THE HAGUE – The Socialist Party (SP) is asking for clarity on the role of the Dutch Navy ship Zr. Ms. Karel Doorman currently visiting the Dutch Caribbean.
Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Sadet Karabulut (SP) submitted a number of written questions to Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten and Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok on Thursday.
Karabulut wanted to know why the Navy ship is assisting with maritime border control near Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. “What is the objective of this border control and for how long does this last?”
Zr. Ms Karel Doorman, the largest in the Dutch Navy fleet, arrived in St. Maarten last week Friday and arrived in Curaçao earlier this week.
Karabulut asked why the assistance of the support and provision ship was needed when the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the patrol ship Zr. Ms. Zeeland were already patrolling the seas. “Can you indicate why the Coast Guard cannot manage on its own and why is the deployment of Zr. Ms. Zeeland not sufficient as additional support?”
She wanted to know whether Zr. Ms. Karel Doorman would be participating in existing anti-narcotics operations against Venezuela. “Based on what analysis is it necessary to deploy the ship in anti-narcotics operations?”
Karabulut asked the Ministers to provide clarity on the tasks and the planning of Zr. Ms. Karel Doorman while the ship is in the Caribbean. “Can you indicate whether it has more tasks aside from the one that has been announced?” According to Dutch Defence, the ship will remain in the Leeward Islands for a while, and will be deployed for Coast Guard tasks, including possible drug patrols.
She further had questions about the call of the former United Nations (UN) Chief Jan Egeland to temporarily lift the international sanctions against a number of countries, including Venezuela, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Egeland on Tuesday asked to release Venezuelan funds at the banks in the United Kingdom, the United States and Portugal.
According to a Reuters report, Venezuela has asked the Bank of England to sell a part of its gold reserves. The profits of this sale, through the UN, should be invested in combating COVID-19 in Venezuela. Part of the Venezuela Central Bank’s gold reserves are kept at the Bank of England. The bank refuses to transfer the 31 tonnes of gold to the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
Karabulut asked Ministers Bijleveld-Schouten and Blok whether they agreed with Egeland’s view that continued sanctions under these circumstances would further deteriorate the situation of the Venezuela people. “Are you willing to respond positively to Egeland’s call?”