Published On: Thu, Jan 11th, 2018

Reality, what a concept!

P1060407In view of the ongoing (and undoubtedly soon to be intensified) discussions and predicament regarding GZE, MDPT and the ‘peculiar’ happenings with regard to the Isla Refinery issues, with now also a Venezuelan twist as subtle as a guillotine at a circumcision, I felt the urge to drop a few thoughts and opinions: Now that Pandora’s box re MDPT is opened, only now suddenly it dawns on you!?

John Wayne once said ‘Deaf, dumb, blind AND stupid is no way to go through life, son!”. I would suggest to now jump to today’s Cft warning shot to Curaçao regarding the financial shambles, and the dire consequences of the Central Bank prediction of 0,3% economic ‘growth’ (sic) for 2018.

In avid continuance of the 20 year trend of lack of economic growth for Curaçao, drastically increasing unemployment forecasts for 2018 following already drastic increases in 2017; disproportionally rising crime; rising need for public/affordable housing (remember that FKP waiting list of over 8.000?!); the looming further financial woes of the new Hospital and shortfalls in SVB coverage; the steadily dropping tourism stats and lack of new investments, to name just a few (aside from the probable imploding of the refinery activities on 31 December 2019 and the offshore sector as well!)

I wonder… I wonder, what the situation would have looked like for Curaçao now, had not for over twenty years, through the EOP zoning plan (Eilandelijk Ontwikkelings Plan, red.), all residential, agricultural, tourism, recreational, conservational and other economic development on 10 percent of Curaçao, where 15.000 jobs as were predicted (by Government studies, mind you!) to be created, been actively and vehemently blocked and to the present day continues to be opposed by a select handful of (ongoing Government subsidized!) gaggle of fanatics with hidden agendas, notwithstanding three Court verdicts and numerous studies and reports supporting said developments, having already led to damage claims and costs of almost 30 million guilders being awarded, incurred by a perennially broke Government?!

Would this island be in the same financial disaster we are in now, with even more of the same looming, had for instance, the Atlantis Resort been developed on Oostpunt as originally intended, instead of it being actively chased away to the Bahamas, in 1995?

A wise man once said ‘Curaçao is the only place we spend 10 million to promote development and then 20 million to block it!’. Think about all the time, effort and potential that was wasted on the alternative fiascos that for years successive Governments held up as solutions to a starving economy, and the money wasted therein. HNO (Hospital Nobo Otrobanda); Curaçao Space Port; ALM/DCA, ss KARLA OMAYRA, BOO/Irup, MDPT and GZE to revive the refinery; Curaçao Winery; Curaçao Drydock; Insel … and the looming further issues with Venezuela, to name but a few.

All these projects and incentives, with Government participation and/or funds, were touted as the cure-all solutions for the economic slump. How’s that working out for ya’ll now anno 2018? I hope all those responsible for this situation will stand up and be recognized, or be otherwise identified, and ultimately be held politically, personally and financially accountable for the disastrous predicament this island is in. I doubt it, regrettably.

I believe there is still hope for this island, although many have already thrown in the towel. I will not. I believe there is still much untapped potential here, for Curaçao to be (again) a thriving successful and financially stable country with a well-developed, diverse economy and wellbeing for all. I truly believe that with relatively little effort, (certainly less effort it took a succession of incompetents to muck it up these past few decades!) Curaçao can in a few years (again) be the best island in this hemisphere.

I have to, otherwise I could just as well lay down and be counted as so many others chose to. We have to keep pushing for progress and improvement, and realize that continuing the failed trends, efforts and ways of the past, will lead to Curaçao being left without even a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of! Untill the next time I feel the urge to cast some pearls! Bon Aña!

Willy Maal,

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