Latinization of Curacao
High emotions filled 10-10-10-autonomy expectations. "Freedom at last, delivered from slavery, liberation from colonial oppression.” Political leader Helmien Wiels ---as Moses, divinely anointed---" was leading his People to the Promised Land.” Finally after centuries of sufferings, there would be social, racial and economic justice. All secret and open meddling by The Hague in all matters of life would come to an end, once and for all.
Autonomy was not enough for many, and a loud clamoring for Independence of a sovereign island people was heard. Political rhetoric called for ethnic cleansing! Bombastic threats over the airwaves announced the return of white Dutchmen in body bags.
Euphoria filled Chambers and Corridors of Government. Five Prime Ministers in five years, all armed with a magic wand, had to materialize utopia out of thin air. Seven Ministers of Education would instantly bestow urgently needed academic sophistication on failing students. A newly created parliament disintegrated after only a short while and regrouped somewhat into non-transparent alliances of tiny factions.
Exuberance and intoxication may have built a wild party but did not produce growth of island economy, security for citizens, or deliverance from a society of deeply ingrained corruption. The parental void left by The Hague’s withdrawal was quickly filled with opportunism and usury by organized crime, which ruthlessly recolonized the island.
The big question remains, where goes Curacao from here? What will the island become in another five years from 10-10-15? If we are to believe the present Prime Minister, Ben Whiteman, the island is preparing for a massive influx of Venezuelans, fleeing from the collapsing Bolivarian revolution. The European refugee crisis is teaching us how difficult it is to manage mass migrations. If the migration materializes, the island may be in for a big surprise.
Political leaders often quoted a doubling of the island population as a means to reach economy-of-scale and thus a more viable and attractive wealth level. But also, a massive influx of Latinos would change the cultural and Afro-Caribbean makeup of the island population dramatically. That would mean de facto a re-colonialization, this time not by the hatedDutch butby equally hated Hispanics; so much for Independence or autonomy.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion Columnist for Curaçao Chronicle