Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

Reality check

Jacob Gelt DekkerIn last week’s episode of Curacao’s summer tragicomedy, Public Prosecutor Gerrit Rip did not metamorphose into a Hercules, who cleaned out the Antillean Augias stables from 30 years of dung. Rip hardly produced a cleansing trickle that only flushed out three local hoodlums, amoral sociopaths with rap sheets as thick as a Bible. Alleged Wiels-murder instigators were reunited with their loved ones and return into the bosom of their caring families. Considering the enormous amount of public money spent on this summer- spectacle, it turned into a flop, so far as so often with festivals, and again, millions went down the drain.

The audience, saddened by the failure of high expectations is still counting on extra judicial executions and two local gangs, ‘No Limit Soldiers’ and the ‘New York Yankees’, are elbowing into position to accommodate.

For the rest, there is nothing much new from the West. Life goes on as before. Official trade and commerce are at an all time low, but the shadow economy is thriving as never before. The administration still suffers from the slow creep of complacency, whereas ambitious politicians try to make a little headway; business as usual

After a local education razzia—no pun intended in relation to Ghazia--- the local best and brightest youth were shipped off, plane loads full, to enforce the ranks of the Antillean intellectuals in the Netherlands, from where they only return on holidays, for family visits and during vacations. The exiled population with one leg in the Caribbean and one in Europe has grown so explosively that KLM-airlines decided to expand its weekly capacity from Amsterdam to the island to 10 flights, at deep discounted fares, and that may even encourage slackening tourism statistics a little.

After nearly 10 years of heavy negotiations with Jet Blue, the Minister of Economic Affairs signed a deal, and non-stop flights from JFK- New York will resume within a few months. Whether this creates a new gateway for Antilleans on vacation to the Big Apple, or Americans to the tropical islands, is to be seen.

But there is more news, shining brightly at the end of summer recess tunnel. For low producing unemployed, a long dormant law---the Bion law--was activated, effectively lowering hiring costs with 20%. And a bilateral trade agreement with neighbor country Colombia was finally signed in Bogota.

If Curacao can follow in the wake of the USA, and decriminalize soft drugs in the near future, it could also free itself from pest of wasteful law enforcement and concentrate on the real pirates of the Caribbean.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker. Columnist for Curacao Chronicle

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