God, an equal opportunity employer

A few days ago, #29 on the AVP list was discharged from his five-star accommodations at KIA, and morphed into a parliamentarian. The magic trick, performed by His Excellency the Governor of Aruba, was the right thing to do, legally, but was it the right thing to do??

Should an individual with an impending criminal case serve as the people’s representative in parliament?

#29 was arrested a short time before the 2021 elections, but the case has been simmering since 2018, with six home searches, and finally a stint behind bars. Voters were encouraged to vote for him in spite of the serious allegations with astounding results: #29 landed 1.614 votes.

Following his swearing in, he held a small press conference. Incidentally he was wearing a blue, checked, single breasted suit, he must have lost some weight while away. The suit fit him well and the material pattern definitely reminded onlookers a grid of jailhouse bars.

With great cockiness and swagger, #29 addressed Team Benny, family members and friends, swore of his innocence, by God, and declared that if the General Prosecutor has still an ounce of integrity left he should be going after our prime minister: “Don’t close your eyes while you sleep,” he forewarned menacingly, “because they are coming for you.”

The prime minster was fast to respond. Our representatives apparently live on their social media platforms: “I sleep every night with my eyes closed because my conscience is clean,” retorted the Prime Minister. “I did not sign any frivolous documents, nor grant any land or permit to criminal sponsors of the AVP party, and I did not commit any of the alleged acts, #29 now a new parliamentarian is accused of. When you walk a straight line with integrity you sleep well,” she continued haughtily, or maybe condescendingly, “something this parliamentarian does not understand. I fear nothing for God is with me,” she concluded.

What does it mean when you invoke God as your witness? You send him a kind of petition for help or support, why? Because you have a weak case?

While #29 insists he is the victim of political persecution his lawyer gave a different version this week, blaming the former minister’s entourage, people he trusted, for wrongdoings, for taking advantage of the trust #29 had in the peeps around him. My client is innocent said the lawyer, but indeed some stuff took place that was not supposed to happen.

And that Ladies and Gents, is a classic Shaggy defense: It wasn’t me!

This threatening exchange on one hand, and blameful on the other, is a symptom for our recent increased lack of patience and civility. Yes, it is hot, and tempers are short, which contributed to 518 accidents in July, with 93 injuries and 3 dead. That’s an average of 16 accidents per day. That’s very high. All due to increased lack of patience and civility.

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August 10, 2021
Rona Coster