Venezuela lifts border blockade after visit by Blok

After visiting St Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao and Colombia, foreign minister Stef Blok continued on to the of Venezuelan capital Caracas. There, he signed an agreement with Executive Vice President Tareck El Aissami and Vice President for the Economic Area Wilmar Castro Soteldo on the lifting of the border blockade imposed by Venezuela earlier this year. 

The lifting of the blockade should restore trade and communications between Venezuela and, in particular, Aruba and Curaçao. The countries have also agreed to actively combat smuggling on these routes. The border blockade was one of the main issues in Mr Blok’s talks with the prime ministers of the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

‘Thanks to the efforts of our diplomatic network, I’ve been able to lift the blockade,’ the minister said. ‘That’s good news for the Caribbean region and for relations with our neighbour.’ Mr Blok had already spoken with his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza by telephone before his departure. The two men had agreed to seek a rapid solution.

Diplomatic contacts between Venezuela and the Kingdom intensified in recent days, making it possible for Mr Blok to visit Caracas to sign the agreement on lifting the blockade. In his meeting with the Venezuelan authorities the minister also discussed the current situation in Venezuela.