From Sunday, June 14th to Saturday the 20th, Venezuelan and Dutch navies will hold the 3rd Operation Venhol Open Eyes 2009. The announcement was made by the western zone Commander of the Bolivarian National Navy, Rear-Admiral Jose Avelino Goncalves.
The commander stated that the operation’s purpose is to “strengthen links of cooperation and friendship between both navies and also to train to combat illicit activities on the seas, such as trafficking in contraband, narcotics, and humans.”
Goncalves said the exercises will be held in Venezuelan and Dutch waters from Tuesday June 16th to Thursday, the 18th. “These are helicopter, electronic warfare, anti-submarine, anti-aircraft, and surface exercises. These are purely naval and security matters that, like the neighbors we are, we need to have ready in case an incident were to occur.”
The commander emphasized that among the most important parts of the operation were action capacity combined with search and rescue (SAR), in accordance with the procedures established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
He also announced that this year the maneuvers will have a new social operation to bring medical assistance on Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th in Curacao, northeast of Venezuela.
“That weekend the doctors of the Naval Hospital will volunteer their services in dentistry, ophthalmology, gynecology, pediatrics, and general medicine to Venezuelan citizens who are on the island and to the people from Curacao who wish to be seen by Venezuelan doctors,” he added.
For the first time, frigates of both nations will be open to the public on Monday the 15th in the port of Guaranao in Punto Fijo (central north coast). “In this way, we will give a social character to a military operation.”
Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN), Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States / June 12, 2009