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Venezuela demands respect for maritime boundary

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a military parade with the National Bolivarian Militia in Caracas, Venezuela December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace

CARACAS (Xinhua) – The Venezuelan government has demanded respect for its sovereignty and international law, saying oil exploration ships working for neighbouring Guyana violated its maritime borders.

In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the incident occurred on Saturday, when naval patrols “detected the vessels identified as RAMFOR under the Bahamas flag and DELTA MONARCH under the flag of Trinidad and Tobago in Venezuela’s Orinoco Delta.”

In an exchange with Venezuela’s navy, the captains of the vessels contracted by the transnational ExxonMobil said they had the operation permission of Guyana’s government in the area, according to the ministry.

Venezuela and Guyana have had a long-running border dispute over the oil-rich region of Esequiba, which flared up again in 2015 after ExxonMobil announced the discovery of an oil deposit in the area.

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