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Venezuela wants Guyana -- and its valuable minerals -- back. But Guyana's saying ''no thanks.''

The issue is an 82-year-old territorial dispute. Venezuela claims about two-thirds of Guyana, a former British colony in the northeastern corner of South America. The Venezuelans say the land was fraudulently taken by Britain more than a century ago. Not so, say the Guyanese, who are just now beginning to develop the mineral-rich Essequibo area, included in the land claimed by Venezuela.

Venezuela has decided to beef up its forces in the area, bringing in not only more troops, but also adding new facilities at several points along the border.

The government of Venezuelan President Luis Herrera Campins accuses Guyana of a campaign of ''verbal aggression'' against Venezuela. He will not renew an agreement that froze the dispute for 12 years. The agreement expires in June.m

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