Published On: Tue, Jan 23rd, 2018

Minister Zijlstra wants new consultations between ABC islands and Venezuela after EU sanctions

Halbe-ZijlstraBRUSSELS - The Netherlands together with Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao wants to consult with Venezuela again. This new consultation round will take place after the European Union has imposed sanctions against Venezuela due to the political crisis in that country.

According to Minister Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs, a new consultation is necessary because the South American country links the EU sanctions to the blockade issue between the ABC islands and Venezuela.

Venezuela has been blocking all traffic with the ABC islands since January 5 because, according to President Nicolas Maduro, “people are smuggling valuable items and food from Venezuela to the islands”.

Zijlstra says it is “very regrettable that the country connects the two issues”. “It is completely separate from each other. That is why we are now looking at follow-up steps.”

“We have to ensure that the residents of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao have fresh vegetables, but also other things,” says Zijlstra. "The transport of raw materials will have to go through other countries, for example through Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Their life must ultimately be able to continue.”

Zijlstra also said it is a good thing that the EU is imposing sanctions against Venezuelans who stand in the way of the functioning of democracy. “We try to encourage them to leave the path to an ever-increasing dictatorship, to start conversations with the opposition and to restore democracy.”

The EU sanctions apply to seven high-ranking Venezuelans.

Click here for the list of individuals sanctioned by the EU.

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