ORANJESTAD--Aruba early this week welcomed the first vessel with fruits, vegetables and other merchandise from Venezuela after several years of absence. The import from Venezuela will help to lower the cost of living in Aruba.
Aruba reopened the maritime border with Venezuela per May 1, opening up the possibilities of importing fruits, vegetables and other products from Venezuela at much lower prices than from the United States or Europe.
The captains of the two first vessels, Gaviota II and El Maracucho, said that it took them about 6.5 hours to reach Aruba. Gaviota II had some 50 tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables. El Maracucho carried close to 35 tonnes of mixed merchandise. The vessels will try to come every week.
Customs and Immigration awaited the arrival of the vessels, while several entrepreneurs were there to receive their goods. The owners of Al Jazar Trading and Fruteria Frangie said they were very happy to receive 40 tonnes of merchandise which they will be selling at their store and to restaurants at a much lower price than the Aruba people are used to.
An advantage is also that the goods from Venezuela that arrive on the vessels come in crates and boxes, and don’t have to be shipped in the more expensive containers, as is the case with products from Colombia, the US and Europe. The entrepreneurs said that their priority was that prices would go down because of the Venezuelan products.
Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes said that even though the process was a bit long, government was content that the first vessels from Venezuela started to arrive to enable the cheap import of fruits, vegetables, food products and construction material, which would help to bring down the very high cost of living in Aruba.