Bati Bleki Buzz Weekly Recap, March 8th, 2020

CONVID-19 & RDA

Ok, we have a policy regarding COVID-19. It looked like they all took the weekend off, then on Saturday evening a document came, as a pro-active strategy: We continue to monitor…we have no cases of Coronavirus here…we are not applying entry restrictions… everyone is welcome…all airlines have been told to submit a list in advance (!?) of passengers who traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy within the last 14 days….Airlines are supposed to notify the Immigration Department BEFORE these red herrings land….then there are screening protocols….even if screened prior to landing here, red flags will be screened again….these visitors will have to answer a questionnaire….also those suspected of fever, coughing, shortness of breath….then the Department of Public Health will decided if to quarantine or isolate.

Good.

We have a policy now; we can tell travel partners about it.

Of course, enforcement and follow-up may be sketchy.

This weekend a family of SIX coming from Afghanistan, managed to get off the Aviana flight, go through immigration, without a VISA, to claim asylum in Aruba. How did they get through immigration, and Customs with their luggage, and a baby??

And how did the story leak with great detail??

Someone in the know, told 24Ora about this Immigration snafu. Asleep at the helm.

And now to RDA

We were shown a picture, depicting the handing of the key over. RDA reverts back to Aruba, it said. The press release and the statement from the MinPres included NO NAMES. The release also talked about a new company, TDEA.  Who were the people in the picture, I asked? What does TDEA stand for? Something with Terminal?! Why don’t you send out the complete info??

Friend 1:  IMHO, in my humble opinion, what it means: (i) By creating a dochteronderneming / subsidiary for the oil terminal (wise move), the oil terminal can be negotiated separately, repeat separately from the refinery; (ii) frankly, Rona, there is not much “refinery” left, so it will be extremely difficult to find a candidate to invest zillions to resuscitate the “refinery”; (iii) however RdA of course is very attractive real estate, and the scrap iron potential is valuable; (iv) in conclusion: I think Aruba’s negotiating committee knows very well what they are doing, they are probably also being advised by world class experts, that is how it should be! They will be listing RDA internationally, as a bride looking for a groom, a buyer/operator. Perhaps they already have one lined up in the bullpen.

Friend 2. Ok…so the Texan is Joe Crawford Interim VP & GM of Citgo Aruba, he is handing the key back to Arends, RdA President.  We assume that RdA formed a subsidiary, TDEA, in order to operate the Terminal on its own without outside investment. Meaning GoA/RdA must have no serious investor/company interested in running the refinery or the terminal. I would like to know who those “world class experts” are who advised Aruba to terminate the Citgo agreement for ZERO dollars? I believe GOA/RdA was bamboozled into believing that the refinery is in such poor condition that they had no choice but to let Citgo out of the agreement in order to get the Terminal. If such “world class experts” believe the refinery has no value other than scrap metal, they do not know the technical aspects and present condition of the Aruba refinery and only see it from afar as a ball of rust.

Cannot afford to upset anyone; If you think that Aruba is becoming expensive

On February 28th, Aruba’s largest newspaper published a most xenophobic, vile article on page 12, under the headline ‘The disease that lifted the curtain on Chinese Imperialism.’

Of course it was based on the fact that the current almost-pandemic we are dealing with hailed out of that Fish market in China where it transitioned from the animal kingdom into humanity.

The article described China as a repressive hell on earth, as a power hungry dragon, and questioned whether we will continue to embrace the Chinese communist regime because of its wealth, as it now even endangers the Olympic flames of peace.

Rather bombastic language.

Yesterday a big apology in that same newspaper occupied bombastic headlines. Apologies for the base language, for the holier than thou attitude, the announcement paddled backward, mindful of the Chinese community’s economic strength on the island.

They frequently place supermarket adz in the paper, and no newspaper can afford to offend anyone, if it wants to stay in business.     

On a general note, perhaps it is time for the media to reconsider how it labels people as Chines, Colombiano, Venezuelano, Dominicano, Mericano.

There is a general air of disrespect in the media, which we should all aspire to correct, we’re people, don’t stick us into boxes, labeled by our nationality, with the intend of putting us down as “different from us,” “lesser than us.”

If you think that Aruba is becoming expensive

The monthly Central Bureau of Statistics summary was published yesterday. I will not make you read the whole shebang, just excerpts:

“Core inflation, excluding the effect of energy and food – was 3.8% in January 2020. The energy index – which consists of the products: electricity, water, gasoline and diesel – was -0.5%. The food index showed an increase of 13.0%.”

