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Venezuela Reopens Air, Sea Links to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao After Three Months

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CARACAS — Venezuela today reopened air and sea links to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, three months after cutting them off in an attempt to curb smuggling.

The move is a welcome relief to those in Venezuela who can afford to fly out, after Copa, one of the last major airlines still operating in the OPEC nation, was forced by authorities to suspend services last week.

The majority of international airlines have pulled out of the crisis-hit country over the last few years, citing economic and security concerns.

An Aruba Airlines plane took off from Valencia airport, some 93 miles (150 km) from Caracas, on Monday morning on its way to the Aruban capital of Oranjestad.

Transport Minister Carlos Osorio announced the reopening of links from the runway.

Panama’s Copa, a major regional carrier, was included in a list of companies with which the Venezuelan government broke economic relations last week.

Venezuelan authorities cited alleged money laundering by Panamanian officials and companies, prompting both countries to recall their ambassadors.

(REUTERS)

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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