Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

Armored vehicles in Curaçao not because of concerns about Venezuela

Boxer-pantservoertuigen-Koninklijke-Landmacht-Foto-DefensieWILLEMSTAD, THE HAGUE - The Dutch Ministry of Defense strongly opposes reports that it has strengthened the military presence in Curaçao because of concerns about the instability of neighboring Venezuela. Commander of the Navy in the Caribbean Peter Jan de Vin felt called to publicly contradict the messages and even to declare 'fake news'.

Dispersers of the 'fake news' supported their claim with a video showing armored vehicles of the Royal Netherlands Army that recently arrived in Curaçao and are not part of the regular equipment. "There is no relationship with the situation in Venezuela," says De Vin. The conscious Boxer-type vehicles were indeed on Curaçao, but with no other intention than to take part in the 'Explosive Engineers' exercise. “The unit, including the vehicles, returns to the Netherlands after the exercise,” emphasizes the highest boss of Defense in the Caribbean.

In 2006 there was some fuss about the Joint Caribbean Lion exercise held by the Netherlands together with the United States, France and Canada just off the coast of Venezuela. This was seen by some as an attempt to intimidate the regime of former President Hugo Chávez.

'Explosive Engineers' is a purely Dutch affair. It was the first time that the annual exercise of the 'Genietroepen' was held on Curaçao. Previously it was in Norway, but the conditions in the Caribbean are considered more realistic by the Ministry of Defense. The two-week exercise coincided coincidentally with a motion that was adopted by the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament to make agreements with allies about strengthening the defense of the ABC islands.

By Rene de Zwart
Kingdom Relations

Photo: Ministry of Defense

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