Share This Page

Flight ban to Aruba lifted

| Saturday, July 26, 2014, 6:09 p.m.

ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Three airlines serving major Venezuelan cities resumed flights to and from Aruba on Saturday, ending a brief suspension by the socialist dictatorship to protest the arrest of its designated consul to the island territory, the highest-ranking Caracas official ever detained on a U.S. warrant.

The lifting of the ban followed several hours of talks between Aruba Justice Minister Arthur Dowers and a representative of Venezuela's foreign affairs ministry, Dowers said.

The suspension of flights to and from Aruba and other Dutch Caribbean territories began on Friday afternoon when an Aruban judge ruled that Hugo Carvajal, the former head of Venezuelan military intelligence, must remain behind bars pending a U.S. extradition request on drug-trafficking charges.

The flight ban, which stranded about 500 travelers on the island, was considered an economic blow to Aruba.

Carvajal was arrested on Thursday as he arrived in Aruba. Venezuela protested the detention, citing diplomatic immunity.

Carvajal's surprise arrest has cast a spotlight on what's known in Venezuela as the “Cartel of the Suns,” referring to rogue, high-ranking military officers believed to have grown rich from drug-running. Top Venezuelan officers wear sun insignia on their uniforms.

President Nicolas Maduro had threatened to retaliate against Aruba, unless Carvajal is freed.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.