration should therefore be dismissed.