Bati Bleki Buzz Weekly Recap, December 15th, 2019

In the right direction, at HOH

With the nomination of Ronnie Van Trigt as crisis manager it seems we are on the road to recovery at Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital.

In the wake of the recent disastrous data hacking, and other miscellaneous scandals, in accordance to our national calamity plan, GOA took HOH over and the MinHealth nominated new leadership.

Though not from of the medical profession, RVT has been on the board of AZV for about 6 years. The man knows which side it up, he’s good with numbers, has private sector business experience and best of all having sat on a number of boards during his career including ATIA, he knows how to reach consensus, move things forward, take decisions and deal with people with crazy ideas.

Will he get the power, the authority to act and fix the calamity at the hospital?

Or is it only a short-term remedy while the hacking of data interferes with the main business of taking care of patients?

I am optimistic. I think the MinHealth is going to do the right thing for us, give RVT the power to clean house and send all clowns who couldn’t keep critical health care clean, management and board, home.

HOH has been in crisis for YEARS. If RVT gets full authority he will partner with a solid medical establishment overseas, seek partnerships and collaborations, just like Baptist Health was so helpful to Aruba at the time.

Perhaps it still is, with the opening of the cancer treatment clinic in San Nicholas  

With a new experienced and professional team in place, I see light at the end of the tunnel. Aruba should seek help, not from a place of weakness but from a place of strength, the strength and intelligence to realize we require support.

As an island, we’re so fortunate to have a Universal Health Plan, something most countries can only dream of, and I am confident MinHealth is on board to protect it and strengthen the system. Applause.

Farewell to Padu       

One of my friends writes: Flags in Aruba should have been at half-mast and a National Day of Mourning should have been observed. Truly there will never be another Juan Lampe. His passing marks in my mind the end of ‘Old Aruba.’ The end of innocence. The end of an era that nearly all visitors and many locals can only read about. A time much simpler, before the internet and globalization. When the island was asleep, in bed at 9pm, because there was crude oil to refine the following morning 7am, and school to attend. Those times are long gone now and Padu’s passing locks the gates…. forever.

There was a little too much popcorn dancing at the memorial, but otherwise a befitting farewell.

Ribbon-Cutting at Rehoboth Peace Land Condo

Rehoboth Peace Land Condo is tucked away in the neighborhood of Hato, at Caya Maguey 10-12, off the new highway from the airport.

The property has just recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. As a boutique hotel, it enjoys an excellent central location in a quiet residential neighborhood, designed to welcome individuals and families on vacation. The modern, nicely appointed complex is graced by 14 apartments, with 6 two-bedroom and 8 one-bedroom units.

Five of the two-bedroom units are located on the ground floor, and one is a second-floor unit. They all feature an open, fully equipped kitchen with a dining room, as well as a living room area, complete with sofa bed.

Six of the one-bedroom units feature a full kitchen, designed to fit guests’ needs and requirements.

Rehoboth Peace Land Condo was built by the Santana family as an oasis of tranquility and relaxation. At the friendly ribbon-cutting ceremony, they shared with family members and friends gathered on the pool deck that in 2013, the family received a promise, at a time of adversity, that better days were coming. True to that divine promise, in 2017 they were able to start construction and opted to give the project a biblical name, Rehoboth, after a water well, dug by Isaac’s servants. Genesis, chapter 26, verse 22:  He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”

That biblical story inspired the Santanas to create a boutique hotel with a message of peace and goodwill. Luz Adriana Arias Santana doubled as the interior designer, and her impeccable taste is visible in the choice of colors and tropical decorations.

All construction materials for the complex were purchased in Aruba, and the Kooyman representatives at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were pleased to confirm that everything from light switches to bedding was locally sourced. One-hundred and ten solar panels on the roof attest to the Santanas’ commitment to green practices.

Rehoboth offers a gym, a garden BBQ area, a free-form pool, lounge chairs, Wi-Fi, and a well-trained and courteous staff, eager to swiftly fulfill guests’ wishes.

With the values of respect, excellence, passion, service, courtesy, and proactivity, the Santana family hopes to serve a boutique niche in Aruba’s tourism market for many years to come.

You may find Rehoboth on all booking engines, with prices starting at $104.

Phone: +297-585-9798


Minister Otmar Oduber, retires from public life?!

A while ago, he announced his upcoming retirement at the end of 2019, concluding his tenure as the minister of Spatial Development, Infrastructure and the Environment.

To do what?

At a press conference, which I was not asked to attend, at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino he announced over breakfast, he will be opening a consultancy, a private business, going back to his roots, he said, to his passion, to tourism, the field he studied and loves.

It should have been expected, government jobs have no NDA, non-disclosure agreement, so if the retired Dutch politicians go and works for KPMG, Shell, Unilever or Citicorp, we can expect our people to do the same.

Even Hunter Biden cashed in on his name in the Ukraine.

Though my immediate thought was that the principles of Good Governance could be compromised greatly when all connections and relationships are leveraged.

But, so it goes.

Above all, sincerely, we wish the minister good health. When he announced his retirement we speculated it was medical-related. He underwent a radical physical transformation, becoming half his size, in a number of months. It could not have been easy, to deal with challenges and complications while remaining cool and composed on the outside.

The future: He will no doubt remain in the limelight, when the new minister of Spatial Development, Infrastructure and the Environment is sworn in. It is his party, and we should not forget that. We believe he is grooming a successor, his daughter, bright and promising, who is finishing the hotel school in The Hague, destined to arrive on the political scene sooner than we think.

So we’re not kissing OO goodbye.

As a ballsy bulldozer, and a fast decision-maker, I regret he did not reach a comprehensive consensus and plan on trash and garbage handling, disposal, etc., that would have been a fantastic legacy.

But, who know, pray his successor will.

As a footnote: Working as a consultant in the private sector is not easy, servicing clients is tricky, you have to be on call, plus collecting payments is often problematic, he might not like it.

Mitigating the cost of living increases

During a recent united-front press conference, GOA had just announced a lower tariff for electricity, as of January 1st, 2020.

We welcome all price reductions. Thank you.

Because as a nation we are getting poorer. One of my friends reported this week that the bailiff offices have been especially busy enforcing the collection of debts on behalf of SETAR, WEB, CROWN and ISLAND FINANCE.  

Many people are broke.

But if you look at the reduction realistically it is just an accounting wizardry measure, a political move, to make our cost of living look better and mitigate the recent sharp increases as reported by CBS, the Central Bureau of Statistics.

For October 2019, they reported: The CPIC (core inflation) –  excluding the effect of energy and food – was 3.1% in October 2019. The energy index – which consists of the products: electricity, water, gasoline and diesel – was 0.3%. The food index showed an increase of 13.1%.

So you know, our money doesn’t reach that far these days, but the national numbers will look better on paper, when the Dutch accountants, in charge of our spending-control, peruse them.   

GOA announced that residents will get a 10% reduction, businesses 7%.

They guarantee the reduced rate for one year.

They emphasized that they have reduced the cost of living for citizens as well as cost of doing business for commerce, as a yearend gift.

It’s a good move, but at the end it will not avoid our cost of living increases, as you can see above, with the October numbers.

ALSO: If Utilities makes less money, will it be able to upgrade and service the system properly to avoid and prevent blackouts. Energy is a serious business, and plunging us into darkness because 10% of the maintenance budget was cut, is a lousy idea.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for details on what the government’s decision is for a second phase of tax reform in 2020. 

Is this energy rebate greasing the skids for what the future holds???


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December 15, 2019
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster