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Maduro: Minerals are being smuggled via ABC islands

Staff Writer | January 9, 2018
Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami stated that President Nicolas Maduro has suspended air and sea traffic as well as trade with the following Caribbean countries: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.
Nicolas Maduro
LatAm   Venezuela suspends air and sea traffic
The VP made the remarks in a series of social media posts to his Twitter account late Monday, explaining that the South American country will uphold the decision until high-level talks are held with the nations involved, Telesur reported.

El Aissami added that the necessary strategies should be put in place to combat “the mafias that steal our assets, and smuggle with impunity strategic materials, which severely affect the services and quality of life” of the Venezuelan people.

The ABC islands, as the trio are known, are supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables by Venezuela. The goods are usually transported by small boats from the Venezuelan coast.

Maduro earlier stated that Venezuelan gold, silver and copper are being smuggled out of the country via the islands. The Curaçao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaat said the statement was "incomprehensible."

“The Coast Guard of Curaçao cooperates with the Venezuelan Coast Guard and holds joint exercises to combat cross-border crime,” Rhuggenaat elaborated.