“Slapend rijk”: Kon Amstel a kòrta suèldo mínimo

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Kasi 15 aña pasá Heineken a sera Amstel na Kòrsou. Amstel semper a gosa di protekshon, pero bo tabata sa ku Amstel durante un periodo a paga su trahadónan solamente 2/3 parti di suèldu mínimo fihá pa lei pa asina maksimalisá su ganashi komo monopolio? 

E kompania Hulandes Amstel Brouwerij na 1958 ta lanta Antilliaanse Brouwerij (“Amstel”) na Kòrsou eksihiendo protekshon i tax holiday promé e kuminsá operashon. Amstel, aparentemente no kontentu ku su ganashinan i dividènd anual di 10, 15  i 18%, riba 3 febrüari 1972 ta aserká Gobièrnu pa -banda di tur protekshon i monopolio ku ya e tabatin- un protekshon adishonal: pèrmit p’e paga su trahadónan 2/3 parti solamente di salario mínimo vigente pa luna (Naf 259.80 enbes di Naf 346.40). Ku sosten sindikal e petishon ta keda onrá i ankrá den lei (P.B. 1972 No. 196). Kurioso ta ku ta sektor privá (Mensing Trading & Co.) so ta protestá.

Hustifikashon di e lei tabata: “garantisá eksistensia di Amstel”. Lo bo pensa ku e monopolista di serbes tabata den problema rònt di aña 1972. Pero, apenas 9 dia promé ku Amstel pidi redukshon di sueldo mínimo, e ta anunsiá un ganashi di Naf 179,000 pa 1971*. Na 1969 e tabata Naf 202,452 i na 1970, Naf 203,478.

Amstel i mayoria di industrianan lokal protehá semper a bati na porta i haña oido di Gobièrnu pa protekshon èkstra ora tabatin (menasa di) kompetensia. Kada florin di protekshon sinembargo tabata sali foi saku di e konsumidó.

Na 2005, Amstel (entretantu pa mas ku 50% den man di e gigante Heineken) a pidimi komo minister di Ekonomia un areglo pa tur aña no paga Naf 5 mion na akseins. Pues un supsidio pa Heineken i un défisit presupuestario anual di Naf 5 mion. Mi a rechasá e petishon i Heineken a sera Amstel. Oponentenan (t)a deklará ku ta ami i no e doño poderoso Heineken a sera Amstel pa krea rabia i kòrtina di huma. Ora e stòf a baha tur hende a realisá ku esaki tabata e último rosea di protekshon di merkado ku kuriosamente a start (1958) i tèrmina (2015) ku Amstel. E deseo di Amstel tabata pa kontinuá ku su estilo di maneho “slapend rijk worden” ku pa kasi 50 aña a keda akseptá den Fòrti i defendé pa un grupo sindikal.

Willemstad, Kòrsou

Fuente: wjz.gobiernu.cw, Archivo Nashonal, https://alexdavidrosaria.blog/2018/03/28/pakiko-heineken-a-sera-amstel-un-analisis/

* Midí na forsa di kompra di awe esaki ta algu mas di Naf 1 mion

UN Day against female genital cutting: the West against the others

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In 1990 I did voluntary work with several US college students in Barra Kunda (pop. 500) in the West African country of The Gambia. One day, a female group member told me that some village girls had asked her to show them her clitoris. This was no sexual advance. They were curious since girls in Barra Kunda had (part of) the clitoris cut from their female genitals. The UN calls this Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and defines it as: “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organ”. FGM/C exists for thousands of years and is still performed in parts of Africa*, the Middle East, Asia, India and Colombia.

Every year on February 6th, the UN calls for zero tolerance to FGM/C and aims to educate the public about its possible long term health consequences such as chronic pain, infections, primary infertility and birth complications. The risks depend on the FGM/C type performed, the expertise of the practitioner and the hygiene conditions under which it’s performed.

FGM/C is carried out as a way to control women’s sexuality, to ensure virginity before marriage and fidelity afterward. Additionally it is believed that an uncut clitoris resembles a grown penis and that FGM contributes to an attractive vagina. 

FGM/C is widely debated. Western Countries -where as recent as the 1950s, clitoridectomy was practiced to treat perceived ailments including hysteria, epilepsy, mental disorders and masturbation- have seen a rise in surgical procedures for non-medical reasons (hoodectomy and labiaplasty) to “rejuvenate and make the female vagina young, beautiful and improve women’s (sexual) health”. 

Understandably so, proponents of FGM/C have questioned the UN for not addressing the many vaginal operations in the West for beauty reasons, on intersex persons as well as genital piercing that according to them fit the UN FGM/C definition. They consider the West condescending and hypocritical for denying them an old tradition.   In a recent US campaign, vaginal surgery and piercing have been fiercely defended. Women’s groups have declared: “Whether a woman does this for medical or aesthetic reasons, it’s her choice.” The question is: Shouldn’t this also apply those in the developing world?

Willemstad, Curaçao

*In 2015 The Gambia prohibited FGM/C

Lei di screening a fòrsa dos minister baha, awor ke kambia e lei: hipokresia

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Un sektor grandi di nos komunidat tabata eufóriko ora e lei di screening (ofisialmente: Landsverordening integriteit (kandidaat-) ministers) a keda publiká na oktober 2012. Por a skucha un suspiro kolektivo di alivio pasombra nunka mas lo pasa e bergüensa na 2010 ora un sèt di minister sin eskrúpulo a burla di e proseso di screening anterior.

Pero esei tabata 2012. Awe algun di e mesun aktornan ku a aploudí e lei di screening na 2012, ta deklará ku e lei, derepente, no ta hustu mas. Diferensia entre 2012 i 2019/20 ta: e lei ku tabata bon pa esnan sin étika e tempu aya, a obligá dos minister di e koalishon aktual tuma retiro (di kua unu a rekonosé su akto kastigabel den un “deal” ku Ministerio Públiko i a haña un “proeftijd”).

Awe ta papia ku e lei no ta hustu i no ta kumpli ku su ”berdadero” intenshon. Tambe, ta bisa ku Hulanda no tin lei di screening manera nos. E delaster ta bèrdat. I tin mas lei i tratado ku nos tin pero ku Hulanda no tin. Tambe vise versa Hulanda tin un kantidat di lei manera  lei di eutanasia, belasting riba kachó di kas i tambe reglanan stringente pa protehá medio ambiente ku nos no tin. Si nos ke tur lei Hulandes ta mihó skràp outonomia i bira provinsia.

Nos mundu tin hopi ehèmpel di hipokresia i set pa poder ku (t)a pone polítikonan kita, kambia lei i reglanan ku tabata perfekto pa oponentenan polítiko pero no pa nan. Ehèmpel ta Daniel Ortega di Nicaragua ku a lucha pa kaba ku poder di famia Somoza di 45 aña dor di revolushon i kambio di konstitushon. Awe Ortega a kita, pone lei, kambia konstitushon pa pèrmití ku e por keda na mando pa bida largu akompañá pa su vise-presidente ku ta su kasá!

Na 2014 (Paisahe, Nr. 5, mart 2014) mi a boga pa no kita lei di screening manera e aktornan ku a bin na mando na 2010 (i ku entre 2012-2016 tabata den oposishon) tabata deseá. Mi a sugerí pa amplia e lei i pone mas regla, spesialmente ora un minister baha.

Awor, semper por i ta asta nesesario pa kambia lei debí ku sirkunstansianan a kambia. Pero pa trese kambio i swak e lei di screening pasombra e lei a obligá 2 minister di koalishon tuma retiro, no ta un rason bálido. Esei ta hiprokresia i kontra di nos (sentido di) estado di derechi. E ta hasi esnan ku awe ta boga pa kambia lei mesun sin eskrúpulo ku esnan di 2010. No tin diferensia.

Willemstad, Curaçao

Polítika di base den era moderno: Bisiñanan na Iowa ta debatí i skohe nan kandidato presidensial Demókrata

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Djaluna 3 di febrüari, tur wowo ta riba Iowa, un estado Merikano ku ta produsí mas ku dòbel e kantidat di mainshi ku hinter EU ta produsí. Iowa ta e promé estado pa skohe un kandidato presidensial di partido Demokrat pa elekshon na novèmber 2020. Ademas, Iowa no ta usa e sistema di voto sekreto (primary) manera kasi tur otro estado, sino un sistema diferente ku yama caucus. Ripará ku ta papia di Iowa caucus, pero p.e. Florida primary.

Kon e caucus ta organisá?

Iowa (3 1/2 mas grandi ku Hulanda) ta keda repartí den 1,681 distrito. Kada distrito ta tene su mes caucus ku ta ku inisiá 7 pm i e proseso por dura 2 hora largu. Hopi biaha esaki ta tuma lugá na un misa, biblioteka, skol i asta un kas di famia. Orguyosamente Iowa ta yama su proseso “un binimentu hunto di bisiña pa skohe e mihó kandidato”. E no ta un elekshon. Sinembargo e echo ku e proseso ta largu, lat i durante di e luna mas friu, no hopi hende ta partisipá.

Iowa su caucus ta konsistí di tres paso:

Unabes bo yega e sitio di e caucus, e kabesante ta laga representantenan di kada un di e (12) kandidatonan Demókrata hiba palabra pa kombensé esnan presente pa apoyá su kandidato. Esaki sa resultá den gritamentu formal. Despues ta forma diferente grupo di sostenedó di e kandidatonan den e sala. Ta posibel pa partisipantenan na e caucus deklará nan mes ‘indesiso’.

Si un òf mas kandidato haña menos di 15% di sosten di e presentenan, ta haña 30 minüt adishonal pa kombensé sea e indesisonan òf hendenan ku ya kaba ta sostené un otro kandidato. Si tòg no yega 15%, por disidí di bandoná sala òf djòin un di e kandidatonan ku 15% òf mas.

Finalmente e kabesante di caucus ta determiná e porsentahe di sosten di kada kandidato. Esun ku haña mas despues di konta tur e 1,681 distritonan, a gana e caucus di partido Demokrat na Iowa. E sistema di Iowa ta unu proporshonal: kada kandidato ta keda ku su porsentahe di sosten. A base di e repartishon aki, 41 delegado di Iowa ta keda repartí otro siman entre tur e kandidatonan ku a haña 15% òf mas sosten despues di a konta tur e 1,681 distritonan.

Willemstad, Kòrsou

Alex Rosaria a studia 6 aña na Iowa (University of Iowa) i a eksperensiá e caucus na 1984 i 1988

Onze monetaire unie: een tikkende tijdbom

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Precies 9 jaar geleden (19 januari, 2011) bracht de financieel directeur van de Centrale Bank van Curaçao en St. Maarten (CBCS) naar voren dat het ontbreken van een gecoördineerd macroeconomisch beleid tussen Willemstad en Philipsburg een bedreiging is voor de stabiliteit van de monetaire unie tussen Curaçao en St. Maarten. Intussen is deze coördinatie nog steeds zoek met als gevolg dat de twee landen steeds verder uit elkaar groeien. De huidige CBCS financieel directeur, voormalige Minister van Financiën, zei al in 2015 dat bovengenoemde coördinatie van de monetaire unie geen prioriteit is.

Geen coördinatie is echter geen optie. Een monetaire unie is de meest gevorderde vorm van economische integratie tussen leden. Vanaf 2008 heb ik als Staatssecretaris van Financiën mijn bezwaren kenbaar gemaakt tegen een monetaire unie die politiek was opgelegd door Den Haag en geaccepteerd door de regering van de Nederlandse Antillen, de Besturen van Curaçao en St. Maarten en de Bank van de Nederlandse  Antillen (voorloper van CBCS). Dit geforceerde monetaire huwelijk had nooit plaats mogen vinden daar het niet gestaafd was met enig economische fundament.

De uitdagingen die Curaçao als internationaal financieel centrum ervaart, zouden ons juist een sense of urgency moeten aanwakkeren. Een belangrijke schakel hierin is de CBCS, maar deze staat de afgelopen jaren in een negatief daglicht (pending een mogelijke vervolging in verband met schending geheimhoudingsplicht, insolvabiliteit van de Girobank en waarschijnlijk ook haar bedenkelijke rol met betrekking tot Ennia). Hopelijk krijgt onze monetaire unie zo spoedig mogelijk wel de noodzakelijke aandacht die het behoeft. We kunnen ons een monerair drama op dit moment niet veroorloven

Willemstad, Curaçao

China, Russia and the Caribbean

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An unlikely alliance between two competitors with different agendas, Russia and China, have converged in the Caribbean to challenge US and European historic dominance and clout. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Venezuela where the US favors regime change whilst the Sino-Russian duo supports Nicolás Maduro. China has a clear plan to make good on its economic intentions in this region. Putin -now Russian president for life- will surely double down on its efforts in order to achieve its intended political results in the Caribbean.

