Dutch–Venezuelan crisis of 1908

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Dutch–Venezuelan crisis
Jacob van Heemskerck (1906) a.jpg
The Dutch warship Jacob van Heemskerck
Date26 November 1908 - 23 December 1908 [1]
Result Dutch victory, overthrow of Cipriano Castro
 Venezuela Netherlands Netherlands
Commanders and leaders
Cipriano Castro
1 pantserschip (coastal defence ship)
2 protected cruisers

In 1908 a dispute broke out between the Netherlands and Venezuela when 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 - a pantserschip (coastal defence ship), the Jacob van Heemskerk, and two protected cruisers, the Gelderland and the Friesland. The Dutch warships had orders to intercept every ship that was sailing under the Venezuelan flag. On 12 December, the Gelderland captured the Venezuelan coast guard ship Alix off Puerto Cabello.[2] She and another ship the 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, General Castro left for Berlin, nominally for a surgical operation. In his absence, an uprising in Caracas overthrew his regime. This effectively ended the war with the Netherlands.