Published On: Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013

Asjes: ‘MoU signed by former Prime Minister Hodge with Venezuela is illegal’

Prime MinisterWILLEMSTAD – Prime Minister of Curacao, Ivar Asjes emphatically declared yesterday during the Parliament meeting that the recent MoU between Curacao and Venezuela signed by the former Prime Minister Daniel Hodge, who was appointed by Asjes’ own party, and the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, does not have any legal base and is therefore illegal.

The MoU which was signed by the Dutch Kingdom and the Government of Venezuela is one of the first documents Asjes requested after he was sworn in last June. The MoU was signed “in a rush” on June 3, 2013 by the current leader of the political party PAR and former Prime Minister of Curacao, Mr. Daniel Hodge.

Now the question is if the MoU is legal. The answer, according to Premier Asjes is no. “Just as there was a PAR leader who in 2005 signed a contract for the exploration of oil without authorization, just as it happened on June 3 of this year. The MoU was signed for Curacao without authorization. This makes the MoU nonexistent for Curacao,” Asjes indicated.

“In the new situation, in which Curacao has a country status, they want to go back to the ‘public entity’ in the Kingdom, which is something like the BES islands, but we are not BES. We have to stand strong.” Asjes said.

When the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans was in Curacao, the member of Parliament, Glenn Sulvaran indicated that he has doubts about the legality of the MoU and if it was signed according to the Statutes of the Kingdom. Minister Timmermans immediately said that it was not the intention to mingle with Curacao’s internal affairs. Asjes said that he hopes that this issue is now clear for everyone. The MoU which was not signed with any authorization is not legal.

Prime Minister Ivar Asjes indicated that the future of the oil refinery is an internal affair. The energy and economic sectors are internal and autonomous affairs of Curacao. Asjes is pleased that the Dutch Government agrees with him.

The Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk has told the Dutch Parliament on numerous occasion that the Refinery is an autonomous affair for Curacao. When Curacao deems necessary, they will request assistance from the Netherlands.

Cabinet Asjes did not request assistance from the Dutch Government neither the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to talk to any Venezuelan Minister.

Currently Curacao is talking about negotiation a new contract which has more benefits for Curacao. Now Curacao is leasing the refinery to PDVSA and in the new situation the Government is opting for a sort of joint venture. The current reserves of the public entity Curacao Refinery (RdK) are 140 million guilders. These reserves are not destined to be uses as investment to modernize the refinery.

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