The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has concluded today that there is a “real and imminent risk of irreparable harm against Guyana” due to the holding of the Essequibo referendum, scheduled by the Bolivarian revolution for next Sunday. The escalation of the border conflict between Venezuela and Guyana worries the judges, who have ordered both governments not to aggravate the dispute.

The ICJ has not opted to demand the suspension of the referendum, as requested by Guyana, but shares the concern with the international community regarding the fifth question of the consultation, which is not binding. Therefore, Venezuela must refrain from “taking any measure that modifies” the current situation.

The government of Nicolás Maduro will ask Venezuelans if they agree with the creation of the state (region) of Guyana Esequiba, suggesting that Caracas is willing to occupy the region administered today by Georgetown.

Essequibo is a territory that has been disputed since colonial times, covering almost 160,000 square kilometers. A jungle area, “mountain and snake” as they say on the border, until the American oil company ExxonMobil began prospecting and discoveries in its maritime area, which has changed history. Guyana, one of the poorest countries in South America, is currently experiencing an economic miracle that could turn it into the Dubai of the region in a few years.

“They want to sabotage the democratic referendum, Guyana and ExxonMobil filed a reckless appeal in the court. Venezuela does not accept judicial colonialism. I will not accept judicial colonialism! Next Sunday, December 3, a blessed Sunday, rain, shine or lightning, there will be a consultative referendum! The young people will go as a family to vote with love for what is ours,” Nicolás Maduro announced last night in one of the events of the million-dollar campaign unleashed for the referendum.

One of the keys to today’s ruling is that the ICJ recognizes that Guyana administers and exercises control over the disputed territory, which will allow Georgetown to continue oil exploitation.

It so happens that the ICJ is the highest court of the United Nations, which already ruled against Venezuela in this dispute in April and which by the middle of next year must decide on the future of Essequibo. It is made up of China, the United States, Russia, France, Brazil, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Italy and other countries.