Published On: Wed, Jul 19th, 2017

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Is THIS really what we want?

Oil RefineryIn article 1.4 of the Heads of Agreement (HoA), at least in the  “initialled Draft” of the HoA, but -rumour has it- the text has been copied in the signed version, in accordance with the initialled draft, it is literally stated that:

(1) GZE will grant access to Curaçao and to state-owned corporations of Curaçao, to make use of the deep seaport at Bullenbay;

(2) against payment to GZE of a fee for the right of use granted by GZE;

(3) but while retaining a priority right for such use of our deep seaport, which priority right is enforceable by GZE in favour of GZE.

Mind you: without  GZE ever having invested a single dime in the construction or the maintenance of the  infrastructure in the seaport, which is owned (at least at this moment is still owned) by Curaçao.

This implies that Curaçao and entities of Curaçao are being placed in the underdog position, since  Curaçao will have to pay a fee to a foreign entity to make use of its own natural resource, but at the same time it will be lined up in a waiting line of ships to enter the port in order to allow priority to the ships of said foreign entity. This really is ridiculous in the extreme, but it actually has been literally stated in article 1.4 on page 3 of the HoA.

The undersigned would like to be informed by the government (and with her would many others) how the text of this article has been inserted in article 1.4 on page 3 of the signed version of the HoA.  TRANSPARENCY, isn't it?

Even PDVSA never required the above arrangement ever from us. And why should the commercial operation of our deep seaport be put in the hands of a foreign entity, whereas CPA (i.e. Curaçao Ports Authority) possesses more than enough experience and know-how regarding the commercial operation of all the ports of Curaçao and would then be able to collect the fees due for the benefit of the Curaçao Treasury. ---->Rhetorical question !

Is this really what we want? Or is this scenario forced down our throat, against every better judgment?

By Marguérite Nahar

Juriste Marguérite Nahar was, until mid-October, external legal adviser to Refineria di Korsou (RdK)

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