Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that he wants to re-establish ties with Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire.
According to him, Venezuela regards the population of the three islands as “brothers and sisters”. There is “a lot of love between the countries,” said Maduro. The president has mandated his staff to re-establish ties in communications, transportation, trade and culture, he said at an international press conference in Caracas.
Maduro gave that assignment after Robert Schuddeboom offered his credentials on Tuesday as the new Dutch ambassador to Venezuela. According to Maduro, he said that the problems with the Antillean islands must be resolved and relations improved.
Relations between Caracas and the islands have cooled down for some time. Even before the start of the corona crisis, there was hardly any air and shipping traffic between Venezuela and the ABC islands.
In February last year, the Netherlands recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the leader of Venezuela after Maduro was accused of fraud in the previous presidential election.
But according to Maduro, the real reason for the break lies with the US special envoy to Venezuela and Iran, Eliott Abrams. According to Maduro, this has driven a wedge between Venezuela and the Antillean islands. And he now wants to repair that break, he said to a question from a Curaçao journalist.