Viktoria di Maduro, futuro skur pa Venezuela

Elekshon presidensial ayera ku oposishon Venezolano i komunidat internashonal a kalifiká komo ilegítimo, a produsí komo ganadó indiskutibel, Nicolás Maduro. Esaki kier men ku Chavismo, ku a start for di aña 1999, probablemente lo keda prolongá ku seis (6) aña mas serka nos bisiñanan na Sur.

Lokual ta prekupante ta ku e kampaña ku Maduro a hiba a demostrá ku no tin plan òf pèrspèktiva pa drecha e situashon horibel ku Venezuela ta aden. E produkto interno brutu Venezolano a bai atras ku 50%, inflashon ta 13,000%, entre 2-3 miyón hende a bandoná e pais, tin skarsedat di kuminda i remedi, i e ader ekonómiko mas importante, esta sektor petrolero, ta den chokompé ku un produkshon mínimo. I no papia mes di kriminalidat. Demokrasia i estado di derechi no tei práktimente i lidernan prinsipal di oposishon ta prisonero polítiko. Den un palabra, Venezuela ta un estado frakasá. Apesar ku maneho di e pais ta den man di Chavismo pa dos dékada, Maduro ta tira tur falta riba otronan, asta Kòrsou, Aruba i Boneiru.

Viktoria di Maduro ta habri kaminda pa mas Venezolano buska refugio pafó di nan pais kreando ainda mas doló di kabes pa bisiñanan, inkluso nos islanan. E viktoria lo intensifiká esfuersonan internashonal pa imponé sanshonnan mas pisá ainda. Mirando e estado di kiebro práktikamente di e sektor petrolero Venezolano ta pone na duda ku -apesar di e sentensia ku a kai den Korte siman pasá na Willemstad- PDVSA SA por kumpli pa manda sufisiente petroli pa Refeneria Isla BV drei efisientemente aki na Kòrsou.

Speransa pa trese un kambio bèrdadero na Venezuela dor di akshonnan internashonal manera sanshon ta improbabel pasombra paisnan manera Nicaragua, Cuba, Rusia i China lo no lag’é kai fásil. Konsekuensia lo ta sinembargo ku mas i mas e grep ekonómiko Chino riba Venezuela lo krese. Rusia, yudá pa e maneho di America First, ta haña kaminda pa kana sin masha resistensia i lo oumentá su dominio geopolítiko na Venezuela. Kurioso ta ku Maduro su plataforma ta “soberania” mientras ku tin tur indikashon ku e ta hustamente entregando soberania Venezolano kada biaha mas na China i Rusia.

Un di dos opshon pa kambio ta via e ruta no-demokrátiko (golpi di estado) ku tampoko lo kumbiní. I sigur no si esaki ta orkestrá pa paisnan estranhero.

Por lo pronto ta parse ku e futuro di Venezuela ta skur i ku e krísis lo intensifiká i sufrimentu humano lo oumentá promé ku yega na un solushon.

Willemstad, Curaçao

Recycled cow plans and the economy

During the 1999 Copa America which was held in Paraguay, the Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands Antilles decided to go to .. Paraguay on an economic mission. “Pure coincidence” he stated. While I don’t want to question his genius stroke of luck, I will address his trade agenda/wish list in the Southern Cone.

First, start an air connection between Willemstad and Asunción for the now defunct state-owned airlines, ALM. Second, since Paraguay was resurfacing a great deal of it’s 10,000 km paved roads, the Minister thought it to be a good idea to offer the authorities our asphalt from the asphalt lake. Third, impressed with a visit to a slaughterhouse where they butcher about 800 cows a day, an idea was born to start a Paraguayan-Antillean cow breeding initiative on our islands.

While probably no one is surprised that none of these wishes became reality, it still amazes me how we insist that economic growth is about picking the right miracle project out of a bowl. A huge mall that will attract shopping tourist and create 2,000 new jobs, a commercial space project, export of rice and sugar to the EU, a Las Vegas-inspired strip with casino’s and what not by the same company once in the running for upgrading the refinery. And who can forget the recycled cow breeding plan of the late nineties to feed “hungry cows from Colombia”.

