Published On: Thu, Jun 25th, 2015

Dutch Navy must play important role against possible Venezuelan refugees

KoendersTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - The Dutch Navy must play a role in keeping an eye on Venezuelan refugees trying to enter the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. This is according to the Dutch Parliament that is calling upon the Dutch government to insist on the governments of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao to keep an eye on the illegal migration from Venezuela.

The Coast Guard Caribbean, the section of Defense, which is now in the region battling arms smuggling, drug trafficking and illegal fishing, could play a role in this. A majority of the House of Representatives supports a proposal from the ruling party VVD to that effect.

Especially the VVD, PVV, CDA and D66 believe that the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders is following a weak policy towards Venezuela. Especially the 'good bilateral relations' with which Koenders deals with the South American country and supposedly excellent cooperation against human trafficking and drug smuggling, irritates the House.

According to the MPs, Koenders does not give value to the language of war of President Nicolas Maduro. “The minister says that it will not get that far,” said CDA MP Knops. “But I do not want us to be surprised.” Knops wants the Netherlands to send more troops to the area.

VVD MP Ten Broeke asked Koenders recently to tighten the travel advice for Venezuela. “No need,” was the answer. Less than two weeks later Foreign Affairs adapted the advice, because of the increasing number of kidnappings of tourists.

The Netherlands and the former Netherlands Antilles islands should develop scenarios for threats from Venezuela for the safety and tourism on the Leeward Islands, Sjoerdsma MP for D66 believes.

Venezuela is in crisis since the free fall of the oil price. According to Sjoerdsma the country is actually run by a drug cartel, with a socialist demagogue, Maduro, at the head.

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