ORANJESTAD - Reports have been published in recent days that Aruba will open the borders with Venezuela. Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes denied this during a press conference on Monday morning.
In February Venezuela unilaterally closed the borders with Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, and on 10 May, after Venezuela announced that it would open the border with Aruba, Aruba immediately closed the border again. This decision was prompted by the growing problem with mass migration in Aruba, and because the border with Bonaire and Curacao was not opened.
The government of Aruba is aware of the fact that the border with Venezuela cannot be kept endlessly closed, and therefore takes precautions to introduce an ESTA when the time comes. Anyone who wants to travel from Venezuela to Aruba must then apply for an ESTA online, similar to the American ESTA. In this way it is better to check who and how many people from Venezuela enter Aruba.
Work is now being done on legislation and on the automated system. The preparations are expected to take another two months. As long as the ESTA is not ready, the border cannot open. Aruba has also requested to introduce a visa requirement, and the necessary preparations are being made in the Netherlands.
The Government of Aruba has received a request from Aruba Airlines for an exception to fly flights from Venezuela to the US with transit flights via Aruba. Aruba Airlines fears that the company will have to close, and this means that 200 people will lose their jobs, and a poorer connection between the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. The Government of Aruba is therefore very concerned and is looking for ways to prevent the closure of the company. A similar request has been made by the company that operates the small airport, with private flights.
The Government of Aruba is considering both requests but will NOT open the border with Venezuela. Exceptions to the border closure cannot simply be given, and the Government therefore takes the necessary care.
The impact of the Venezuela crisis in Aruba is serious, which is why the Government of Aruba cannot open the borders with Venezuela, said Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes.