The Copper Saga Continues

A video circulating this week stated that Aruba is the Caribbean’s largest exporter of copper without having copper mines. Then I asked around and found out it is about one container per week that’s heading to Europe, no big deal in terms of the Venezuelan copper industry but definitely surprising in view of the fact that we have no mining industry.

Scrap Copper, says my friend in the biz, is most always stolen. It comes into the scrap-yard in the form of mangled pipes, half painted. Don’t ask, don’t tell. You know they were attached to the side of a structure and were peeled off to sell for pennies by homeless or other opportunists in our society.

The scrap metal biz is never glamorous. I would have opted for gold at $1,331 an OUNCE and not copper, that fetches $3.2 a POUND. Besides, most of the time the scrap yard only pays HALF of the market value.

If you’re into smuggling, you should go for gold, stick it in your suitcase and tada, you made a lucrative profit! (Let’s say one kilo: $1,331 x 35 = $46,585 for gold VS $7 for copper)

So, we found out this week, that Aruba has been exporting copper, legally, we did nothing wrong here, thus Maduro has to look into the MO of his customs agents and navy, how come they inspect and patrol, patrol and inspect but never find boatloads leaving Venezuela, destination Aruba, stuffed with junk.

Something else that came to mind was the so called human drama summarized in the Noticia Cla item, as more than 200 Arubans got ‘stuck’ in Venezuela after the New Year holiday. Our MinPres declared it a difficult situation: “Aruba a pasa door di un situacion hopi dificil y ainda e ta dificil y molestioso caminda cu tabata tin casi 200 pasahero pega na Venezuela. Gobierno di Aruba na e momento cu a wordo señala cu e motibo principal di Venezuela pa tuma un medida asina drastico, cu ta e importacion di koper, a duna e siguridad na e gobierno Venezolano cu lo atende cu esaki. Esaki a resulta cu Venezuela a kita e medida aki y nos a logra pa nos hendenan bin bek.”

It made me laugh. What difficult situation? Politician take advantage of all scenarios to look like heroes.

This is what the MinPres should say: We have been telling you for years not to go to Venezuela. You went. You got stuck. Now take a taxi to the border of Colombia, or Surinam, head to the closest airport, use your credit card like a big boy, and book a one-way return flight to Aruba.

Why does the government have to bail you out? This is ridiculous. This is what you have a credit card for. For emergencies. The borders with Colombia or Surinam are open, you may fly home from Barranquilla, or Paramaribo.

I especially want to know what one of our ministers, Labor and Social Affairs, was doing in Venezuela over the change of the year, most locals like to be home for New Year’s, with their families. Must have been a social affair. But I would still ask questions. The minister had been known to pick controversial friends.

This is what the MinPres should say to Maduro: You don’t want to export anything to Aruba, fine, Colombia will happily trade with us. The boycott doesn’t hurt us, it only hurts your OWN PEOPLE.

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January 12, 2018
Rona Coster