Bati Bleki Weekly Recap,Aug 27th, 2017

He who sows winds, reaps storms, writer’s name withheld

This was written by one of my friends in Papiamento, the original version below, I put it into English because he makes a good point saying that GOA’s behavior rubs on our people. If GOA behaves badly, it signals to our people that gloves are off, and civility obsolete.

  1. The Hunger Strike at Fort Zoutman, instigation against the governor, against political opponents, and against the Dutch, the macambanan. Signal to people: A lack of respect for authority is OK.
  2. Creating a disaster with public funds. Signal to people: No need to pay attention to due process or rules, just go on spending.
  3. Political persecution of public employees, appointment of friends into the government apparatus and the distribution of work contracts among ‘Coordinators’: Signal to people: Don’t worry about rules, budget or proper accounting, friends and family come first.
  4. Creating a business with work permits, granting special exemptions, trading land-leased terrain. Signal to people: As a politician, you may enrich yourself and all those involved.
  5. Creating chaos regarding tax exemptions and write-offs, in particular tax cases. Signal to people: Those who can, can. Nothing for you, everything for me and my friends.
  6. Making errors, bordering with fraud in state-owned companies, such as the hedging deal and its 304 lost millions, instituting different water and electric-current tariffs, cellular fraud for over 10 years by providing us with refurbished cells instead of new ones, hacking Arubus, granting a gasoline deal to a private company. Walking away with little consequence. Signal to people: You are stupid if you don’t take advantage of an opportunity to get rich.
  7. Ignore the instruction of the electoral committee regarding the stipulated time for party list presentation. Signal to people: The MinPres and the party are omnipotent.
  8. Organizing party-sanctioned disturbance during the recent Political Debate on August 17, 2017 during the Chamber of Commerce event, allowing out-of-control party members to interrupt incessantly. Signal to people: It’s ok to ridicule and put down your opponent as a form of promoting your own cause.


Polarization, instigation, manipulation of opinions, fanaticism … are these the example we set for our youth? … Does this create a tranquil and prosperous Aruba? Will this bring our students studying overseas, back to the island?

… a divided people, is a lost people …

Quien siembra vientos, recoge tempestades:

  1. Huelga di hamber na Fort Zoutman, instigacion contra gobernador, contra oponentenan politico, y contra e macambanan. Signal pa pueblo: falta di respet pa autoridat ta permisible
  2. Hasi y deshasi cu fondonan publico. Signal pa pueblo: no mester tene cuenta cu proceduranan y reglanan pa (mal)gasta plaka di pueblo
  3. Persecucion politico di ambtenaar, nombracion di amigonan den aparato gubernamental y partimento di arbeidscontrat cu coordinador. Signal pa pueblo: no worry cu reglanan presupuestario di contabilidad pa friends y family
  4. Negoshi di permiso, negoshi di ontheffing markttoets, negoshi di terenonan erfpacht. Signal pa pueblo; ta permiti pa enrikisa bo mes como politico y esnan involvi
  5. Crea un chaos na impuesto pa asina regla un par di asuntonan di belasting. Signal pa pueblo: il que peux, se peut (esun cu por lo hasié)…smal pabo, hanco pami y mi friends and family
  6. Hasi erroran of fraude na companianan estatal manera e hedging deal y su perdida di miyones a costo di tarifanan di awa y coriente y e dividiendo pa caha di gobierno, fraude cu cellular pa mas cu 10 anya cumpra cellular refurbished bende na prijs inhusto, hacking di Arubus, pasa deal di gasolin pa un compania priva ETC…and get to walk away sin consecuencia. Signal pa pueblo: bo ta kens si bo no enrikisa bo mes
  7. Ignora instruccion di Kiesraad pa entrega lista di partido na e ora stipula. Signal pa pueblo: minister presidente y partido na mando por hasi kiko nan kier
  8. Organisa disturbio durante Debate Politico di 17 Augustus 2017 organisa pa Camara di Comercio sin ordona y calma fanaticonan di partido. Signal pa pueblo: ta okay pa grita hasi bofon di oponentenan politico tanten bo alaba bo representantenan di partido


Sembra polarisacion, instigacion, manipulacion di opinion, fanatismo…esakinan ta ehempel pa nos hubentud?…esaki lo crea un Aruba trankil y prospero pa futuro?..esaki lo encurasha nos studiantenan afo pa bin Aruba bek?!…

…un pueblo dividi, ta un pueblo perdi…


VOTAARUBA.ORG, an interesting  ‘Stemwijzer,’ a voter monitor

A recent ‘Stemwijzer,’ reached my mail box. I checked with friends if it was legit. It was, so I took the ‘test,’ basically responding to a multiple choice prompt.

I recommend it to all of you; the website promises the collected data will remain confidential.

VOTAARUBA.ORG is a kind of election monitor, a web based tool monitoring political interest here on the road to September’s elections. I am told it is a project by students in the Netherlands – no names mentioned — some of the project partners are respectable and impartial entities. Most importantly people who tried the stemwijzer, find out which political party program/vision is aligned with theirs.

Some were surprised it worked so well.

So what is, by Fundacion Fuente, about?

It elicits questions and asks you to think about a yes, a no, or none of the above, answer.


Should Aruba help Venezuela in a case of a humanitarian crisis? Yes? No?

Should the care of the elderly remain primarily the family’s responsibility, or should the state shoulder the burden.

What would be a good age for retirement 62, 65?

Should Aruba grant a basic salary to all citizens?

I just recently listened to a TED talk about guaranteed basic income, as an instrument of poverty elimination: wanted to know how I feel about same sax marriage.

Then asked me if I support patient partial participation in the purchase of prescription drugs.

Other questions I had to think about included:

Should abortion be allowed only in extreme cases such as rape of sexual abuse?

Should the cultivation and sale of MJ be legal?

Should import duties be reduced?

Should Aruba drill for natural gas?

Should the refinery push to become operational?

Should multinational companies pay more taxes here?

Should GOA make large investments in cyclists paths?

Should we ban resort all-inclusive programs?

Should Caya Betico Croes be open for traffic?

Should a member of parliament who resigns from his party, lose his seat in parliament?

Should the MinPers be elected directly, on a second ballot, by name, on a national level?

Should we pay for parking?

Should Arubans living overseas be obliged to vote?

Should there be a control mechanism, controlling GOA’s expenses and spending?

Should we crack down forcefully on illegal immigration?

Should we have more alternative-energy producing windmills?

Should all illegal dumps be closed?

Should we write and enact environmental laws?

Should Papiamento be the elementary-school language?

Then the website tells you how the various parties think and where they stand. I found out I was much more in agreement with RED than with AVP.

If you don’t wanna take the quiz, just answer the questions while siting in a group of friends, you will be surprised at the answers you get.


Happiness as a key business success indicator

Under the slogan “Happy people and organizations are more successful,” Arnaud Collery will be conducting a five-day workshop on the island, preparing some lucky individuals to become Chief Happiness Officers of the companies they work for.

The CHO workshop offers five very interactive sessions of 4 hours, with a maximum of 30 people in attendance, and Arnaud’s goal is to mold the group into a tribe, a family of recruits, all drinking his delicious Kool-Aid.

Don’t get me wrong, as resident of One Happy Island, I recommend drinking his Kool-Aid, because we all deserve to be a bit happier.

Aruba has known Arnaud for four or five years.

Roy de Meza first met him, he explains, at some workshop, somewhere around the globe, and suggested Aruba, “You should come to Aruba,” Roy  said, ”make us happier,” and that’s how, before long, Arnaud was presenting at TEDX, giving workshops at ATA, and participating in the MinTour’s Happiness Conference.

He talks about the benefits of being happy. People who are happy on the job, work harder, think better, and stay longer. 18% of people leave their jobs because they are unhappy. 40% of our own happiness is a result from our mind set, 50% comes from genetics and just 10% from life circumstances!

Happiness is intoxicating, mood elevating, problem solving, burden alleviating, cost cutting, health promoting. We’re nicer, warmer, more loveable people, when we‘re happy, we’re event prettier!

Are you sold on the workshop?

I am. I am totally sold on the idea that happiness is a key performance indicator, on today’s landscape.

And if you run a company, and you are forever unhappy about the way your troops perform, you should take the workshop yourself, because happy leaders, inspire happy workers; and satisfied smiling bosses, inspire satisfied, smiling employees who bust their butts to make budget.

So the key is leadership.

And don’t you just dispatch your HR crew to the workshop. You should go yourself. Because, change starts at the top and Arnaud can only do ‘his thing,’ if leadership ‘does their thing.’

Besides, you will be entertained.

You will have a good time.

