The US flew Super Hornet fighter jets over Guyana to send clear message to Venezuela

On Thursday, May 9th, the US Embassy in Guyana reported that two U.S. Navy aircraft, F/A-18F Super Hornets, embarked on USS George Washington and conducted a coordinated and approved flyover over Georgetown and its surrounding areas.

“The exercise builds upon our routine security cooperation and expanding bilateral defense partnership with Guyana.” the Embassy said in a release.

Furthermore, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington and Carrier Strike Group Ten are in the region as part of a two-month transit to the Pacific.

In a statement, the Guyanese government confirmed the flyover, stating, “The Government of Guyana approved the flyover of two F/A-18F Super Hornets of the United States Navy in Georgetown (…) on May 9, 2024.” It was further explained that the exercise is part of the defense cooperation agreement between Guyana and the United States, aimed at enhancing security within the ongoing cooperation program between the two countries.

The flyover of the US aircraft comes amidst the ongoing territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela over the Essequibo region, which led both countries to present their arguments before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in April.

General Vladimir Padrino López, Defense Minister of the Nicolás Maduro regime, strongly denounced Thursday’s military exercise, stating, “The Bolivarian National Armed Forces vehemently reject these repeated provocations by the Southern Command, sponsored by the government of Guyana, which has assumed the role of a new American colony. Our Comprehensive Aerospace Defense System remains activated against any attempt to violate Venezuelan geographical space, including our Essequibo Territory. Alerts!” This sentiment was echoed by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil, who asserted that the flyover threatened the “peace zone” agreed upon between Maduro and President Irfaan Ali.

In February of this year, the US government announced an increase in its urgent military aid to Guyana, as Venezuela threatens to seize a large part of the country’s territory claimed as its own. In this context, Washington pledged to assist Guyana in acquiring new aircraft, helicopters, a fleet of military drones, and, for the first time, radar technology.

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