ABC islands hardly hindered by the situation Venezuela
WILLEMSTAD - The Caribbean parts of the Kingdom are hardly hindered by the political situation in the neighboring South American country of Venezuela. This is according to the Dutch Minister Bert Koenders in a letter to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Dutch Parliament. The Leeward Islands, which lie near Venezuela suffer no substantial increase in migration flows resulting from the political situation in their southern neighbor. However, there are more Venezuelans traveling to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao to shop or for tourism. This is according to a report from Persbureau Curaçao.
The economies of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire are strongly intertwined with the Venezuelan economy. Measures in the economic sphere have a direct impact. For example, the Venezuelan ban on exports of subsidized products have direct consequences for Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, he said. Especially Aruba that largely depends on Venezuela for the import of food, is experiencing the consequences. Also, regarding energy, Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire depend on Venezuela.
The oil refinery in Curaçao is owned by Curaçao, but is operated by the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). The refinery contributes, ranging from, 9 to 11% of the GDP of the island and also provides significant employment, according to Koenders.
According to Reuters, Venezuela’s economy is vanishing. For months now Venezuelan shoppers have been enduring long lines in order to buy basic necessities like flour and diapers, but given the country’s increasingly dire economic situation, these may soon qualify as the good-old days. Years of fiscal mismanagement of the country’s vast oil resources by Venezuela’s government, combined with a 60 percent-plus inflation rate, put the country on economic footing that is tenuous at best. But it may get worse, if more companies decide doing business in Venezuela just isn’t worth it.
Image: King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima during their visit to Venezuela
Photo credit: Persbureau