“There was no coup attempt in Venezuela,” said Dutch minister of foreign affairs

THE HAGUE - According to the Kingdom’s minister of foreign affairs, Stef Blok, there has been no coup attempt in Venezuela. The minister’s statement contrasts the one made by the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the media in the South American country.

In the run-up to the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union on Monday, various parties in the Dutch parliament asked for a response to the latest developments in Venezuela. The commitment of the government and also of the International Contact Group (ICG) remains a peaceful solution, preferably through negotiations, Blok makes clear. But Maduro has not yet given any signs of being open to it.

"An improvement in the situation does not seem to be in sight," said Blok in a letter to the Dutch MPs.

Regarding the alleged coup attempt, which, by the way is only called so by the SP party, Blok writes: "On April 30, interim president Guaidó called for a mobilization of the Venezuelan people and army. The massive rise of the people shows how strong the need is for a peaceful political solution to the current crisis."

On the other hand, the minister must admit that "massive support from the army" is not being given to Guaidó, but he does think that there are cracks in the relationship between the army and the Maduro regime. There is no question of military intervention by the United States, he emphasizes. "The Pentagon recently stated that no orders were given to prepare a military option."

The Netherlands continues to search within the ICG for a way out of the impasse. At the ICG meeting last week, the Netherlands again argued for "maintaining the humanitarian track". Ultimately, ICG efforts must lead to new and free presidential elections.

Blok also says in his answers that the government is against economic sanctions:

"The point of departure for the government remains that the Venezuelan population must not suffer from sanctions. The EU has therefore opted for a targeted sanction regime consisting of an arms embargo and personal sanctions against high-ranking Venezuelans guilty of undermining democracy and human rights violations."

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