Guyana puts troops on alert amid Venezuela tension

The government of Guyana says it has placed its troops on alert after a report Venezuelan soldiers might cross into territory held by Guyana.

AP Updated: Nov 15, 2013, 00:46 AM IST

Georgetown: The government of Guyana says it has placed its troops on alert after a report Venezuelan soldiers might cross into territory held by Guyana.

Defense Secretary Roger Luncheon says Guyana`s military was told to remain "vigilant," during a planned visit by Venezuelan opposition officials under military protection to a Guyana-held area claimed by both South American countries along the Essequibo River.

Guyana`s government has not taken such a step since 1982, when Venezuelan military planes flew over an area it has claimed in a border dispute that goes back decades.
Luncheon said today there has been a surge of nationalistic rhetoric among candidates in Venezuela`s upcoming municipal elections.

In October, Venezuela detained a ship chartered by a US oil company that had an exploration concession from Guyana in disputed waters.