WILLEMSTAD – In a first reaction of the Prime Minister of Curaçao Eugene Rhuggenaath on the declaration of the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro about breaking all commercial ties with the ABC Islands, the Premier stated that he immediately contacted the Dutch Embassy in Caracas and the Venezuelan Consul General in Curaçao.
“We first need to find out if these declarations are based on politics or on a new policy of the government,” said the Premier.
According to the Prime Minister, the Venezuelan President spoke about several things and these have to be separated. If it is about contraband, then it is under the responsibility of Venezuela to act against those who take products out of the country illegally. “On our side, when these boats reach our shores we act immediately. We’ve intercepted several boats with weapons and people trying to get on the island illegally. We do this in collaboration with several organizations,” said Rhuggenaath in an exclusive interview with Curaçao Chronicle.
The Prime Minister indicated that if it is truly contraband then there are ways to deal with that. There can be collaboration between the governments to tackle this issue. But to break commercial ties then it’s on a completely different level. Curaçao and Venezuela have a close relationship for decades. And it is in the interest of both countries to continue with this relationship.
“Their current domestic situation is impacting Curaçao but we continue to have a good relation with Venezuela and for me there is no indication of a change in policy. This is what we’ve asked the Venezuelan Consul General and there are no indication that this is what her government is pursuing,” said Rhuggenaath.
“Also these allegations that because of these three islands the Venezuelan economy is ailing is really far stretched. We are three small islands and we cannot have such a big impact on a country the size of Venezuela as was mentioned by President Maduro.”
The Prime Minister reiterated that his government is open for collaboration with Venezuela to find solutions to contrabands.