2 Yüli Tambe Ta Dia di Gobernashon Propio

 

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2 di yüli ta Dia di Bandera. Ménos konosí ta ku riba 2 di yüli pa promé bia Kòrsou a haña gobernashon propio. E no ta bin dilanti sufisiene ya ku (kasi) tur atenshon ta pa nos bandera.

Kòrsou promé bia ta konosé gobernashon propio riba 2 yüli 1951. Pues outonomia no a kuminsá na 1954 ku firmamentu di Statüt, sino ku introdukshon di un konstitushon nobo, yamá Interimregeling, riba 7 febrüari 1951. Basá riba e kambio konstitushonal, nos promé Konseho Insular (KI) a sinta, despues di elekshon di 4 di yüni 1951 pa skohe e representantenan di e órgano nobo. 2 di yüli ta mas ku solamente Dia di Bandera. E ta selebrashon di 68 aña di gobernashon propio.

E promé elekshon pa KI a konosé e siguiente resultado: Partido Nashonal (NVP) ta gana elekshon ku 9 asiento, Partido Demokrat (DP) ta saka 8, Partido Katóliko di Pueblo (KVP) ta saka 3, Partido Independiente di Kòrsou (COP) ta saka 1, i Arbeiderspartij (AP) konosí komo ‘Partido Warawara’, no ta saka asiento.

E promé 21 miembronan di KI tabata: NVP: Sr. Hendrik Pieters Kwiers, Sr. Ernesto Rozendaal, Sra. Angela de Lannoy-Willems, Sr. Benjamin Römer, Sr. Philip Cohen Henriquez, Sr. Edward Broos, Sr. Romano Tschumie, Sr. Heraclio Henriquez i Sr. Charles Voges. DP: Sr. Efraim Jonckheer, Sr. Ciro Kroon, Sr. Ramez (Ronchi) Isa, Sr. Steef v.d. Meer, Sr. Cornelis (Nene) Hueck, Sra. Louisa Van der Linde-Helmijr, Sr. Julio Rosario i Sr. Tjerk Petzoldt. KVP: Sr. David Capriles, Sr. Elias Morkos i Sr. J. ‘Jonchi’ Jonckhout. COP: Sr. Philip Evertsz.

S.E. Gobernador Anton Struycken durante un reunion solèm di KI riba 2 yüli 1951 a bisa: “Een eigen orgaan voor de behartiging van zijn belangen schept voor Curaçao grotere mogelijkheden dan ooit tevoren om de lens scherper in te stellen op de eigen problemen en mogelijkheden”. Sr. Michael Gorsira, e promé Presidente di KI i e promé ku a papia na Papiamentu den KI (wak potrèt ariba di Archivo Nashonal), a konkluí su diskurso ku a start na Hulandes: “Laga nos tur rekordá ku di awor en adelante nos lo haña e gobièrnu ku nos mes trese na poder i ku nos mes lo mester karga tur responsabilidat pa tur e loke e gobièrnu aki hasi. Laga nos demostrá responsabilidat. Esei lo ta e mihó prueba ku nos por duna ku nos meresé e outonomia ku tantu nos a anhelá”.

Willemstad, Kòrsou

Fuente: Archivo Nashonal

Refinery Curaçao: Bring Back Plan B

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In 2013 the Parliament of Curaçao approved a two-pronged strategy regarding the future of the Refinery of Curaçao (RoC). The Multidisciplinary Project Team (MDPT) was installed by Decree on 29 November 2013 to be in charge of modernizing the RoC and simultaneously work on redevelopment of the area currently occupied by the RoC in case it’s shut down (terugval scenario t.b.v. een mogelijke sluiting van de rafinaderij en de socio-economische herontwikkeling van het gebied), Plan B.

In the following years it became painfully obvious that chasing Guangdong Zhenrong Energy (GZE) to modernize the RoC was MDPT’s all-consuming activity. During a radio interview with Radio Paradise on 10 February 2016, Prime Minister Whiteman declared that his Government had for some time not been pursuing the two-pronged strategy. In September 2016 a MoU was signed with GZE and in November 2016, a Heads of Agreement (HoA) followed. Continuing to bet on GZE, the Rhuggenaath-Administration signed an addendum to the HoA with GZE in September 2017. In fact, in 2017 it rained MoUs between GZE and Curaçao companies (PSB-Bank, Curoil, Selikor, CDM-Holding, KTK, CPA and Aqualectra). See Photo (curacaochronicle.com).

We now know that GZE played us from the get-go. We also know that four people involved with selecting another party to modernize the RoC have been fired this year whilst two of them have been detained on corruption charges. The current RoC lease contract runs out in exactly six months. But we don’t exactly have world-renowned companies knocking on our doors to operate the RoC, especially considering that many refineries world-wide are closing up shop due to alternative energy sources and the excessive operating costs brought on by new regulations.

Still, Plan B is not being considered let alone rationally debated. Not even in the advent of a possible shut down and layoff of hundreds of workers. For the sake of our future, we need to think long-term and not put all our eggs in one basket for short-sighted (political) gains. A shut down of the RoC is a real possibility. Not talking about it will not solve any problems. Not planning for it will be catastrophic. 

Willemstad, Curaçao

Posibel Guera di Merka ku Iran na Plaka Chikí

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E retórika di guera entre Merka i Iran a intensifiká na momentu ku Merka a akusá Iran di a ataká 4 tankero di petroli, lokual Iran ta desmentí. Despues di algun siman, Iran ta tumba un “drone” di spionahe Merikano ku e ta bisa tabata bula riba su teritorio, pero ku Merka ta ninga. E situashon ta prekupante. Kon nos a yega aki i kiko por spera? Riba petishon di vários lesadó di mi blog ku sa ku mi ta frekuentá Asia regularmente, mi ta trata na hasi e tema aki komprendibel.

1. Divishon entre Musulman Sunni i Musulman Shia

Iran ta un pais den West Asia ku un sivilisashon di mas ku 7,000 aña i un enorme diversidat étniko i lingwistiko. E pais ta spektakularmente bunita i tin 21 sitio designá komo Patrimonio Mundial. Ta imposibel komprondé e konflikto entre Merka, Iran i otro aktornan sin papia di e divishon entre Musulman Sunni i Musulman Shia. E splet a bin ora mester a skohe un susesor despues di morto di Profeta Muhammad. Un grupo tabata na fabor pa skohe e susesor a base di tradishon tribal Árabe. Nan a bira konosí komo Sunni. E otro grupo, Shia, ke a mira e susesor sali for di famia di e Profeta. E Sunni ta konsiderá su mes komo ‘tradishonalista’, mientras e ta mira e Shia komo ’esun ku a rechasá tradishon’. Despues di e divishon kasi 1,400 aña pasá, e diferenshanan (teológiko) a bira mas grandi durante tempu.  Awe 80% di tur Musulman na mundu ta Sunni.

2.  Revolushon Iraní i guera Irak-Iran

Iran ta 90% Shia i kontrali na lokual hopi ta pensa, e no ta un pais Árabe.  Otro paisnan ku tin un mayoria Shia ta Irak, Azerbaijan i Bahrain. E revolushon Iraní di 1979 a kambia kurso di e pais kreando un estado basá riba teologia Shia ku e meta pa eksportá e modèl aki pa otro pais. Saddam Hussein, Presidente Irakí, un Sunni ku semper a oprimí e pueblo Shia (i Kurdo) di Irak, tabatin miedu ku e Shianan Irakí lo a usa e modèl di su bisiña Iran pa tumba su gobièrnu dominá pa Sunni. E tempu ei Iran a kuminsá papia mas i mas di reestablesé e gran Imperio Iraní di ántes. Na 1980, Saddam ta invadí Iran ku ainda tabata desorganisá despues di e revolushon. E guera ta dura 8 aña sin un berdadero vensedor. Saudi Arabia i Kuwait (ámbos Sunni) a sostené Saddam mientras e Soviétikonan i Merka a sostené tur dos banda (kòrda e skandal Iran-Contra ku a proba e papel di Merka).

