Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hosted a successful referendum to gauge support for the country’s right over the Essequibo region, currently governed by its neighbour Guyana.
A large majority, about 95% of those who voted on Sunday, approved the government’s proposal to make Essequibo a Venezuelan state.
According to reports, the referendum, announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE) asked voters if they agreed to create a Venezuelan state in the Essequibo region, grant Venezuelan citizenship to its population and incorporate that state onto the map of Venezuelan territory.
Despite the apparent success, photos from various voting stations suggested a lackluster turnout, raising questions about the overall participation in the referendum. The total number of voters remains unknown at this time.
President Maduro, in a press conference held yesterday, suggested that more than 10 million votes had been counted. However, the details surrounding whether these were votes related to the five referendum questions or the total number of eligible voters were not clarified, as reported by Efecto Cocuyo.
With talks of the military on standby, it is left to be seen what measures Venezuela will take to assert those claims over the Essequibo region.
The president is currently holding a live press conference on the referendum.