National Discourse & Andicuri A Private Property

NATIONAL DISCOURSE: We were reassured last night by MinPres, in a previously taped national discourse, that all is well.

Let’s start from the end: To wrap up her uplifting Sunday evening message — finished in time for 60-Minutes, tks — MinPres confirmed that Wage Subsidy, FASE, and aid for Small and Medium-size businesses, shall continue for another three months, through December 2020.

She confirmed GOA raised umpteen million florins, milking the local market, enough to make ends meet. Economists will tell you that local capital should be reserved for investment instead of being burnt on budgetary expense — but what do I know, I am just a columnist, repeating herself every day.

The MinFec was quoted the other day, her instructions to GOA’s departments to cut expenses, save paperclips, and switch from Charmin toilet paper to generic. The instructions were proudly carried in the media.

My household switched 6 months ago.

Six months ago, we got hit with the worst global economic crisis, which wiped away our export, tourism, but gratefully the MinFec woke up, ready to institute changes asap, and must now be consulted on all purchases, creating more bureaucracy, and extending lead-time, considerably.

I saw an October 2nd press release by the Business Association Curaçao, in which the VBC protests the increased tax burden, which notably was on the government’s mind. They protested not just the increased tax burden, but also the elimination of tax deduction, which were of a great concern to them, in this particularly inopportune moment.  

That was interesting. Could this also happen here. No?! Sure.

As a Covid update, the MinPres was the bearer of cautious good news with the rate of positivity dropping — it must hit 5% for measures to be eased – urging locals to practice all precautions, and follow the rules.

Tourism according to MinPres performed satisfactorily with 44,000 visitors who picked Aruba in the past three months, 13,000 in July, 17,000 in August and 14,000 in September, VS the previous monthly average of 80.000 visitors. She added that fewer COVID cases would lead to more tourism and faster economic recovery. Amen.

As expected, the cherry on the cake: Negotiations with The Netherlands continue. And I am not sure what that means.

ANDICURI, A PRIVATE PROPERTY: The beach area of Andicuri was blocked to motorized traffic last week. It will remain open to walking sun worshippers and bikers.

We all think of Andicuri as a public beach, but in reality I still remember a security guard at the entrance to the property collecting parking fees, in the old days. The palm trees were half dead already, not much left of the abandoned plantation. But apparently in 2005, the Yarzagarays selected a family rep, and he negotiated the 40.000 m2 sale to Andicuri Real Estate, by two local businessmen with the same first name, Milton Harms and Milton Berlinski. I remember early talks about a health-themed boutique hotel, but in 2005 people still wanted to vacation in the company of other people, seen and be seen, and the Andicuri holistic, isolated boutique resort never took off.

Then the property declined under GOA’s laissez-faire policy, as the UTVs and ATVs, sliced and diced every shrub, dune, and shoco, with zero respect to nature and the environment.

Until last week, when the owners rightfully blocked the entrance.

As soon as the boulders were placed, they were removed, with no regards to owners’ wishes.

Now what?

Can we look forward to an outdrawn, stubborn battle between those who place the boulders and those who wish them removed? Should owners employ security?

What happened to the much-awaited UTV/ATV policy? AHATA had already submitted a proposal. Twice.


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October 05, 2020
Rona Coster