Venezuela shuts maritime border with Dutch Caribbean islands

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Venezuela shuts maritime border with Dutch Caribbean islands
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez (R) mans a Russian-made 9K338 Igla
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao, Feb. 20, CMC – Venezuela has shut the maritime border with the nearby Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao in an effort to prevent opposition leader Juan Guaido from trying to bring humanitarian aid from foreign territories.

Vice Admiral Vladimir Quintero, who heads a military unit in the Venezuelan coastal state of Falon, said the closure blocks movement of boats and aircraft between the western coast of the South American country and the islands.

The government of Curacao which has agreed to receive aid for Venezuela without being involved in its delivery, said in a statement that the closure was meant “to prevent humanitarian aid from getting in.”

“Curacao will not force in the aid, but it will continue to function as a logistical center,” it said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C), First Lady Cilia Flores (L) and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino (R).

The United States has sent tons of aid to Colombia’s border with Venezuela.

Maduro has mocked the effort as a “cheap show” by the United States, insisting Washington should help his government by lifting crippling oil sector sanctions.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino in a televised broadcast on Tuesday said Venezuelan troops would remain stationed along the country’s borders to prevent territorial violations.

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