Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

Zero requests for asylum from Venezuelans

Cornelius de Weever - 20180223 HH

PHILIPSBURG – While the French side of the island already saw an influx of refugees from Venezuela back in 2016, Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said on Wednesday that no requests for asylum had come across his desk from that corner so far.

De Weever reflected on his meeting with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok and the Prime Ministers of Aruba and Curacao to discuss the situation in Venezuela. “The situation is a lot different for them than it is for St. Maarten,” he said, before referring to Prime Minister Marlin-Romeo for further elucidation.

“We do not have an amnesty or asylum law,” the Prime Minister noted. “We also haven’t seen the challenges that might be alarming at the French side but we are monitoring the situation. From the talks with the prime ministers of Curacao and Aruba it appears that their challenges are completely different from those in St. Maarten. They’ve had a long-term relationship with Venezuela and it is good to see from the talks we had with Minister Blok that those relationships will be repaired and that the blockade will be lifted.”

Leona Marlin-Romeo - 20180208 HHMarlin-Romeo repeated that the government “hasn’t seen anything suggesting that we need to be alarmed.”

With some reluctance, the Prime Minister presented a comment she had heard about the situation: “Post-Irma we haven’t seen much of that group on the Dutch side. Perhaps St. Maarten is not attractive for that group of persons at the current time. Again, we are monitoring the situation and should it become a concern than I am sure that the Minister of Justice will do whatever is necessary to ensure that proper procedures are followed.”

Photo caption: Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever. Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo. Photos by Hilbert Haar.