The “Food & Catering services” index showed an increase of 1.9% in January 2020, after an increase of 0.2% in December 2019. The index for “Food at home” showed an increase of 2.5% in January, as all of the eleven (11) “Food at home” indices increased in January 2020. The “Vegetables” index registered the largest increase (8.1%) in January 2020. Furthermore, increases were posted in the indices for “Potatoes and other tubers” (6.5%), “Fruit” (4.0%), “Oils and fats” (3.1%) and “Bread and cereals” (2.0). 

Over the last twelve (12) months, the “Food & catering services” has increased by 9.2%. The “Food at home” index showed an increase of 11.0%. The “Fruit” index increased by 28.3%, the largest increase among the “Food at home” food groups.

Postkantoor = Useless

On November 4th, RBC Royal Bank of Canada send me a computer generated letter, asking me to stop by the main branch and provide them with a valid ID, by February 4th, 2020, otherwise…

The Letter was delivered to my mail box on March 3rd.

Are you shocked?

No.

You know how useless the Post Office is.

Private delivery companies have made it big, because the Post office cannot be trusted to deliver anything on time.

Meanwhile.

In February, my personal debit cards stopped functioning. I couldn’t pay for gas, couldn’t pay for groceries.

Which brought me into the bank, fuming.

I lined up. When it was finally my term the apologetic teller told me my account was disabled because the bank only had an expired driver’s license in my file.

I asked her WHY they couldn’t send me a notice? An e-mail?

She didn’t know.

It was the first time, she said, she sees the bank take such drastic measures.

Anyway, she copied my ID, my cards return to function.

And now WE understand. RBC did warn me on November 4th, BUT the good-for-nothing Post-Office was unable to deliver for THREE months.

I know, if I call the Post Office to complain about their lame performance they will tell me the letter was generated at banking headquarters, then hogged until the end of February. “They might have written the letter on Nov 4th, but didn’t release it then,” they would say.

QUESTION: RBC, why don’t you use the online banking system to send messages?? Why revert to mail? Why drag us back to the Stone Age?

Postkantoor, do us all a favor and go out of business, or bring back the carrier pigeons.

Love Multiculture Aruba 2020 worth a visit

Cas di Cultura is hosting an expo of 50 b/w portraits of loving people, carefully styled by Dutch photographer-to-the-stars Kees Tabak, a man who had made a career out of making talented, driven, beautiful people look even better in print.

The expo Love Multiculture Aruba 2020 documents people Tabak met on the island over the last two years. My house doctor. My favorite parliamentarian. An art curator. One of the women I exercise with. They are all pictured with the partners. A young woman and her lovely baby. Just one baby. A few besties in pairs. A threesome. Apparently Tabak has been living here quietly, but once a photographer, always a photographer.

He must be good.

The photographs reveal an amazing kaleidoscope of people all looking bravely into the camera lens, allowing Tabak to get into their soul and connect.

The results are rewarding for us the viewers.

Our ordinary people, look like rock-stars.

They are dramatically lit, but gently posed in perfect harmony, interlocked in FIFTY different, but genuine embraces.

I went to look at the expo and my faith in humanity was restored.

We are a beautiful species.

If we just take time out to connect, to feel the love, and the flow of humanity, we overcome all barriers, of race, religion, politics, differences melt away, just beauty remains.

Of course the perspective is important, the eye of the photographer, and his impeccable taste.

The expo is what Tabak sees. A little light manipulation, and tada, perfection.

I am taking a page out of his book: Look at the world with more loving eyes.  I will get to see more-beautiful things.

What is a Tom Zitting

A number of my friends were outraged that an adult American tourist who was caught committing a criminal offense, against a minor, was spared the court appearance and was given instead, after his arrest an interview with the local prosecutor, the OM.

He was given a TOM session, a Transaction with the Public Prosecution Services, instead of a rendezvous with a judge in court.

It is the OM’s privilege to do so. After all, it was a tourist, and the crime was described as ‘mild.’ Whatever that means. (The tourist allegedly fingered her, a 12-year-old tourist from Chile, under her bikini in the water off Palm Beach)

So, the OM decided to act discretely, fine him, and let him go, chasing him out of the country seemed a practical solution. Here’s the carpet, sweep everything under.

