11:23 GMT08 July 2020
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    Venezuelan maritime border with Dutch Caribbean has been closed, regional Venezuelan military chef said.

    Venezuela's regional military chief said on Tuesday that he had ordered the closure of Venezuelan maritime border with Dutch Antilles Islands, Reuters reported.

    The border closure suspends sailing and flights from Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire, the outlet said, quoting Vice Admiral Quintero Martinez.

    A military source confirmed to Sputnik that the Venezuelan government decided on Tuesday to close maritime and air borders with Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao amid the ongoing political crisis in the country.

    "In accordance with instructions of the Supreme Command, captain of the ports in the state of Falcon Jose Goncalvez and head of the customs service of [the city of] Las Piedras Eduardo Gallardo were informed about closure of maritime and air border of the state with ABC islands [Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao]," the source said.

    Exact reasons for the Venezuelan decision to close the borders with the Dutch Antilles remain unknown but it was made amid the Dutch plans to open a logistical hub for humanitarian aid on the island of Curacao.

    Venezuela is currently in a state of political crisis, which escalated in late January when Venezuelan opposition parliament speaker Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, disputing last year's re-election of Maduro. Guaido was recognized by the United States and a number of other countries. Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey and Uruguay on the other hand were among those that voiced their support for Maduro as the country's legitimately elected president.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Pins Responsibility for Any Breach of Peace on Trump — Caracas

    On Monday, Trump called on Venezuelan military officers to not follow orders of President Nicolas Maduro to block the humanitarian aid deliveries to the country. Trump called on Venezuelan officials and military officers to accept the offer of amnesty made by the opposition leader. The US leader added that Washington is seeking a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but "all options" remain open.

    President Nicolas Maduro government had refused to take in the aid thus far, saying it could justify foreign interference in the country's domestic affairs.


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