1983 Guyana Esequiba War
Presidente 001
Date November 18 - December 22
Location Guyana Esequiba


Guyana lost control of Guayana Esequiba, Venezuela annex Guayana Esequiba
Flag of Venezuela 1930-2006 Venezuela

Flag of Guyana Guyana
Flag of Suriname Suriname

Commanders and leaders

The Guayana Esequiba War was a short war between the Republic of Venezuela and Guyana and Suriname.



Guayana Esequiba (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡwaˈʝana eseˈkiβa]) is a territory located in Guyana claimed by Venezuela. It includes Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River (roughly 70% of Guyanese territory), covering six administrative regions: Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo and Essequibo Islands-West Demerara. The area of the territory is 159.500 km²

Venezuela in 1983 proposed direct negotiations with Guyana, but it does not accept and proposes three alternatives (UN General Assembly, Security Council and International Court of Justice) Venezuela rejects. On the initiative of Venezuela in 1983 the boundary dispute is carried under the auspices of Secretary General United Nations, attached to article 33 º of the United Nations Charter concerning the peaceful settlement.


After Doomsday, in November 18, without the Commonwealth, Great Britain, and the UN, Venezuela decide to invade the Guayana Esequiba.


Shortly after Doomsday, Venezuela invaded Guyana to enforce its old claim over Guayana Esequiba, the part of Guyana west of the Essequibo river. Nationwide the structures crumbled and chaos spread. In a desperate attempt to fend of the invasion, Guyanan authorities sought help from Suriname. Military dictator Desi Bouterse of Suriname, though not formally speaking in charge surely the 'strong man' of the country at the time, sent his military to the east bank of the Esequibo river. Since the Venezuelans were not interested in conquering the east bank and did not bother crossing it, the Surinamese troops met little, if any, resistance. Bouterse exploited the situation by claiming this to be a 'tremendous military victory'. Although Venezuela did not reach the East of the Esequiba River they occupied all the Guayana Esequiba, and in 1984 officially annexed it as "Estado de Guayana" (State of Guayana).

This war was very short and with almost no battle because Guyana was on the brink of collapsing, due to, the obliteration of Great Britain, the Commonwealth end, and no help from the outside world.

Invasion of Guayana Esequiba

Venezuelan troops arrived at Guayana Esequiba on November 18, 1983, very early in the day. Still unnoticed, the massive armada of 16,000 soldiers went through the jungle as they quickly take over the small towns in the jungel as quickly as possible. They arrived at midday to Kokadai, where they start to battle for the first time the collapsing Guyanan army, killing all of them who don't surrender, striking fear into
Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan

Venezuelan troops after capturing and burned a Guyanan base

their enemies. The remaining military retreated back to Amamure. Forbes Burnham, president of Guyana, knew that there was no way he was going to take over Guyana until the end of the war, so instead he prepared his army for fighting the next day. He called the military dictator of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, who immediately sent 12,000 troops to Guyana, and declared war with Venezuela the next morning.

Battle of Ankoko

The two armies met at Ankoko in October 2, a Guyanan island annexed by Venezuela in 1966. Fighting took place there all day, but Guyanans/Suriname's army were overwhelmed by the much greater amount of soldiers the Venezuelans had. They were forced to retreat back to Island and began preparing a defensive base there to stop the Siberians.

Bombing of San Jose de Amacuro

On October 5, a group of five Britten-Norman Defenders from Suriname bombarded the frontier Venezuelan town of San Jose de Amacuro, 16 persons died, and other 28 were injured. Venezuela responded by sending a massive attack to Amamure, where the Guyanan army base was located, soon the base was captured by Venezuela, most soldiers were dead, and the surviving ones were taken to the south of Venezuela to the Doomsday's refugees towns to work for the immigrants.

Battle of Queenstown

The Guyanan knew that there was no way they would win at Queenstown near the Esequibo. The army was weak, and the city was not well positioned for a defensive battle. Guyana knew that after Queenstown, all that was left was Aurora, and afterwords they would lose the war. In December 17, the Battle was quick, most of Guyana's and Suriname's army survived but was defeated and also taken to the refugees cities.

Battle of Aurora

In December 20, Aurora, a city in the shore of the Esequibo was invaded, Guyana and Suriname give a last fight, Suriname soon surrender and retreated to Georgetown, the Guyanans continue fighting until December 21, in the midnight with Aurora devastated, Guyana finally surrender, they retreat to Georgetown, giving a last look to their former territory. At December 22, President Luis Herrera Campins, proclaimed victory in Caracas, and Desi Bouterse also proclaimed victory, but just because Venezuela didn't cross the river.

After that the zone remained occupied until the official annexation in 1984.


The atmosphere created after the invasion brought Suriname and Guyana together, paving the way towards the union between them as the Guyana Cooperativa. They saw that by uniting they could guarantee a better and more secure future. A tense but peaceful stalemate between the GC and Venezuela has more or less lasted over the years.

In the early 2000s, the nations of South America began earnestly discussing the creation of the South American Confederation, which became a reality in 2004. During these years, Guyana saw the advantages that the SAC would offer and attempted to join both the preliminary talks and the Confederation itself. However, because of the circumstances of its foundation, Venezuela claimed that the country was not legitimate and blocked every initiative admitting it to the SAC. Still, Brazil, Guyane, and other states maintain friendly relations with the GC.

The Guyana Cooperativa is a member of the League of Nations. It is recognized by Brazil, French Guyane, and most other South American nations, but not by Venezuela or by the SAC as a whole. Unification talks with French Guyane have so far not produced any actual results.

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