Venezuela Shuts Border With Neighbouring Islands - Vice President

© AP Photo / Leslie MazochVenezuelan Navy war ships General Soublette, right, and Admirante Brion, left, anchor off Isla de Aves
Venezuelan Navy war ships General Soublette, right, and Admirante Brion, left, anchor off Isla de Aves - Sputnik International
On 19 February, the Latin American country's regional military chief announced the closure of the Venezuelan maritime border with the Dutch Caribbean.

Venezuela will close the border with neighboring island nations, suspend air traffic and revise their diplomatic ties, its Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said Wednesday after the Caribbean island of Curacao agreed to act as a hub for relief aid shipments.

"Venezuela has decided not only to shut the border but also to revise relations with these countries. These measures will be in place until their governments start following and respecting international laws," she said at a press conference broadcast by the state television.

Earlier in the day, the Reuters news agency reports, citing a regional military commander that Venezuela's government had reopened its national maritime border with the Dutch Antilles islands following its closure on Tuesday.

READ MORE: US Threats to Venezuelan Military Violate UN Charter — Lavrov

This comes after Venezuela's regional military chief said on Tuesday that he had ordered the closure of the Venezuelan maritime border with the Dutch Antilles islands. The move was made amid Dutch plans to open a logistical hub for humanitarian aid on the island of Curacao, however, the exact reasons behind Caracas' decision to close the border remain unclear.

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro refused to accept US aid that is currently waiting in Colombia, blasting it as a ploy to topple his government.

Venezuela is in the midst of a political crisis, which escalated in late January when Venezuelan opposition parliamentary speaker Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, disputing last year's re-election of Maduro.

Guaido was recognised by the United States and a number of other countries. At the same time, Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey and Uruguay were among those that voiced their support for Maduro as the country's legitimately elected president.

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