I want to emphasize again that it’s impossible to have sustainable economic development based on one project here and another there. Sustainable economic growth that will lift the middle class and the poor is viable only when we make structural changes to modernize our economic foundations. Under my watch the inward-looking protection policy was overturned, a fair competition authority was institutionalized and many tax treaties were signed. But these changes are far from sufficient. We need to make our labor market flexible so it reflects the age we live in, we need to invest in innovation, automatization and productivity raising initiatives. We need to engage in negotiating trade agreements, since we are one of the only ones left in the world without a trade agreement.

Do we listen? This week the Ministry of Economic Development kick-started an activity to promote export. Yet, not even our affairs in the World Trade Organization are straightened out which are a prerequisite to negotiate any trade agreement.

We have a choice. Keep waiting for the illusive silver bullet. Or, we modernize our economic foundations which will automatically attract good and solid projects that create welfare and new jobs.

Willemstad, Curaçao

Merka a sali for di ‘Iran Deal’, dikon ta relevante? 5 punto

E salimentu di Merka for di e Iran Deal, esta akuerdo nuklear ku Iran (e Akuerdo) ta un prekupashon mundial. Tantu aliadonan Oropeo di Merka komo Rusia i China ku tambe ta forma parti di e Akuerdo, ta indigná. Mayoria eksperto ta bisa ku e paso Merikano ta habri kaminda pa Iran desaroyá arma nuklear i kousa peliger mundial. Pakiko lo ta asina? 

1. Kon a yega na e akuerdo?

Na 2002 a sospechá ku Iran tin fasilidatnan nuklear lokual a keda konfirmá pa Nashonnan Uní (UN). Iran a insistí ku su programa nuklear tabata pasífiko, mientras komunidat internashonal tabata kombensí ku esaki no tabata e kaso. Iran a kontinuá ku e programa i na 2006 UN, sigí pa Merka i EU a imponé sanshon riba e sektor finansiero i petrolero Iraní i tambe benta di arma pa Iran. Sanshonnan a hasi daño konsiderabel na ekonomia di Iran. Konsekuentemente Iran a bai mesa pa negoshá un akuerdo. Un akuerdo ku ta limitá Iran su kapasidat di produsí bòm nuklear a kambio di eliminashon di sanshon.

2. Ken a firma e Akuerdo?

Esaki  no ta un akuerdo entre Merka i Iran solamente. E Akuerdo a keda firmá na 2015 pa Alemania, China, Fransia, Iran, Merka, Reino Uní, Rusia i Union Ropeo na nòmber di su miembronan.

3. Kiko e akuerdo ta kome i bebe?

Konforme e Akuerdo, Iran ta redusí na mitar sierto di su mashinnan esensial den e proseso (e.o. enrikesé plutonio i uranio) pa traha bòm nuklear. E redukshon ta di tal índole ku Iran no por traha un bòm. Esaki pa un periodo di 15 aña. Tambe e Akuerdo ta duna un komishon spesialisá di e paisnan firmante i UN e derechi pa supervisá e akshonnan di Iran i determiná ku tur hende ta mantené su mes na e Akuerdo. A kambio di esaki a kita sanshon kontra Iran riba e sektor petrolero finansiero i komersial. Firmantenan a duna di konosé for di un prinsipio ku e Akuerdo ta kana bon i ku no tabatin nigun fayo di Iran.

4. Ken no ta apoyá e akuerdo?

Mayoria pais na mundu inkluso Vatikano i enemigu grandi di Iran, Saudi Arabia, ta sostené e Akuerdo pasombra den pensamentu general e Akuerdo lo kondusí na pas. No ta tur hende ta pensa meskos. Israel ta kombensí ku e Akuerdo hustamente ta segurá ku Iran ta traha bòm nuklear. Merka su aktual presidente, Trump, ta haña ku e Akuerdo ta suak i ku e presidente anterior, Obama, a hasi un mal trabou. Na último momentu Trump a haña bishita di Hefe di Estado Fransés, Hefe di Gobièrnu Aleman i Minister Britániko di Relashonnan Eksterior pa kombens’é ku si e no ta haña ku e Akuerdo ta bai leu sufisiente, por drech’é. E esfuersonan di Merka su aliadonan no a kristalisá. Siman pasá Merka a anunsiá ku e ta kibra ku e Akuerdo.

