Happy Press Day, Plus

I was popular yesterday, and today, with all kinds of goodies delivered to my doorstep — thank you, to all those who sent cake, candy and wine – all among my favorite food groups.

Aruba Bank gave us a party. Apparently press members like to sing, because Karaoke with Julio was well received. Thanks to Nelleke Cardenas-Oduber, Stephanie Camacho, Michelle Harms, Roxanne Kock, and Tamara Waldron for sharing some time with us. Nice meeting you, Edseline Leer, Head of Retail Banking Division.

I checked around, among my informed press member colleagues, if they knew where the Esperanto Café got its name. They did not.

FYI: Esperanto is a language created by a Polish dreamer in 1887. He wanted to give the world an international language, spoken and understood everywhere, a kind of common denominator so that Chinese could easily speak to Maasai and the French converse freely with native Hawaiians. Of course it didn’t work, because we all want to be special and unique, and we don’t want to speak the same language. I personally don’t know anyone who speaks Esperanto, but we have a café by that name in Aruba, at the Seaport Marketplace.

Looking forward to breakfast at the Ritz Carlton on Monday, and a special bash at the Hilton, further in the month.


One of the departments at Customs walked out this week for a few hours. The airport. I imagine how outraged and disappointed clients were at the delay of getting their much-awaited air-freight.

Customs has a history of walk outs. They occur with the frequency of current interruptions.

The president of the Customs union just loves to stand in front of the microphone and talk around his issues, hardly ever naming them, but talking at length around them.

This time, El Presidente was concerned by the government’s loss of income, unhappy with the system by which incoming goods were inspected. He asked for an official meeting to air his gripes and wasn’t given an audience.

Customs introduced some much-touted computerized system in 2014, whereby containers are color coded. Shipments marked GREEN get a green light without inspection, unless the officer suspects something. Then they have to consult a supervisor, if they wish to inspect the shipment. Containers marked yellow get their documents inspected, and an officer will reroute the container RED or GREEN. RED gets inspected. Officers can thoroughly poke around it.

This week the El Presidente complained of a lack of manpower, the work load is too big, the pressure since the introduction of BBO at the border too high, and I also imaging that working in the heat, in tin roofed warehouse is no picnic.

One of my friends a customs broker concluded: They are the biggest cry-babies; I have no idea where they want to go with this. We got to deal with it, every day!

Another cargo specialist remarked: They feel a lot of pressure with the BBO collected at the border. For no reason, really. The air cargo terminal officers walked out, because they have some rotten apples in the gang. They don’t like the new so-called, modern, system. They got instruction to only control RED containers, and they don’t like it. I don’t get it, it’s less work for them, yellow just needs to be spot-checked, why are they all of a sudden concerned with the government’s loss of income. They express chronic dissatisfaction. We live with it.



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September 01, 2023
Rona Coster