More about yesterday

My friends around the Saturday coffee-klatch at Aqua Windie’s had a lot to say about the session in parliament yesterday, we drank coffee and we gossiped as the term indicates.

It’s always one of the highlights of the week. These people have excellent memories going back to pre Status-Aparte, and they follow the news, read between the lines and educate me all the time.

While you went to the beach, they said, the meeting was suspended, indefinitely. They took a long break, came back past 8pm, one minute the meeting was on, then the gavel dropped, and it was over; the Minjust will be doubling down at 2pm, today, instead of quitting.

The following is a column, Poppetje, by my colleague Den Cayente, even Google Translate could not ruin the flow of his lyrical prose.

It is an unwritten rule in Aruban politics that you do not put your own team at a disadvantage, even when you see that members of your team are doing wrong. You must always take into account the interests and wishes of the team, the owners, the sponsors and the hard core of the supporters. In that order. You should also always keep in mind the image of the party and the chances of scoring for the next election. The public interest is secondary to all this. It is “window dressing”, as it is called.

It is a world in itself, with its own rules and its own morality. All politicians are bound by it and their future, and that of everyone who depends on them, hinges on how they operate within those parameters every day. In this world where not everyone has a full view and where the normal rules of society and expectations regarding these politicians do not apply at all, almost nothing is what it seems. Black is white and white is black, and there is always something different than what is said to the supporters. Only intimates and people who can do something for the politician or the party financially have access and for the rest the public, the press and – as far as possible – the Netherlands are kept out. It is very hard and the amounts involved are enormous. But they are transferred far out of sight of everyone, through offshore accounts in not obvious places like Delaware and Sweden. What you see here is only the tip of the iceberg, the smoke from the exhaust, the residual dirt that can no longer be wiped away. A charter terminal for the good friend of your connections, a nightclub for your son, a contract with bulky amounts for the party sponsor, grounds, concessions and preferential treatment for your mates. It is a necessary evil. You prefer to live as modest and unspoken as possible, at least when you are on the island. But it is here where you end up doing politics and it is here where sometimes spills are inevitable, so sometimes, let’s put it nicely, a bird suddenly lands on your porch. This is Aruban politics and applies to everyone to varying degrees, from the capo di tutti capi to the stupid seat filler who should be happy to join and get about 10K every month with a view of a nice retirement. Dictate and obey, owners and executors. You can be party leader and even prime minister, but that doesn’t make you an owner yet. And you could be the owner of your own party one year, to be just the janitor of another the next year, just because you insisted on becoming a minister. In Aruba, all politicians sell their souls to the devil to some degree. And then it really does not matter whether you have been a pastor or not.

Politics is opportunism and in Aruba it is so obscene that even totally underprivileged young people make a bid to get a job. Everything is possible and everything is allowed. Marisol comes from this world. Aruban politics is her habitat, and while she may never have had an arrest team at her front door, many controversies have plagued her throughout her years in the “frying pan.” And don’t forget, she was once considered reliable enough by the very person who is now suspected by the Public Prosecution Service to go on his electoral list, to become party chairman and eventually to succeed him as minister. She is an insider par excellence and she is just throwing things upside down now ?! It is unheard of. A glitch in the matrix. Blind panic in the Cocolishi. What is she doing? Why all that vetting? This was not the intention, was it? And now she goes to the governor? The National Criminal Investigation Service ?! This woman must and will be stopped.

Apparently, people are so afraid of Marisol Lopez-Tromp that they struck less than a minute after posting a selfie on an airplane. Because God knows what she would declare under immunity if she had attended the debate. The request and convocation followed each other in record time and Friday was chosen, because Wednesday would look very cowardly and she would not make it in time. Moreover, she also knows that there is nothing to get. The majority is already fixed. And so it happened. And so it happened that Marisol Lopez-Tromp got on her broom anyway and landed on Reina Beatrix this afternoon. ‘Cause you don’t do this to her. So that will be a treat tomorrow morning.

To be honest, I didn’t expect this either. Of course, screening and wiping Serlimar and DIP, regardless of the consequences, is “the right thing to do,” but for a seasoned politician, that is rarely reason enough to actually do anything. Perhaps after all these years in politics, Marisol has the feeling that she has nothing to lose anymore. Maybe she thinks that’s the only way to boot the system.

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August 01, 2020
Rona Coster