Published On: Fri, Jul 14th, 2017

A Prime Minister

dekker_0On a little island in the Caribbean lived a Prime Minister all by himself. I decided to go and pay him a visit. Anchoring my boat was a bit complicated since this little island did not have any protected bays and hardly any shallow grounds. With a few extra lines to shore, I was hopeful that the boat would be stable for a few hours and dinghied ashore.

The Prime Minister’s office was directly at the little beach where I landed. He was sitting behind a large desk, needly decorated with his island flag and my flag, as a courtesy to me, the foreign visitor. I stood to attention and crossed my heart when his and my national anthem blasted out of several crackling loudspeakers, placed along the beach and around his residence-office.

“Your Excellency, thank you for being so kind to receive me. You must be very busy with your island. ”

“Yes, I am also lucky that there are no people on my island. You know, people are not like plants; they have no roots. Today they are here, and tomorrow they are gone. We can never count on people, but the ocean is always here.

My island is a rock in the ocean. Where land meets water, an enormous amount of problems needs to be taken care off. I made contingency plans for hurricanes, mudslides, flooding, tidal waves and all other natural disasters. We are even ready for mosquito invasions from the Orinoco, transatlantic sand storms from the Sahara. We have been warned that the ice cap of the North Pole is breaking up and a collision between drifting icebergs and our island is possible.

Last week, I spotted a swarm of flamingoes circling the island. They tried landing here and maybe even nesting. That could have an enormous impact on our flora and fauna.

Our evacuation plans are all current and updated.”

The Prime Minister showed some real emotion when I saw his lips quivering, and tears filled his eyes. The thought that one day, in a panic, he might have to leave his beloved island was just too much for the brave man.

“The most important measures off all, are how to deal with waves of boat refugees from Venezuela, who try to enter without proper visas and work permits.”

“But Prime Minister, wouldn’t you be happy to have some people on your island since you are here all alone? They may bring some commerce, help you with natural disasters and even bring in visiting family members.”

“You know very well, that many of these people are criminals. They steal and rob whatever they can. They are gangsters, drug dealers, and narco-traffickers, and come to launder their dirty money. Yes, you are right, some may be good people, but they can easily go through the proper diplomatic channels and apply for the required permits.”

The Prime Minister stood up and swore a solemn pledge.

“I hereby pledge that I will do everything in my power and all the powers invested in me and my office, to protect my island.”

“Bravo,” I said and kindly applauded. “So, how are you going to protect your beaches and landings, Prime Minister?”

“Well most of that is classified, and I cannot divulge state secrets to you or any other person. But just look, we have television surveillance cameras all around the island, and our allies cover the area with airborne radar systems. We know every boat on the ocean, every take-off and landing of planes, and even submarines do not escape our attention. We will get them, no matter how they come.”

“Prime Minister, I heard that your little island is a hub for a vast narco-trafficking and distribution network. Why, if you are informed so well, why are you not taking any measures to block that activity?”

“Yes, there is some activity, but that is part of a bigger scheme. You could call it a larger sting operation. It is classified, and I cannot talk about it.”

“But Prime Minister, it is also rumored that you received or still receive large amounts of money, for allowing this hub to exist.”

“You should not listen to fake news and false rumors. Our banking system is confidential and off-shore, so nobody knows anything about my finances but me.

And I would even build a wall all around my island if that were necessary. I pledged to keep all evil out. You better leave now since your boat is dragging its anchor.”

And that was the end of my audience with the Prime Minister.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Columnist Curaçao Chronicle

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