5. Kiko awor ku Merka a sali?

Tin hopi insertidumbre kiko lo pasa awor ku Marka a bandoná e Akuerdo. E salida di Merka probablemente ta enserá ku Merka lo pone Iran riba lista di pais terorista i lo bolbe imponé sanshon. Pregunta ta kiko Oropa ku si ta den e Akuerdo, lo hasi. Nan lo laga nan aliado Merka kai i sigui hasi negoshi ku Iran? Merka den kaso ku Oropa kontinuá hasi negoshi ku Iran, lo penalisá Oropa? Iran tambe lo sali for di e Akuerdo i bolbe traha riba su armanan nuklear? E gruponan ekstremo di Iran lo sigi sostené e gobièrnu moderá Iraní ku a firma e Akuerdo? Gruponan armá manera Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan lo (bolbe) kue arma i destabilisá hinter e region (inkluso Turkia, Siria i Irak ku tambe tin poblashon Kurdo ku ta lucha pa nan mes estado independiente)? Tambe e askhon di Merka por tin konsekuensia pa e península di Korea i hinter Asia. Otro luna Merka ta topa ku Nort Korea pa yega na un akuerdo nuklear. Pregunta: Nort Korea mester start un negosashon ku Merka mirando ku Merka a kibra ku e Akuerdo ku Iran den ménos ku dos (2) aña? Tempu lo bisa esaki.

Willemstad, Curaçao

Verdwijning typisch landschap door kortzichtig beleid

Door gebrek aan een doordacht ruimtelijk en onroerend goed beleid, is er een zorgwekkende ontwikkeling gaande op Curaçao, die potentieel vérstrekkende maatschappelijke gevolgen heeft. Niet alleen voor de ruimtelijke ontwikkeling en het fysieke aanzicht van ons landschap, maar ook voor de sociale harmonie en duurzame sociaal-economische ontwikkeling. Er zijn inmiddels bijna geen betaalbare gronden en woningen meer voor de gemiddelde Curaçaoënaar waardoor velen er voor kiezen om niet terug te keren naar het eiland. Deze nota* stelt deze ontwikkeling ter discussie.

Analyse
In hoog tempo worden de laatste jaren gronden en huizen door buiten het eiland geboren, kapitaalkrachtige personen gekocht. En met name onroerend goed op de ‘prime locations’, zoals langs de kust en historische landhuizen. Sommigen spreken van beladen termen zoals “herovering van het eiland” die niet persé van toepassing zijn, maar wel een aanduiding geven van deze trend.

Terwijl het gros van de kopers ongetwijfeld eerlijke bedoelingen heeft, is het ook duidelijk dat er een behoorlijk aantal gelukzoekers, speculanten en mensen met bedenkelijke (financiële) antecedenten in hun land van herkomst op de lokale markt afkomt. Opvallend is o.a. de toename van kopers van de voormalige Europese communistische landen (welke geen link hebben met Curaçao). De niets vermoedende lokale particuliere verkopers lopen de kans belazerd of tegen elkaar uitgespeeld te worden. Ook de overheid loopt risico. Bovendien zijn deze praktijken niet bevorderlijk voor ons imago.

Een veronrustend aspect dat aan de geconstateerde trend kleeft, is dat handelaren die lokaal onroerend goed opkopen om het vervolgens tegen een hogere prijs te verkopen de lokale marktprijzen omhoog schroeven in het nadeel van de lokale, en vooral de minder kapitaalkrachtige, burger.

Tenslotte, mede vanwege de door de kapitaalkrachtige immigranten geïntroduceerde vele verschillende stijlen van bebouwing, beplanting en bewoning, verdwijnt het traditionele kenmerkende landschap van Curaçao met haar landhuizen, knoekhuisjes, (voormalige) plantages en hofjes, dammen, putten en rooien het semi-aride milieu, typische flora en fauna. Het typerende lokale landschap is zeer zeldzaam in de context van het Caribish gebied en zal hierdoor steeds moeilijker worden om toeristisch te promoten.