The community was outraged.

What is mild? Is the minor going to deal with the crime committed against him/her, mildly?

Then the MinJust came out slugging, in disagreement with the OM. He cited an article in the penal code whereby victims may protest and appeal, and the various not-for-profit foundations dealing with cases of child sexual abuse may also take action to appeal the OM’s decision, demand a day in court and even restitution.

If we had an Ombudsman, he could interfere too. But we don’t.  

We were surprised at the speed that case was handled. We were all saddened as the ease that case was dismissed.

The country’s budget delivered to Parliament

The MinFEC managed to conclude budget meetings and present her masterpiece to parliament, last week, the earliest ever.

This country’s budget, as far as I can recall, was always presented towards the end of the year, but in 2020 it was delivered in what can still be considered the beginning of the year. Hurrah.

On paper, we will bring in Awg 1,569 million and spend Awg 1,523, which means if all goes well we will be creating a surplus of 46 million.

Don’t hold your breath.

ConVid 19 is threatening to totally jeopardize best laid plans, because according to my sources, the island’s economy is about to suffer a blow, as big as the global economy, only here because of the size of our economy, it will hurt more.

So tighten your belts my friends, we’ve been through periods of austerity before, and we can do that, we’re Teflon-coated.

Looking at GOA’s 2020 budget, one number pop out, 476 million. And that is the cost of personnel – not personal, but personnel, the GOA chart boasted a spelling error – 30% of this country’s tax revenue goes to sustain GOA’s apparatus. 30% labor cost!!

Then 14% of our tax revenue, 221 million, goes to INTEREST payments to service our loans.

Oy.

A Fool’s Complaint

From My friends Paul Faas, who has a peculiar sense of humor, he’s been trying to get a permit for a boat for three years, and nothing is moving in the permit department!

Paul is the former owner of Two Fools & A Bull restaurant, he ran a successful business, then he had the foolish idea to switch careers and become a boat captain. Pfffff

Hello DuDu, he says…..

Here’s one for you ….

This is getting too stupid for words…

Not reaction whatsoever from the ministry……and I can show you all my emails…and never ending correspondence

Last Wednesday…the taxistanan blocked the entrance to Parliament, protesting against the Minister of Transportation

And all he says is…….”It’s busy…….”. Really??

Busy with what?

He is now making a nice salary, for 4 years, and will retire with a fat pension of Afl 12.000 a month for the rest of his life!

Did you know he had a Body Guard.??

That just got shot, in an unrelated incident…!!!???

Why would he have such a useless bumpkin in charge of his security???

What kind of danger is he in??

Who pays for that????

Priceless…!!!

Rona…….it’s not only me…….a lot of other guys waiting for permits.

This is getting out of control…….Having to wait three…….

The Dir. Scheepvaart, one big FFFF drama, they have to sign the permit too.

Really a nightmare first class…….

We should impeach them!!

Off with their heads…….

I am FFFF angry…….and I am a FOOL

REGISTER 1 FOOL AND A BOAT AT THE NOTARY, AS A BUSINESS??…….55 MINUTES

REGISTER 1 FOOL AND A BOAT AT THE KvK??…….48 MINUTES

REGISTER 1 FOOL AND A BOAT AT THE TAX OFFICE??…….40 MINUTES

OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT FOR 1 FOOL AND A BOAT??…….38 MINUTES

LAUNCH THE WEBSITE FOR 1 FOOL AND A BOAT??…….35 MINUTES

REGISTER AT TRIPADVISOR FOR 1 FOOL AND A BOAT??…….29 MINUTES

APPLY FOR THAT WATERSPORT LICENSE, FOR 1 FOOL AND A BOAT WITH MY LAWYER??…….25 MINUTES

NOW…….

WAITING FOR 1 FOOLISH PERMIT FOR 3 YEARS JUST TO GET THAT LICENSE SIGNED??

BELIEVE ME…….THIS IS BEYOND PRICELESS, THIS IS OUTRIGHT SHAMEFUL!!

THANK YOU MINISTER OF TRANSPORT…….DANKI DIRECTIE SCHEEPVAART…….FOR BEING SO INSANELY SUPPORTIVE…AND…BUSY???

MINISTER YOU ARE MAKING ARUBA….FOOLISH….

YOURS, 1 SAD FOOL, AN EVEN SADDER BOAT……WITHOUT A LICENSE!!

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March 08, 2020
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