3. Influensia di Iran ta krese

E guera ku Irak a stroba Iran di eksportá su revolushon mes ora. Pero den añanan siguiente, Iran a usa e slanan di guera risibí pa kaba ku su oponentenan na kas, alimentá patriotismo i invertí fuertemente den su trupanan, spesialmente e Guardia Nashonal. E promé Guera di Golfo despues ku Irak ta invadí Kuwait ta pone Irak rekonsiliá ku Iran. Iran despues ta bin benefisiá di morto di Saddam, e echo ku Merka a kibra e poder di Sunninan na Irak, e derota di Al-Qaeda i ISIS, ámbos Sunni i su enemigu mortal. Na 2007 e Presidente Iraní ta deklará ku su pais ta kapasitá pa produsí kombustibel nuklear nesesario pa traha bòm nuklear. Iran kada bia mas ta mira su mes komo un poder regional grandi ku influensia na Siria, Bahrain, Yemen i tambe Irak. Banda di esaki, Iran ta hasi bon uso di organisashonnan manera Hezbollah i otro gruponan regional Shia pa destabilisá gobièrnunan Sunni. (Igualmente Saudi Arabia i Qatar ta sostené gruponan Sunni ku ke hasi daño na Shianan).

4. Akuerdo ku Iran pa baha tenshon

En bista di e presunto kapasidat di Iran pa traha bòm nuklear, Merka, Reino Uní, Fransha, Rusia, China, EU i Alemania ta start negosashon ku Iran pa esaki stòp di desaroyá arma nuklear mientas ta kita e sanshonnan ekonómiko i laga Nashonnan Uní hasi inspekshonnan nesesario. Mei 2018 Presidente Trump ta bandoná unilateralmente e akuerdo ku na 2015 a keda akordá ku Iran. Esaki lógikamente ta subi e tenshon entre di Merka i Iran. Seguidamente Merka ta imponé un seri di sanshon riba Iran i ta denominá e Guardia Nashonal Iraní komo un organisashon terorista. Luna pasá ta tuma lugá e insidente ku e tankeronan den e Pasashi di Hormuz i e luna aki e bahamentu di e “drone” manera ya kaba menshoná den introdukshon lokual ta hasi e situashon eksplosivo. 

5. Lo tin guera?

Merka sin duda tin kapasidat militar pa destruí Iran. Den un eventual guera, Iran lo no por hasi daño na teritorio Merikano, pero lo por retaliá kontra paisnan Árabe Sunni ku kua Merka tin un bon relashon manera Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar i Afghanistan. E reto mas grandi sinembargo pa Merka ta un bon “exit plan”. Kon e lo bai dominá un pais enorme manera Iran pa trese i mantené kambio di régimen? Adishonalmente na Iran tin gruponan opositor manera Mujahdeen-e-Khalqh ku ta ekstremista i hambrá pa tuma poder. Pues un desintegrashon na Iran manera tabata e kaso na Irak i Libia no ta improbabel. Otro duda ta si Merka lo haña koperashon amplio di su aliadonan Oropeo en bista ku Presidente Trump mas bien a distansiá su mes for di nan. Finalmente, un akshon di Merka kontra di Iran lo trese un subida drástiko di preis di krudo ku lo afektá e bida di e Merikano negativamente. Trump lo por “afford” esaki den temporada ku ya kampaña elektoral Merikano a start?

Un guera awor aki no ta kumbiní ni Iran ni Merka. I apesar di hopi retórika, e no ta parsemi probabel ainda. E opshon mas sigur pa evitá un konflikto ta pa e dos paisnan aki sinta na mesa manera Presidente Abe di Hapón i otronan tras di kortina ta trata na hasi.

Willemstad, Kòrsou

Cold War in the Caribbean: Russia’s Predicament

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Remember Ziggy Marley’s hit Tumblin’ Down (1988) in which he describes the Cold War in the Caribbean as an epic battle between the eagle (US) and the bear (USSR)? Fact is that in the end the bear collapsed leading Soviet Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh to concede defeat(1). The Cold War in the Caribbean is on again. Only this time I don’t expect it to play out like the previous one. 