Welke omstandigheden dragen bij aan de hier waargenomen trend? Enerzijds zijn er ‘push factors’, n.l. factoren die kopers in hun land van herkomst (vooral Europa) stimuleren om op Curaçao naar onroerend goed op zoek te gaan. Het gaat hierbij om hun stijgende welvaartsniveau en de daarmee gepaard gaande groeiende financiële mogelijkheden (en behoefte). Anderzijds is er sprake van lokaal aanwezige ‘pull factors’ die de betrokkenen hier naar toe trekken. Veel lokale burgers hebben schulden en zijn daardoor makkelijk ‘gestimuleerd’ hun huis te verkopen. Het gaat echter met name om een gebrek aan een doordacht en daadkrachtig ruimtelijk en onroerend goed beleid, gekoppeld aan beperkte controlemechanismen en handhavingscapaciteit.

Toekomst en conclussie
Zoals reeds uit de bovenstaande uiteenzetting blijkt, heeft de in deze sector geconstateerde trend, invloed op verschillende issues zoals de economie, cultuur, de sociale harmonie (een verscherpte en in ruimtelijke zin zichtbare tweedeling tussen rijk en arm en tussen blank en gekleurd, buitenlands en lokaal), de gevolgen van verschuivingen in de leeftijds- en welvaartssamenstelling van de bevolking.

Het is noodzakelijk te komen tot een visie, bewust en gericht beleid, wetgeving, adequate planning, effectief toezicht en evaluatie. De betrokken overheidsdiensten zijn té administratief bezig en in onvoldoende mate pro-actief/strategisch. De bestaande wetgeving, zoals het Eilandelijk Ontwikkelingsplan en de Monumentenverordening met hun respectievelijke uitvoeringsvoorschriften, moet worden aangescherpt om ontwikkelingen in de onroerend goed sector te sturen en om tegen verkeerde zaken op te treden.

In het gevoerde beleid moet meer erkenning komen voor het traditionele landschap als onderdeel van het historisch erfgoed en culturele identiteit van Curaçao. Anderzijds moet dit beleid dienen als een instrument ter waarborging van een uniek toeristisch product.

Het is niet bedoeld dat het beleid zich tegen modernisering of buitenlanders keert. Modernisering is onvermijdelijk en diversiteit is gewenst. Van de overheid mag worden verwacht dat haar beleid niet kortzichtig en uitsluitend op economisch gewin is gericht, doch dat dit als uitgangspunt heeft het welzijn van de huidige en toekomstige generaties.

Willemstad, Curaçao

*Deze nota is een aangepaste 2013 versie.

Love them or hate them: 10 Soviet brutalist constructions

During my visits to Central Asia and the Balkan I began noticing these amazing buildings and art meant to show the power and political ideals of a Soviet communist workers’ empire. It’s referred to as Soviet béton brut or simply, brutalism. Soviet architecture systematically gets a bad rap: too much concrete and seemingly beamed in from a remote planet. But, I’ll let you be the judge. These are some photos I took in Kyrgyzstan, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, all of them former Soviet satelites.

Unnamed, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
This piece of art stands in a park behind the International University of Kyrgyzstan. It bears no sign, name or explanation.

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Main Post Office, Skopje (Macedonia)
The post office in Skopje is remarkable. It consists of big soviet style concrete blocks combined with a construction added on years later representing a “futuristic insect with upturned legs” made in reinforced concrete.

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The Wedding Palace, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
The communists banned all public religious expressions. Marriage was reduced to a formal affair carried out in government offices. The Kyrgyz people however insisted that they had a right to wed in religious establishments. The authorities were unwilling to accept this, but were willing to compromise. And so emerged the non-religious wedding palace which looks like it could be a castle, a church, a temple, something from science fiction or a combination of all of the above.

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Statue of Lenin, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, was the founder of the Russian Communist Party. This statue depicts him showing the masses the correct path to Peace, Land and Bread. He’s pointing here to the North. Curiously this statue used to be in a more prominent spot before 2003 where he was pointing to the South. A powerful symbolism of the state of affairs of the communist ideology?

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The National Museum of History, Tirana (Albania)
This is the largest museum in the country. It was opened on 28 October 1981. Above the entrance of the museum is a large Soviet-style mural mosaic titled The Albanians that depicts purported ancient to modern figures from Albania’s history.