The FM of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Mr. Blok, finally admitted at the end of last year that Russia is a risk for the Caribbean. Unclear is what the follow-up steps are going to be. 

There are some crucial points we have to take into consideration.

China and Russia are cooperating on many fronts to weaken the Western grip on the global order. But they’re also competitors and will continue to collaborate -also in our region- until it’s no longer in either’s interest to do so.

Without a doubt a new Cold War is brewing in the Caribbean between the US on one side and China and Russia on the other. Because of this, some countries, especially Venezuela and Nicaragua, have gained a degree of geopolitical significance which they eagerly use to diffuse their domestic crises. Also, authoritarianism in Cuba, Suriname, Dominica and others are being emboldened by China and Russia.

Both Beijing and Moscow have their eyes on several regional small (island)states which they expect will align with them in the United Nations, further boosting their global influence.

The US has been cutting assistance to the region and taking a hard line on immigration making the US unpopular here. Leaders like the Prime Minister of Dominica praised President Putin saying that Russian leadership has “provided a great balance in the world on international issues”. US engagement slipped, massively. Mother Nature abhors power vacuums and China and Russia are more than happy to step in. Is the US going to engage the Caribbean more, or are we up for grabs by China and Russia? 

We should also be aware of the practices Russia employs elsewhere to influence democracies via cyberwar and the presence of operatives. Some areas in Curaçao, the hacking of the Ministry in charge of among others election, statistics and archives, are especially vulnerable to outside influence.

We need to have a frank conversation how best to relate to Russia and China in our region. We need to focus on our connections on the long run regarding these newcomers as well as our traditional partners. More than anything, we need a strategy. We need also be in discussions with our Caribbean neighbors as well as The Hague.

Willemstad, Curaçao

This article appeared originally on June 20, 2019 and has been updated

What ever happened to Guangdong Zhenrong?

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Remember Guandong Zhenrong Energy (GZE), the Chinese state-backed energy merchant wanna-bee? Yep, them. The group that was able to spellbind Curaçao administrations from 2016 to 2018 with USD billions of “investments” in our refinery, a series of MoUs with local state companies in charge of garbage processing, the port, shipbuilding and what not. And, let’s not forget the casinos and a Las Vegas-style strip GZE had promised. 

Somehow the committee in charge of the future of the Curaçao refinery (MDPT) didn’t know that GZE’s debt crisis began unfolding in late 2014 when the company started to miss interest payments to banks. As of April 2017 -about 6 months before the above-mentioned series of MoUs were signed– GZE had defaulted on USD 3 billion of bank loans. According to sources in Singapore, GZE used fabricated trade documents to obtain massive loans. No wonder GZE was kicked out of Myanmar when the Burmese authorities saw “absolutely no progress due to GZE’s severe financial problems” two years after it was supposed to start construction of a refinery near the city of Dawei, according to Myanmar Times, 7 December 2017.

Bankrupt GZE has shown however that it won’t go quietly. In September 2019 it filed a claim to Mercuria Energy Group, a global Swiss energy trader, for USD 5.66 billion for breach of contract 5 years earlier in 2014. Insiders believe that GZE is again up to its usual tricks and that this claim is a hoax. Given the opaque dealings between GZE and our authorities, I sincerely hope we won’t get dragged into international courts as well.

What’s beyond my comprehension is why some politicians and ex-MDPT members still believe that GZE is the best thing since sliced bread. According to them we should go back to this bankrupt entity and human rights violators according to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar. 

On a different note,  the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, will be making a state visist to Myanmar tomorrow to talk about Chinese investments and Sino-Burmese cooperation. Clearly, Myanmar has moved on and has left GZE behind it for good. Hopefully we can learn from them.

Willemstad, Curaçao

#myanmar #mercuria #curacao #islarefinery