Declaration of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the bilateral relationship with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The Governments of the Kingdom of the Netherlands deeply regret the unilateral decision of the Venezuelan government to close the borders with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire on January 5th. Venezuela has done so in response to smuggling practices that would take place from Venezuela through the islands.
As a result, the Kingdom and Venezuela had extensive contacts about a joint approach to cross-border crime including smuggling. On January 12th, constructive talks took place between the Kingdom and Venezuela on Aruba, and both parties agreed on the necessary approach to smuggling, among other things by intensifying customs cooperation. The Kingdom has already started implementing some of the measures to combat smuggling.
A rapid normalization of relations between the two neighbouring countries is in the interest of the Kingdom and Venezuela. This fits with the close historical and cultural ties between the Venezuelan people and those of the overseas countries and territories of the Kingdom. The Kingdom therefore calls on the Venezuelan authorities to formally agree with the agreements made on January 12th on Aruba so that the borders between the two countries can reopen again and the smuggling, the reason for the border closure, can be tackled together in an effective way.