Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

The floating market of Curaçao is affected by the closing of the Venezuelan border

P1090373WILLEMSTAD - The floating market of Willemstad is one of Curaçao's attractions. It has twelve posts with 12 Venezuelan boats that are lined up and sell fruits and vegetables. It was a colorful display that no longer shines.
The ten people who lived around the Freddymar, one of the docked boats, for the past two months returned to Venezuela on February 2. Its place in the water is no longer occupied by anyone. Only four ships are left of the regular 12.
Most of the vegetable and fruit stalls were closed just weeks after the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, ordered the closure of the border with the neighboring islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.
"I'm leaving, it's not profitable," stated Angel Delgado at the end of January. Delgado is one of the four partners of the Freddymar, an old blue and red boat in which ten families make their livelihood.
Delgado has done well in a market where Venezuelan merchants have distributed tasty and colorful fruits and vegetables for more than 100 years.
The local population buy their products there at a very good price. Tourists, which are mainly Dutch, as Curaçao, which is autonomous, is still under the sovereignty of the European country, like to go to the market to take pictures. Many Venezuelans made a good living there.
Everyone was a winner. Or, at least, they used to be.
The closure is having consequences for the economy of Curaçao that go beyond the fruits and vegetables that the Venezuelan merchants are now forced to buy at a higher price from distributors in Colombia and the Dominican Republic.


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