On Sunday, opposition candidate Irfaan Ali was sworn in as Guyana's new president.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza congratulated Guyana on the election of the new leader, saying in a Monday statement that it was necessary "to reactivate the dialogue and negotiation mechanisms as soon as possible to reach a practical and satisfactory settlement" on the Essequibo issue.
#COMUNICADO | El Presidente @NicolasMaduro felicita al pueblo de la República Cooperativa de Guyana, tras el proceso electoral del pasado 02 de marzo, en el que fue electo como Presidente, Mohamed Irfaan Ali. Y hace votos para retomar los vínculos de cooperación y buena vecindad. pic.twitter.com/UA9RMM0l9T— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) August 3, 2020
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Monday that the country's government hoped to resume cooperation and good neighborly relations with Guyana that were maintained up until 2015.
The dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo region exacerbated after Guyana’s president David Granger came to power in 2015 and sought rapprochement with the United States, which opposes the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The disputed oil-rich area west of the Essequibo River, which is a major portion of Guyana, has been claimed by Venezuela since the 19th century.