Venezuela claims large support for annexing oil-rich Guyana territory

More than half of eligible Venezuelan voters have taken part in a referendum that yielded overwhelming support for laying claim to an oil-rich border region administered by neighbouring Guyana, officials in Caracas have said.
More than 10.4 million out of 20.7 million eligible voters cast their ballots, National Electoral Council president Elvis Amoroso said to lay to rest initial doubts over the turnout.
The “yes” vote in Sunday’s non-binding referendum was 95 percent, according to officials.
The referendum result, announced on Monday, came after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) warned Caracas against “annexation” of the territory called Essequibo, which has long been ruled by Guyana.
Venezuela has for decades laid claim to Essequibo, which makes up more than two-thirds of the territory of Guyana and is home to 125,000 of its 800,000 citizens. Guyana, a former British and Dutch colony, insists the frontiers were determined by an arbitration panel in 1899.

Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti reports from Bogota.

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