I get it. On your watch 85% of your population now lives in poverty, you have the highest inflation and second highest homicide rate in the world. Thousands are fleeing, you’ve been kicked out of Mercosur and your Beijing friends are refusing to lend you more money – a sign that even they are fed up. Your approval rating hovers around 20 percent and you know you will never measure up to your predecessor who recommended you for President of Venezuela. I get it. Drastic measures need to be taken.
And, that’s exactly what Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, did. Not by trying to heal his self-inflicted wounds but, by announcing a 72-hour closure of the border with the ABC islands (Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire). He called these islands “mafias who are waging war on our electricity, and stealing our copper and gold”. The ABC have a combined population of 300,000 whilst that of Venezuela is 32 million.
I will not accept this moronic ploy of Mr. Maduro to hide his ineptitude to create a situation where human dignity and democracy can be restored in Venezuela. Further, what kind of moral authority does this president who has been accused for crimes against humanity have to call our islands ‘mafia’? I can guarantee him that the boats arriving here illegally from Venezuela do nor carry contraband gold and copper, but hundreds of hungry and hapless Venezuelans fleeing food shortages and abysmal poverty in Venezuela.
That is not to say that there is no contraband between his country and the ABC. However, in order to resolve these issues I recommend Mr. Maduro to put on his big boy pants and start a constructive dialogue with the ABC in order to seek durable solutions. Curaçao is ready to discuss with Venezuela. That is, whenever the Venezuelan President is done with his favorite entertainment, playing the blame game.