Venezuela keeps the border with the ABC Islands closed for a while longer
WILLEMSTAD - Venezuela keeps the border with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire closed for at least three more days. That was announced in Venezuela. The meeting this afternoon between the Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyn Wever-Croes and two ministers of Curaçao with a delegation from Venezuela will continue as usual.
The Venezuelan president Maduro last week stopped air and maritime connection with the three islands for three days. Smugglers would on a large scale channel gold, ores, diamonds and food from Venezuela and thus contribute to the economic malaise there. The blockade was extended by another three days on Tuesday.
In Venezuela it was said that Curaçao ignored requests from Maduro to do something about smuggling. The Curaçao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath denies that and says that his country cooperates fully with Venezuela in tackling smuggling.
In the longer term, a blockade can be very detrimental for the three islands. In 2016 Venezuela closed the border with Colombia for the same reasons. That blockade would initially also last three days, but ultimately took almost a year.