Published On: Mon, May 6th, 2013

My country Curacao – Death of a Politician

My country CuracaoThe liquidation of Curaçao’s popular local leader Helmin Wiels has pulled a black blanket over Curacao’s normal blue skies. The two stars in the Curaçao flag have changed to tombstones. The tall star stands for the poor he so well represented and the small one belongs to him. Both were silenced by bullets. The people behind this senseless murder will soon realize that one murder doesn’t kill a cause. Far from it, Helmin Wiels who had changed his strategy from being a tactless bawler had converted into a sharp politician recently, gained momentum and followers. He exchanged inflammatory rhetoric to better balanced conversations speeches and discussions. I know. Almost weekly I exchanged some words with him.

I had the pleasure of knowing him personally from the many meetings we had after the 6:00 AM Sunday mass on the church square in front of the Curaçao Cathedral. Often I would chastise him with a sound bite or criticize him about something. Usually he would let it slide by unless I mentioned job creation or the suffering of the poor. That piqued his curiosity. “Ki bo di doktèr”?. “What did you say doctor?’, joking that because I always wore a white wayabera to church, I had to be a MD. We sometimes went for breakfast after mass. I always found him open for discussion albeit, we seldom agreed. He was a funny man. He had great admiration for Alberto João Jardim of Madeira. He spoke excellent Portuguese, knew Madeira well and recommended even Madeirenses, who he described as friendly, polite, hospitable and hard working. “Just like us”, he would grin. He was convincing enough to tell the locals where to eat when holidaying in Madeira. He was savvy. He had a lot of knowledge about many subjects. He exuded confidence when you talked tête-à-tête with him.

We had one cause in common. Jobs. He knew that my pet-talk was GreenTown and that we had developed an effective, fast and efficient way to kill more birds with one stone. In the first place, GreenTown would propel Curaçao into the next century, create and increase jobs and we would forever get rid of air pollution. Helmin on the other hand wanted to introduce his 80/20 law to secure his people jobs and save the 900 jobs that would get lost when the Isla closed. These passionate discussions once drew the attention of the cathedral’s pastor who came out to ask us if we were the same two men who had received Holy Communion less than 15 minutes ago. We understood his message and started to listen to each other. He told me that he could only support the GreenTown plan if we could save at least 90% of the job losses. I obliged and came up with such a plan, but too late to present and discuss it with him. It is exactly for this reason, job security that I am in Holland at the time of his murder.

He liked it when GreenTown made their plans known for the first time by giving our first color brochure in Papiamentu to the well know ‘Zus di Plasa’. When I offered him one later he told me he already had one. Someone had brought it to him. He had his fingers on the pulse of Curaçao and knew exactly what was going on.

I will miss him. I will miss the sometimes deliberately sought out controversies by him. He loved a debate. He had the potential to grow into the best leader Curaçao had ever had. He had his heart on the right place. The hierarchy of Pueblo Soberano will make a big mistake to try to fill Helmin’s shoes from somebody out of his ranks and files. Only a person who will come up for the poor, the poverty-stricken and the weak might be able to replace him.

Helmin, you will be remembered every time someone mentions the words Soberano, Sovereignty, Independence, 80/20 and jobs. Rest peacefully while I assure you that we will take care of that last wish of yours. Jobs, these jobs will be offered under the 80/20 law and created in your memory.

Rest in peace Helmin Wiels

By Andres Casimiri (Green Town)

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