Published On: Mon, Aug 7th, 2017

Uprising Venezuela has consequences for Curaçao

Venezuela protestWILLEMSTAD - Curaçao is keeping a watchful eye on what is going on in neighboring Venezuela. The country is the third largest trading partner of the island, after the Netherlands and the U.S.

“The immediate consequences are to an increasing extent that Venezuelans are trying to reach our coast by the non-normal procedure," explains Miguel Goede, a political scientist in Curaçao. "They are picked up by the Coast Guard and returned immediately. Last week, the Prime Minister gave a press conference. He said, as long as there is no civil war, they are not treated as refugees.”

Economically, employment in Curaçao is dependent on the oil refinery that is in Venezuelan hands. “That contract they have to refine oil will end in 2019. Both parties have not extended, so Curaçao is already looking for a new partner. Curaçao has already been in close contact with China.”

“We are not allowed to do anything in the political arena. That is taken care of by the Kingdom,” says Goede. “We are the outer boundary of the Netherlands with Venezuela. This is entirely under the control of The Hague. According to Goede, there is regular contact with the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders.

Trump earlier threatened Venezuela with sanctions, but Goede doubted whether the US President would put this through because of the China and Russia. “Russia has ties with Venezuela. In order not to increase the tension between the other powers and the US, we do not think that the US is pursuing economic sanctions.”

By Noémi Prent

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