Maduro has once again closed borders with Dutch Caribbean island

THE HAGUE--Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has once again closed the maritime border with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, and the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament wants to know how the Dutch government plans to respond to this.
 
 The Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations during a procedural meeting on Wednesday agreed to ask Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok and State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops for a clarifying letter.
 
The proposal to seek clarity from government came from Member of Parliament (MP) Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP). “Today we heard that the Venezuelan maritime border with the islands has been closed. I would like to hear from the minister and the state secretary what they will do with this, and what we are going to do to open the border, because this certainly has an effect on the islands,” he said.
 
MP André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party called it “positive” that the Curaçao government has agreed to serve as a hub for humanitarian aid. Bosman said he was “very proud” of the Curaçao government headed by Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath. “They deserve support for this.” He emphasised that humanitarian aid was very much needed because the Venezuelan people were dying because of lack of food and medication.  
 
Venezuela on Tuesday shut the maritime border with the nearby Dutch Caribbean islands ahead of an opposition effort to bring in humanitarian aid from foreign territories including neighbouring Curaçao. Maduro has rejected offers of foreign aid, denying there are widespread shortages.
 
The closure blocks movement of boats and aircraft between the western Venezuelan coastal state of Falcon and Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Last year January, Venezuela also closed the maritime border with the islands. This lasted until April 2018 when the border was reopened after Minister Blok signed an agreement with Venezuelan authorities.

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