An unlikely alliance between two competitors with different agendas, Russia and China, have converged in the Caribbean to challenge US influence and clout. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Venezuela where the US favors regime change whilst the Sino-Russian duo supports president Nicolás Maduro. Of the two, China has a clearer plan to make good on its economic intentions in this region. Russia, despite Putin’s thuggishness, lacks the capacity to achieve its intended political results. This article deals with Russia’s predicament.

Russia lacks the capacity to engage in a head-on collision with the US. The harsh reality is that Russia is incapable to even command it’s backyard, Eastern Europe. It doesn’t have Beijing’s deep pockets and is struggling with a sluggish economy aggravated by sanctions, declining population and heavy dependence on the energy sector. In terms of nominal gross domestic product, Russia’s economy trails behind Italy and Brazil(2). Whilst Russia has the most nuclear weapons, its military doesn’t have the economic capacity to produce truly innovative weapons like China is able to do(3)(4).

Russia has proven unable to stop a formidable eastward expansion of NATO that includes Czechia, Montenegro, Slovenia and possibly Ukraine and Georgia. It couldn’t prevent Kosovo breaking away from Serbia and being recognized by 100+ UN members. This while the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized by only a handful of countries including Venezuela. Former Russian ally, Northern Macedonia, this year, made amends with Greece and is on its way to become member of the EU.

Russia is even struggling within its own territory, Siberia in the far east. Only 6 million Russians live on the Siberian side of the border with China while the Chinese population on the Chinese side of Siberia, nears 100 milion. In fact, China is investing more in this Russian territory than Moscow. 

Putin’s worries don’t stop here. The Russian language that used to be the official language in most of Eastern Europe, maintains this status in only four countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia). The Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have even limited the use of the Russian language in school. In 1993 former ally, Uzbekistan, dropped the Cyrillic alphabet (from which the Russian alphabet is derived) and adopted the Latin script. Planning to do the same is Kazakhstan. In December 2018, a new independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church was established to rid the church from the authority Moscow has had since 1686. This historic split has angered President Putin(5).

The past Soviet soft power, typically the use of cultural influence, is quickly vanishing. Statues of Soviet communist heroes have systematically vanished. Even if you do find a Lenin statue chances are that it’s hidden from sight, like in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (see photo). China at the other hand is charming its way on the global stage by pouring money in Chinese schools, Mandarin centers, cultural exchanges and Confucius Institutes. Recently Moscow appointed the actor Steven Seagal who has brutally denounced his native US and called Mr. Putin “one of the great living world leaders”, as its “soft power man” for the US. Makes you wonder if Moscow even gets the meaning of soft power.  

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So what is Russia doing in the Caribbean? If you’d ask Moscow, Russia is seeking to regain lost Soviet political clout by looking up old friends like Nicaragua, Cuba and Grenada and making new ones like Venezuela and Guyana. But for the time being Russia is mainly sticking with its self-made role of opportunistic global trouble-exploiter. Without ignoring Russia’s cyber capacity to disrupt democracies, it has neither the economic, military or soft power to confront the US in the Caribbean. For now, Russia’s role here is reduced to irritating the hell out of the West. Finally, I predict that the Sino-Russian alliance will heavily favor Beijing in the long run. 

Willemstad, Curaçao

(1) Arnold Beichman, Hoover Institute, 2 July, 2001 (2) World Bank, 2018 (3) Larisa Epatko, PBS NewsHour, 13 January, 2017 (4) Lee, Chung Min, Fault Lines in a Rising Asia, 2016 (5) PBS NewsHour, 19 June 2019

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Cold War in the Caribbean: Russia’s predicament

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Remember Ziggy Marley’s hit Tumblin’ Down (1988) in which he describes the Cold War in the Caribbean as an epic battle between the eagle (US) and the bear (USSR)? Fact is that in the end the bear collapsed leading Soviet Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh to concede defeat(1). The Cold War in the Caribbean is on again. Only this time I don’t expect it to play out like the previous one. 

