Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called on the Venezuelan National Assembly to pass a law to protect the disputed Guyana-Essekibo region.
Under this law, a new state would be created within Venezuela, the Report reported, citing foreign media.
Maduro also announced that a social welfare scheme for the inhabitants of this territory will be launched immediately, a census will be conducted and documents will be issued.
“One of the main objectives of the organic law to protect Guyana-Essekibo is to realise this decision, which many generations of Venezuelans have dreamed of, and to create once and for all the state of Guyana-Essekibo, the 24th state of Venezuela,” Maduro said at a meeting of the government’s federal council.
The Venezuelan leader emphasised that parliamentarians should pass a “good, beautiful law” after lengthy consultations.
It will be recalled that on 3 December, Venezuela held a referendum on the accession of almost two-thirds of the territory of neighbouring Guyana. The overwhelming majority of Venezuelans were in favour of such a decision. 95% of those who took part in the referendum were in favour of incorporating the oil-rich Essequibo region in the north-east of South America into Venezuela.
The region lies west of the eponymous Essequibo River. With a total area of 160,000 square metres, it covers three-quarters of Guyana and is administered by Guyana. The two countries have disputed the ownership of the territory for more than a century.