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Dutch-Venezuelan warEdit

Dutch–Venezuelan war
The Dutch warship Jacob van Heemskerck
Date26 November 1908 - 23 December 1908 [1]
Result Dutch victory, overthrow of Cipriano Castro
  Venezuela   Netherlands
Commanders and leaders
Cipriano Castro
1 pantserschip (coastal defence ship)
2 protected cruisers

The Dutch–Venezuelan crisis of 1908 was a dispute that broke out between the Netherlands and Venezuela after the Venezuelan president, Cipriano Castro, cut off trade with the Dutch island of Curaçao on the grounds that it was harbouring political refugees from Venezuela.

Venezuela expelled the Dutch ambassador, prompting a Dutch dispatch of three warships - the pantserschip (coastal defence ship) Jacob van Heemskerck and the two protected cruisers, Gelderland and Friesland. The Dutch warships had orders to intercept every ship that was sailing under the Venezuelan flag. On 12 December, Gelderland captured the Venezuelan coast guard ship Alix off Puerto Cabello.[2] She and another ship, 23 de Mayo, were interned in harbor of Willemstad. With their overwhelming naval superiority, the Dutch enforced a blockade on Venezuela's ports.

A few days later, President Castro left for Berlin, nominally for a surgical operation. In his absence, Vice President Juan Vicente Gómez with the support of the U.S. Navy seized power in Caracas and on 19 December 1908 installed Gómez himself as de facto president,[3] and ended the war with the Netherlands.


  1. ^ Politieke geschiedenis: Bijna-oorlog met Venezuela (in Dutch)
  2. ^ New York Times, 14 December 1908, Dutch at war with Venezuela
  3. ^ McBeth, B. S. (2001). Gunboats, Corruption, and Claims: Foreign Intervention in Venezuela, 1899–1900. Santa Barbara: Greenwood. pp. 213–14. ISBN 9780313313561.