An unlikely alliance between two competitors with different agendas, Russia and China, have converged in the Caribbean to challenge US influence and clout. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Venezuela where the US favors regime change whilst the Sino-Russian duo supports president Nicolás Maduro. Of the two, China has a clearer plan to make good on its economic intentions in this region. Russia, despite Putin’s thuggishness, lacks the capacity to achieve its intended political results. This article deals with Russia’s predicament.

Russia lacks the capacity to engage in a head-on collision with the US. The harsh reality is that Russia is incapable to even command it’s backyard, Eastern Europe. It doesn’t have Beijing’s deep pockets and is struggling with a sluggish economy aggravated by sanctions, declining population and heavy dependence on the energy sector. In terms of nominal gross domestic product, Russia’s economy trails behind Italy and Brazil(2). Whilst Russia has the most nuclear weapons, its military doesn’t have the economic capacity to produce innovative weapons like China does.(3)(4).

Russia has proven unable to stop a formidable eastward expansion of NATO that includes Czechia, Montenegro, Slovenia and possibly Ukraine and Georgia. It couldn’t prevent Kosovo breaking away from Serbia and being recognized by 100+ UN members. This while the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized by only a handful of countries including Venezuela. Former Russian ally, Northern Macedonia, this year, made amends with Greece and is on its way to become member of the EU.

Russia is even struggling within its own territory, Siberia in the far east. Only 6 million Russians live on the Siberian side of the border with China while the Chinese population on the Chinese side of Siberia, nears 100 milion. In fact, China is investing more in this Russian territory than Moscow. 

Putin’s worries don’t stop here. The Russian language that used to be the official language in most of Eastern Europe, maintains this status in only four countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia). The Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have even limited the use of the Russian language in school. In 1993 former ally, Uzbekistan, dropped the Cyrillic alphabet (from which the Russian alphabet is derived) and adopted the Latin script. Planning to do the same is Kazakhstan. In December 2018, a new independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church was established to rid the church from the authority Moscow has had since 1686. This historic split has angered President Putin(5).

The past Soviet soft power, typically the use of cultural influence, is quickly vanishing. Statues of Soviet communist heroes have systematically disappearing. Even if you do find a Lenin statue chances are that it’s hidden from sight, like in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (see photo). China at the other hand is charming its way on the global stage by pouring money in Chinese schools, Mandarin centers, cultural exchanges and Confucius Institutes. Recently Moscow appointed the actor Steven Seagal who has brutally denounced his native US and called Mr. Putin “one of the great living world leaders”, as its “soft power man” in charge of US-Russian relations. Makes you wonder if Moscow even gets the meaning of soft power.  

 

So what’s Russia doing in the Caribbean? If you’d ask Moscow, Russia is seeking to regain lost Soviet political clout by looking up old friends like Nicaragua, Cuba and Grenada and making new ones like Venezuela and Guyana. But for the time being Russia is mainly sticking with its self-made role of opportunistic global trouble-exploiter. Without ignoring Russia’s cyber capacity to disrupt democracies, it has neither the economic, military or soft power to confront the US in the Caribbean. For now, Russia’s role here is reduced to irritating the hell out of the West. Finally, I predict that the Sino-Russian alliance will heavily favor Beijing in the long run. 

Willemstad, Curaçao

(1) Arnold Beichman, Hoover Institute, 2 July, 2001

(2) World Bank, 2018

(3) Larisa Epatko, PBS NewsHour, 13 January, 2017

(4) Lee, Chung Min, Fault Lines in a Rising Asia, 2016

(5) PBS NewsHour, 19 June 2019

World Refugee Day: we’ve failed so far

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Tomorrow, June 20, 2019 the United Nations commemorates the World Refugee Day drawing the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

Has is dawned on us that Venezuelans seeking refuge in the Americas are probably worse off in Curaçao according to reputable international organizations?

We have failed to put in place a protection scheme for these refugees. They live in fear and in hiding. The abuse and (sexual) exploitation to which Venezuelan women are vulnerable is alarming. Yet we prefer to ignore their plight and only seem to be concerned with arresting, detaining, and deporting Venezuelans with irregular status.