Arnauld is a great story teller, a standup comic, an actor all wrapped up into a retired investment banker.

His invasive French accent makes everything sound funnier.

Sign up. It’s worth it. You are worth it.

For more information call +297 588 0541 or email to [email protected]

Date: September 4-8, 2017

Location: Alhambra Ballroom Aruba

Price per person: US$ 2,225 (Afl. 3,995)

Local early bird special: US$ 1,995 (Afl. 3,590) if registered and paid before Aug. 5, 2017

This workshop is intended for: HR Executives / external consultants, Commercial Executives, Department heads of government organizations, Owners/ Directors SME’s, Life coaches.

From the brochure: “Acquire the concept and practice of the role of the Chief Happiness Officer in order to understand and put devices in place aimed at the well-being at work or in the organization create a toolkit to foster creativity, cooperation and commitment, enabling change to be implemented in the organization; become a major player in business change.”


Basha Foundation and Vibration PR introduce an event you should not miss, and bring the kids!

Aruba’s 1st Annual Poetry Festival on Sunday 27th of August, 2017 will take place in a cool location, and you should come with the kids. You are not going to believe your ears.

The Poetry Festival will be checking into downtown Oranjestad, into Flor Di Oriente, a recently remodeled and upgraded rum shop, tucked away behind the court building.

Poetry night was born 10 years ago in Cuba’s Cookin’s old location, on Wilhelminastraat, in Oranjestad. Owner Douglass Marcus supported PR diva Maria Silva, as she put together a Bohemian and creative entertainment program for his restaurant, including an open mike evening where the chic and hip attempted to add poetry to their resume.

While the first editions of Poetry Night were all about style, the resulting ten years were all about substance. The audience grew in strength and in numbers. Out of the blue, the usually conforming, and predictable regulars evolved to share a mix of rebellious and vulnerable thoughts, just like that, for the whole world to see.

Poetry, as you know, expresses feelings intensely, and is not for the faint of heart.

The intention of Poetry Night, explains Maria, was to promote creative self-expression through the art of the spoken word. The audience in turn, enjoys quality entertainment, with poets thinking differently, seeing differently, hearing differently and ultimately acting differently, reinforcing the individuality of each member of our community.

At a certain point, Poetry Night set itself free from a permanent address and became a pop up monthly gathering in unusual and unique places, a backyard, a dilapidated building, an abandoned theater. As expected, adults were then joined by kids and teens, and followers started to recognize certain Caribbean genres and certain talented performers. Papiamento as a language received a huge boost, as it was used as a literary tool, not just a street jargon.

It is important that you join Aruba’s First Annual Poetry Festival by BASHA FoundationSunday 27th of August, 2017, from 4pm to 1am; come and support the arts, it will make you think, feel, laugh and understand.

Location Flor de Oriente, Oranjestad. Entrance fee: Awg. 1.00. Open to the general public.

On the program: Four street poets, six stage poets, with guest performances by International Poets Alysia Harris and Denice Frohman. Vinyl records corner; Atelier 89’ exposition in the blue cunucu house; An exposition by Stichting Rancho: Candid photographs by rancho residents, “Tempo pa Klik,” inside Flor de Oriente and on the street; A pop up street art fair, Korteweg; Limbo dancers, a Brassband, Steelpans. You could play a game of Bolas Criollas, on the sidewalk or attempt to compose you own poetry on some vintage typewriters.  Among musical performers, local young talents: Santo Blanco, Pearl Dumfries, Rocky Croes, and Central Pieces.

The event is hosted by poets Yakari Gabriel and Beach Lama.

Food & Beverage by Aruba Wine & Dine Catering and Flor de Oriente

Production Purple Entertainment.


Town hall meeting with Raiz

I went to the recent town hall meeting of RAIZ, at the MFA Noord, on a Tuesday evening.

The place welcomed a decent number of Noord residents, obviously displeased with GOA, prepared to explore options, a new political organization running in the upcoming elections on September 22nd.

The building was constructed last year, as part of the so-called PPP initiative, Public Private Partnership, which means construction cost was kept off the books and out of budget in the last and current year, and we will have to start paying for this fancy structure, paying the lenders back, starting January 1st 2018, in monthly payments of Awg 200 million – clumped together with a few other PPPs –   for the next 27 years, which is the reason why RAIZ was born, as an alternative to GOA, mismanaging and overspending public funds.