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The Circus Building, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
The communist state viewed circus performances as an egalitarian form of entertainment to be enjoyed by the masses and built many permanent circus buildings in the Soviet Republics. The shape of this building, which was constructed in 1976 looks a bit like a UFO or something slightly unworldly. There are still regular shows being held here.

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Friendship Monument, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
This is a monumental Soviet art opened in 1974 in the honor of the 100th anniversary of the voluntary accession of Kyrgyzstan to Russia. Two tall pylons made of white marble are girded with expressive high relief with the figures personifying the Russian and Kyrgyz people connected by ties of unbreakable friendship. Kyrgyzstan became independent in 1992.

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The Pyramid, Tirana (Albania)
On 14 October 1988 this structure opened as the Enver Hoxha museum in honor of the Albanian communist dictator who had died three years earlier. The structure was co-designed by Hoxha’s daughter. Some claim that at that time it was the most expensive individual structure ever constructed in Albania. Many would like to destroy the specter of communist rule, whilst a vociferous group of Albanians wants to keep it.

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Ala Too Cinema, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
Located on the main square in the heart of Bishkek is Ala Too Cinema. It is the largest cinema in Bishkek. In addition to watching a movie, you can enjoy the sculptures decorating the walls of the building that depict Soviet cosmonauts and other Soviet heroes.

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Partien Dom, Sofia (Bulgaria)
At the end of Independence Square in Sofia is the evidence how former Communism leaders in Bulgaria made their effort to follow the whole Communism concept and establish a grandiose building. It used to house the Communist Party. A massive Soviet red star used to crown this building. However, when Bulgarians attempted to torch the building in 1990, the star was removed in a hasty manner and substituted by the flag of Bulgaria. Today the building is mainly used as Government offices.

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Istanbul, Turkey

Guera na Siria spliká den 7 punto

E situashon na Siria tin bo konfundí? Riba petishon di algun hende mi ke trese algu di klaridat. E guera Sirio ta kompliká pa motibu di e gran kantidat di aktornan embolbí. Tampoko e ta simplemente un kuestion di ‘un grupo bon’ kontra ‘un grupo malu’. Pues semper ta bon tuma di nota di e diferente aspektonan promé ku saka konklushon.

1. Algun detaye di Siria
Siria ta un pais Árabe ku un poblashon di 20 mión. E ta mitar di e grandura di Alemania i tin frontera ku Turkia, Irak, Jordania, Israel i Libanon. Bashar al-Assad, Presidente di Siria, i promé ku n’e su tata, ta na mando for di 1971. Famia al-Assad ta Alawit, un sekta di Islam Shia. E mayoria di Sirio ta Islam Suni. E klase medio di Siria, apesar di tur kos, ta sostené al-Assad pasombra ta difísil pa nan konfia esnan den e koalishon di oposishon

2. Komienso di guera na Siria
E problemanan Sirio no tabata di índole religioso. Hopi tabata fadá ku al-Assad pa motibu di falta di kupo di trabou i pobresa. E chispa a bin na komienso di 2011 na momentu ku al-Assad a baha ku man duru riba un grupo di mucha ku tabata pinta grafitti kontra di su gobièrnu. A detené e muchanan i algun di nan a keda brutalmente torturá i asta a bin muri bou di siskunstansianan straño den prizon. Esaki a kondusí na protesta ku kada biaha a bira pió pasombra al-Assad no a kastigá esnan kulpabel. E protesta na Siria indudablemente a keda influensiá e tempu ei pa e seri di protestanan den mundu Árabe (Tunesia, Libia, Egipto i mas) mihó konosí komo Primavera Árabe.

3. Guera ta intensifiká
E guera ta intensifiká mei-mei di aña 2011 ku lantamentu di Free Syrian Army (FSA) ku e meta pa via di lucha armá kore ku al-Assad. Hopi grupo lokal a disidí pa tambe kue arma i djòin e lucha. Problema tabata ku kada ken tabata tin su mes agènda pa bringa al-Assad i FSA no por a kontrolá e gruponan. Pa kompliká kos, un grupo ekstremista Sirio (konsistiendo di militarnan rabiá ku al-Assad) i tambe estranhero (Oropa, Sentral Asia i Merka) bon armá a djòin FSA. Dor ku ‘FSA original’ no tabatin sufisiente arma i sòldá, a akseptá e gruponan aki. Meimei di tur konfushon, ISIS tambe ta subi tarima ku e propósito pa kita al-Assad, apoderá di mas teritorio Sirio posibel pa su kalifato. Tantu al-Assad komo FSA ta bringa ISIS, mientras ku na mes momentu nan ta bringa otro tambe. Pues no ta trata aki di un sólo guera, pero vários guera ku vários aktor.

