Published On: Sat, May 19th, 2018

Blok leaves Venezuelan consul on Aruba untouched

Carlos-Mata-Figueroa-Consul-Venezuela-op-ArubaTHE HAGUE - Kingdom Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok sees 'currently' no reason to disagree to the appointment by Venezuela of former General Carlos Mata Figueroa to return as Consul General in Aruba.

The minister replies to written questions from Dutch MPs Raymond de Roon and Machiel de Graaf (both PVV). They believe that the Netherlands should not allow foreign diplomats who are in disrepute. Mata Figueroa was Minister of Defense in the government of former President Hugo Chávez. He is also associated with international cocaine trafficking.

"The treaty agreements for accepting foreign diplomats differ with regard to different diplomatic positions, for example ambassador, consul and other diplomatic staff. With a view to effective international relations, it is customary for the recipient state to refuse an application for compelling reasons. This is also the Dutch policy," says Blok.

The Minister points out that there are currently no indications - such as a conviction for serious criminal offenses - that stand in the way of the admission of Mata Figueroa. According to him, the Venezuelan also does not appear on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list of the Treasury Department of the United States.

De Roon and De Graaf are of the opinion that "the reputation of Aruba and thus also of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as a hub in the international drug trade" is confirmed by the issue, but Blok does not agree: “Aruba’s reputation as a hub for international drug trafficking is unknown to me.”

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