When RAIZ presented its list to the electoral committee it had just five registered members: Ursell Arends, Tai-Foo Lee, Liliana Erasmus, Raymond Kamperveen and Lisette Gomes.

Ursell is the Operations Manager of La Quinta Resort, and the on-temporary-leave President of ATSA, the Aruba Timeshare Association; he is the youngest of the five, I believe. One of his children struggled for a long time with health challenges, making Ursell an evangelist of change, motivating him to become the leader of a new party.

He founded the organization in collaboration with Tai-Foo Lee, who was the country manager for Subway, until he resigned recently in order to run for office. He says his leadership at Subway prepared him well for the job ahead, teaching him empathy for Aruba’s low income, minimum salary, overworked and underpaid, silent majority.

I grabbed a coffee with Liliana Erasmus recently. Her niche is education. She is the author of children’s books and a writer for various publications. As a mother of two, one of them diagnosed at a young age with autism, she says her domestic role, and all she went through to successfully integrate her son in main stream education — helping him fulfill his special needs and catch up with his peer — was the hardest thing she’ll ever do. It prepared her for her new role as a community leader.

Liliana has excellent ideas for school reforms, creating learning institutions with built in support systems, ‘Brede Schools,’ with psychologists, social workers, and advisors on staff, to help support the teachers and the students.

Raymond Kamperveen is a tax man. I am sure he is an amazing source of information regarding GOA’s financial woes and how to fix them.

Lisette Gomes is a well-known figure on the island as a champion of children’s rights, especially those who are victims of sexual, physical, and mental abuse. She has some political experience from running in the 2013 race, with the PDR party.

RAIZ is supported by a cadre of volunteers. They have no money to spend on frivolities. They rely on Social Media to talk to their voters, and they just posted a good document on line, on Face Book, with their platform regarding Education, the Environment, Public Safety and Security, Social Affairs, Public Finances, their Economic strategy, Tourism, Good Governance &  Public Health.

I read it. It’s what we want.

Make time to attend their next town hal!!


From demolition to gas explorations – it smells like desperation

Over the past few weeks we have been subject to salti mortali – plural of salto mortale – maneuvers, mind-defying election stunts, by the green marketing machine, designed to hug and hold voters.

How can we forget the state-sanctioned hooliganism at the second debate.

The out of left field minimum wages increase.

The addition of 350 employees to the already encumbered GOA payroll.

Out of nowhere a totally dormant subject, natural gas exploration, received a press conference, selling hot air regarding drilling equipment and crews. If he had said he was building a ski jump at Jamanota, I would have believed it more.

Then the defunct Bushiri hotel school received a photo opportunity in which a midget excavator moved an insignificant brick from left to right, then disappeared. The newspaper headlines reassured the public the place was coming down and that some off-the-shelf company with zero track-record was picked to perform the Awg 800.000 job. Insiders just told me the bid came in at Awg 600.000. A small difference, surely destined for charity.

They were not working at the Bushiri yesterday. I told you, it was just a picture opportunity. But to entertain us, the smooth-talking contractor with a shoddy reputation, who cannot hold on to any job was outed on social media the day before yesterday by a former employee who is owed a bundle for work he completed, which remained unpaid. His story was interesting, but unappreciated by the contractor, who pressured him into taking the post down.

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order imposing ‘strong, new financial sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.’ “This order demonstrates more clearly than ever that the United States will not allow an illegitimate dictatorship to take hold in the Western hemisphere at the expense of its people.”

The evidence against partnering with Venezuela is overwhelming, and self-evident. How GOA keeps misleading our people selling them a pipe dream while the rest of the world imposes sanctions, bothers me and many others.

What does that tell about our leaders? That GOA insists on living in Lalaland.

Dealing with a “partner” like Maduro, is dangerous to our tourism, the US will not stand for it, but our ministers ignore the common sense advice and just shamelessly keep on selling air to their voters.

Many of my friends believe the green machine is desperate. It wants another four years, another win, otherwise it is in a huge trouble with the Dutch kingdom and the opposition party.

Did I mention that our mail boxes are bombarded by green flyers daily.

My virtual mail box gets green newsletters all the time.

We don’t open door anymore for fear of green flag offerings.

This morning on social media the Latin contractors, blue color bosses, are targeted, invited today at 5pm to be brain washed and branded green. As I said before, hot air is cheap.

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August 27, 2017
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Bati Bleki by Rona Coster