Curacao to be "logistic hub" for aid to Venezuela

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The Dutch government plans to make Curacao the "logistic hub" for humanitarian aid to neighbor Venezuela, Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Aid said in a letter to parliament. Representatives of the Dutch government, in consultation with the government of Curacao, will agree with the request from interim Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó and the United States to do so, the Ministers wrote, NOS reports.

According to the Dutch government, it is crucial that the Venezuelan population have access to food and medicines, which are desperately needed there. Blok hopes that Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro will give permission for the aid. 

Maduro is currently using the refusal of aid as "an unsavory instrument" to put pressure on his own people. He calls it "terrible" that Maduro denies the problems in his country. The Dutch government is seriously concerned about the situation in Venezuela. "On an economic, social, humanitarian and political level, the country is slipping further and further away", the Ministers wrote. 

The Netherlands also wants free elections to be held in Venezuela as soon as possible. "That is also why we recognized Guaidó as interim president", Blok said. 

Venezuela has been in a deep political and economic crisis for months, with many of its residents facing starvation. Millions of people have already fled the country. The Netherlands is closely monitoring the situation in the country. Venezuela is close to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire and is the largest neighbor of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.