4. Koalishon anti-ISIS
En bista di e manera rápido ku ISIS tabata okupá teritorio na Siria, a forma un aliansa entre di e grupo étniko Kurdo i gruponan mas chikí prosedente di Armenia i Chechenia pa bringa ISIS. Despues di bataya sangriente e aliansa aki ku sosten di Merka práktikamente ta logra kore ku ISIS for di Siria. Merka (pa straño ku por zona) tambe (t)a sostené e trupanan di al-Assad den e lucha kontra ISIS.

5. Ningun ta santu
E pensamentu ku a krea ku e gruponan kontra di al-Assad ta bringa pa trese hustisia i libertat na Siria no ta kuadra. Tin prueba ku e koalishon di FSA den nòmber di bringa gobièrnu ta kometé atrosidatnan rònt Siria kontra e poblashon sívil. Di otro banda, meskos ta e kaso pa e trupanan di al-Assad i ISIS. Míles di sívil a muri (segun algun sifra, 100,000) mientras mas ku algun mión di hende a bandoná Siria komo refugiado.

6. Guera sívil ta bira un konflikto mundial
Tin vários aktor ku ta mete o tin un interes den e konflikto na Siria.
Iran: E pais ta sostené al-Assad. Iran ta Islam Shia meskos ku famia al-Assad. Iran tambe mester di Siria pa sigui sostené Hezbollah na Lebanon den su akshonnan kontra di Israel. Iran ta kontra ISIS.
Saudi Arabia: e pais aki ta enemigu mortal di Iran i kasi pa definishon ta kontra tur kos ku Iran ta sostené. Saudi Arabia ta Suni i ke kore ku al-Assad. Tambe e ta kontra di ISIS.
Turkia: Komo un pais Suni, Turkia ta anti al-Assad i semper a lucha kontra di ISIS. E problema grandi di Turkia ta ku Merka (histórikamente su aliado) ta sostené e Kurdonan bringa kontra di ISIS na Siria. Turkia ta enemigu mortal di e Kurdonan ku tin ambishon di un dia forma nan mes pais, Kurdistan. Kurdonan ta biba aktualmente na Siria, Irak i Turkia entre otro. Turkia tin algun dékada ta lucha kontra di e grupo Kurdo, PKK ku ta basá na Turkia i Irak.
Fransha, Reino Uní i algun otro pais oksidental: E paisnan aki no ta sostené al-Assad pero ta sostené algun grupo ku nan ta konsiderá moderá den e kolashon di FSA. E problema pa e paisnan aki, inkluso Merka, ta ku nan no sa ken eksaktamente nan mester sostené den e lucha pa kore ku al-Assad. Ningun hende tin konfiansa ku esun ku remplasá al-Assad lo ta un hende ku stima demokrasia.
Kurdonan: E grupo aki a mustra balentia i a logra aplastá ISIS. Nan ta eksihí ‘return on investment’ i ta fèrwagt sosten di Merka den nan ambishon pa haña nan mes pais. Esaki ta pone tenshon entre Turkia i Merka. Nos por a mira kon resientemente Rusia i Turkia a start un romanse tokante Siria sin presensia di Merka.
Rusia: E pais aki ta sostené al-Assad i no ke un kambio di gobièrnu. Siria ta Rusia su mihó aliado den Medio Oriente i ta mira su presensia na Siria -unda e tin un base militar- komo un kontra-balansa pa e influensia grandi di Merka den e region. Rusia a drenta e konflikto Sirio pa yuda al-Assad bringa kontra di ISIS, pero tur kos ta indiká ku (tambe) e ta yuda al-Assad kontra di e koalishon RFA.
Merka: Merka ta bria pa su falta di strategia na Siria. Obama a deklará ku al-Assad mester bai. Trump ta duna señal ambiguo si e mester bai si òf no. E problema ta keda ken ta bin na lugá di al-Assad. Iran lo haña mas di bisa na Siria ku tin un frontera ku Israel? Hezbollah, ku ta enemigu di Israel, ta haña mas kaminda pa kana na Siria pa planea kontra di e estado Hudiu? Merka lo bandoná e Kurdonan na fabor di Turkia despues di tantu balentia pa kore ku ISIS?

