What’s in a Name?

I never before wrote about the interesting case of our suspended, for lack of another term, MinLabor, who was placed on non-active duty a few weeks ago because of my personal relationships with the young official and his family members. He used to jog by my house, and sometimes briefly stop for a chat on fitness and neighborhood affairs, which I appreciated.

Then when his home was investigated, computers impounded and accusations aired I asked myself if he was over-eager to serve his country and get the job done, or was he framed?! Is he a scapegoat, a sacrificial lamb for a corrupt system, or is the axiom ‘power corrupts’ inescapable, and as soon as you sit on that chair, your moral compass flies out the window.

I was running my questions by a funny girlfriend with an exceptional memory. Why are you so surprised she said, it’s the name. That last name that is so significant to island’s history. In Aruba, that last name is the equivalent to being a descendent of the Mayflower passengers. If you’re a Croes, you are born with the key to power and influence. It’s like being able to trace ancestry to that 102 pilgrim passengers-list. And that name often gets it bearers into trouble.

Then she went on to remember this, remember the other, wow, she was right, that last name occupied more headlines and consumed more ink, than any other.

Remember under the MEP government, when the MinJust lost the immigration portfolio to the MinHealth, following a Dutch government recommendation, and the new broom then went on to introduce the ridiculous Swiss model, causing pain and confusion, thankfully now just a historical blunder.

Remember when a certain education official by that prestigious name was lending a helpful hand to individuals seeking naturalization, by declaring they had successfully passed the Dutch language test, without even taking it?

Remember when a certain minister in a coalition government was playing the role of Mother Teresa, by grating taxi and water sports licenses, free airline tickets too, scribbling little authorization notes on paper napkins. That napkin-system bearing the minister’s signature was later debated in court and the question if to honor or not, discussed. Later in a civil claim, that good-guy lost his shirt, opened a fruit market, so he could feed his family, and was pardoned at a later stage. Those were the days, free-style government at its best.

Remember when another MinJust was accused of just about anything in the book, but none of the accusations were ever substantiated? The prosecutors at the time, weren’t disinterested in this island’s ‘political thing,’ and dismissed it as petty. But times have changed, they are interested now.

And the Cuban Palm Trees bought by Air Aruba funds, the scandals that squashed a family member’s political aspiration.

Anyway, we had similar stories before, so just sit and wait for the prosecutor to air his findings, remember this great-big investigation into the disappearing San Nicholas business development fund, law suit, after law suit, then nothing?! But that was another last name!

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May 09, 2017
Rona Coster