Bodies of four Venezuelans wash ashore in Curacao
Four dead bodies were found on the north-east shore of Curaçao on Wednesday. The coast guard identified the bodies as two men and two women from Venezuela who tried to emmigrate without permission and reach Curaçao by boat. A family relative of the victims told the news agency Reuters that the boat they were traveling on was carrying too many people, and a big wave broke the boat in two.
The illegal crossing of the border by sea between Venezuela and Curaçao is a challenge many Venezuelans undertake in order to escape from the heavy economic crisis in their country. They head off on unsafe boats, looking for a better life, work or goods that are unavailable in Venezuela. Only last year 351 Venezuelans were intercepted on the island, and according to the coast guard, that group is just the tip of the iceberg. Authorities of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire are worried about a possible increase.
The accident happened right after Venezuelan president Maduro closed the borders with the Dutch Caribbean islands. The boycott was justified by Maduro's claim that many resources and goods are smuggled out of Venezuela to the islands where they are sold at open air black markets.
On Friday, Dutch and Venezuelan authorities will meet to discuss the embargo. According to Kingdom Affairs Secretary Raymond Knops, who was slated to visit the Dutch islands this week, the problems between the two countries should be solved quickly. "Obviously it's on the minister of Foreign Affairs, but I noticed the trouble caused by the embargo, and I hope that it can be solved soon", he said to Trouw.