Blok: Venezuela elections will not be free and fair

ORANJESTAD - The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok spoke with Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes in Aruba on Monday about the developments in Venezuela. Blok is in Aruba in connection with the Kingdom Consultation of Foreign Affairs that takes place on Tuesday with prime ministers from Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten. There will be talks about a visa arrangement for Venezuelans for Aruba. Blok also spoke out about the upcoming parliamentary elections in Venezuela to be held in December. "We already know that they will not be free and fair," said the minister.

Wever-Croes emphasized that Aruba is close to Venezuela. "We feel the impact of the situation there very much in Aruba." Both ministers called the situation in Venezuela worrying. Aruba wants to open its borders to various Latin American countries as of December 1, but not to Venezuela. The spread of the corona virus is very large there. The country's dramatic financial situation only makes that crisis worse.

Despite strict control of the national borders, Curaçao and Aruba in particular have to deal with Venezuelans who want to come to the islands illegally by boat. On Sunday evening, the Coast Guard detained six Venezuelans who wanted to reach Aruba illegally. Blok further stated that Aruba itself has also been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. "It is important that we work together within the Kingdom to weather this crisis," said Blok.

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