DUTCH VENEZUELAN TENSIONS EASED WITH RELEASE OF DIPLOMATPOSTED: 07/29/14 12:57 AM
ORANJESTAD – The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said that the Netherlands decided to release the Venezuelan General Hugo “Pollo” Carvajal, who was arrested in Aruba last Wednesday night, says a report in the Curacao Chronicle.
Through a statement, the Dutch Government finally recognized that Carvajal has diplomatic immunity because he was appointed Consul General of Venezuela in Aruba earlier this year, the paper reported. There were fears of a military confrontation between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Venezuela over the detention.
“The head of a consular mission was admitted on an interim basis and therefore the Kingdom of the Netherlands recognizes that these regulations apply to Mr. Carvajal Barrios,” a document sent by the Dutch embassy in Venezuela stated and was read by Jaua during the Third Congress of the PSUV.
According to the Foreign Minister, Carvajal is still not aware of the decision. The Venezuelan government is in contact with representatives and lawyers who are on the island.
The release took place yesterday evening, after Venezuelan President Maduro’s arrival on the island. He will be accompanied by the Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe, Calixto Ortega.
“It’s another victory for the dignity of Venezuela and the respect the world has for this country,” he concluded.
Earlier in the week President Maduro reportedly had threatened to retaliate against Aruba unless Carvajal is freed, adding that the arrest was an “ambush” and “kidnapping” that violates international law and Venezuelan sovereignty.
Venezuela did introduce a brief air travel ban for Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten and the BES (Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius) islands on Thursday and Friday but lifted it after a few hours.
The diplomat and former Head of Venezuelan Military Intelligence was arrested after arriving in Aruba on Thursday of last week. Carvajal was in the process of having his credentials accredited by the Netherlands in connection with the Venezuelan Consulate on Aruba. Due to his accreditation still pending, Carvajal did not enjoy internationally recognized diplomatic protocols. He was arrested and detained in Aruba on behalf of United States authorities with respect to drug trafficking charges.
The United States’ government would like Carvajal extradited to the US. On Friday a judge in Aruba ruled that the diplomat must remain in Police custody pending the extradition request.
According to reports coming out of Curacao, the Prime Minister Ivar Asjes has had two Council of Ministers meetings with stakeholders in preparation for possible actions from Venezuela that could impact Curacao. Measures are being taken to secure critical infrastructure such as fuel, water, and electricity. It has already been reported that four-months of fuel supply exist on the island.