7. Arma kímiko i bombardeo
Avionnan di Merka, Fransha i Reino Uní resientemente a bombardiá algun fasilidat na Siria. E hustifikashon ta uso di arma kímiko dor di al-Assad kontra sívilnan inosente. Al-Assad, Russia i Iran ta bisa ku hinter e asuntu aki ta unu fabriká. E siman aki inspektornan di Nashonnan Uní (UN) ta bai investigá si realmente arma kímiko a keda usá. E mandato di UN sinembargo no ta pa determiná di unda e arma kímiko a originá ni tampoko determiná ken a instruí pa usa arma kímiko. Si keda establesé ku arma kímiko a keda usá, mundu ta keda den espektativa pa e kontesta prinsipal: Di ken a armanan kímiko ta i ken a duna òrdu pa usanan.

Podgorica, Montenegro

 

How to squander our autonomy

Forget about the unlikely recolonization of Curaçao by The Netherlands or any other country for that matter. The real danger to our autonomy is our inability to govern ourselves effectively. Those who keep yapping about becoming an EU ultra-peripheral region, commonwealth or other exotic dreamed-up status keep missing this point. Constitutional structure on to itself is no guarantee for good governance that translates to more well-being for our people. It’s the quality of the people who manage the structure and democratic institutions that are critical.

Yet, we have been governing on a hunch, basing policy on talkshow opinions, guesswork, thoughtless demands by pressure groups and popular-sounding slogans. We only need to remind ourselves of the recent idea to import hundreds of hungry cows and having them fed on very limited land. We have spent millions on space travel that proved to be wishful thinking. We accepted a monetary union between Curaçao and Sint Maarten without any previous economic (impact) study. Remember the fiasco of those illegible vehicle license plates, the removal of much needed aggreko generators, importation of right hand drive vehicles even though we’ve a left hand drive infrastructure, and the Guangdong Zhenrong pipe dreams about the refinery and a Las Vegas-style development of hotels and casino’s? And the list goes on.

Any decision-making process based on shooting from the hip rather than data and research misses its target and will never allow us to realize our collective potential. Yet, we still don’t believe in collecting data let alone analyzing and using them to write policy. An eminent local education specialist recently said in an interview that while he knows international organizations that are willing to evaluate our education system, no relevant data exist about our system, making an evaluation impossible.

One of the problems is that we’re all over the place. Each ministry wants to score and spends precious resources on projects they think will help them on election day. While I do think we should have a diversified economy, we must stay realistic. Especially taking into consideration our size and dwindling population. I believe we have to stick to those things we do well and have a comparative advantage doing.

In his article “Singapore Policy Studies: Emerging Trends”, Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore, Jon Quah, attributes Singapore’s success as a direct result from its model to use research and data to arrive at policy making. Many other Asian states have followed and now rely on data gathering and long-term planning as a central piece in their policy making. Their success speaks volumes. Many years ago we had something that resembled a planning institute, the Sociaal Economisch Planbureau. But we eliminated it and never replaced it.

Again I state the obvious. There’s no silver bullet, no miracle that will bring us well-being and jobs. It’s long term planning based on reliable data, research and the courage to steer away from those screaming populists that will result in policy making -however impopular they may be- that will allow us to take advantage of the many opportunities that exist on & offshore.

If we continue to shoot from the hip, govern on a hunch we won’t ever bring about the changes needed that will lift up the economy that has hardly grown during the last decades. Most importantly, if we do not change course, we will keep compromising our autonomy which we got in 1951 after a long and arduous campaign. We must not forget that the rise in populism and accompanying deterioration of democratic pillars in many countries around the world is a direct result of traditional democracies not living up to the promise of welfare for all. Our autonomy we hold so dear depends on the quality of the men and women who govern us. Then again, it’s easier to create an outside enemy than change our ways.

Skopje, Macedonia