Why hasn’t this news struck a cord yet in The Netherlands who likes to see itself as a human rights champion?

No one disagrees that the arrival of scores of people fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela to come to Curaçao presents real challenges for our island. But the lack of compassion and humanity shown so far is frankly disconcerting. It’s true that Curaçao is struggling with its own problems but, we are not absolved from doing our best to accommodate this group of people.

It seems that the governments in Willemstad and The Hague are so consumed by legal and constitutional technicalities that they hardly noticed how they’ve failed the humanitarian standards by which they were expected to deal with these refugees.

It’s a shame.

Willemstad, Curaçao

Promé elekshon voto universal ta produsí gobièrnu ku ta kai den 37 dia

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Hopi gobièrnu a bai kas promé ku tempu. E rèkort ta kaida despues di 37 dia. Esaki ta riba nòmber di Kolegio da Costa Gomez ku a sinta di 10 mei pa 17 yüni 1949. Ta trata di e gobièrnu ku a forma despues di e elekshon den kua pa promé biaha tur hòmber i muhé por a vota na mart 1949.

Nos demokrasia parlamentario a start na aprel 1938 ku instalashon di 10 Miembro di Parlamento (MdP) pa kua un grupo limitá por a vota. E sobrá 5 MdP a keda nombrá pa Gobernadó. Na 1948 nos ta haña un konstitushon nobo ku ta marka un era nobo. E ta habri kaminda pa un Parlamento skohí di 21 hende, derechi di voto universal, i kreashon di un College van Algemeen Bestuur (CAB) ku tabata preludio pa un Konseho di Minister. Tambe a introdusí e nòmber Antia Hulandes.

Despues ku Partido Nashonal di Pueblo (PNP) a gana elekshon di mart 1949 ku 4 asiento (foto), Moises da Costa Gomez (Dòktor) ta bira formadó. Formashon entre partidonan di Kòrsou a resultá imposibel.  Partido Katóliko di Pueblo (KVP) ku 1 asiento ta yama Dòktor traidor i ta hala atras. Meskos Partido Demokrat (DP) ku 3 asiento. Tòg Dòktor ta logra haña sosten di 5 asiento di AVP di Aruba, 1 di Boneiru i 3 di Isla Riba pa un total di 13. 

Riba 3 di mei 1949 Staten ta reuní pa aprobá Kolegio da Costa Gomez. Emoshonnan ta bai hopi haltu den Staten, prinsipalmente ora MdP “Colá” Debrot di KVP kritiká Dòktor. Kos ta sali for di man i ta pidi kuerpo di paga kandela saka públiko afó. Promé ku votamentu MdP Yrausquin ta bandoná AVP i djòin Union Nacional Arubano (UNA). 12 MdP ta vota pa Kolegio da Costa Gomez. Tres siman despues otro MdP di AVP ta djòin UNA, hasiendo e sosten di Kolegio da Costa Gomez 11.

MdP pa PNP, da Costa Gomez i Plantz, ku a bira  parti di gobièrnu a krea dos vakatura den Staten. Koalishon ku tabatin sosten di solamente 9 MdP tabata bòikotiá tur intento pa reunion públiko. Finalmente oposihon ta forma korem pa reunion. Promé ku por a yena e vakaturanan di PNP oposishon ta aprobá ku 9-6 un moshon di deskonfiansa kontra di Kolegio da Costa Gomez.

E promé gabinete salí for di voto universal ta bai kas despues di 5 siman. Gobernadó ta instruí instalashon di un ‘zaken kabinet’. Si e ta zona konosí, ta pasombra e ta. Promé gabinete di Kòrsou ku a sinta na 2010 a bai kas promé ku dos aña. Igualmente a sigui un ‘zaken kabinet’. 

Willemstad, Kòrsou

Fuente: Archivo Nashonal, Staatkundige Ontwikkeling Nederlandse Antillen, dr. Kasteel; De Tijd, 10/6/49