By Jacob Gelt Dekker, opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle
The architects of Curacao’s 10-10-10 perceived that The Hague had gained inordinate influence or control over the Netherlands Antilles Islands and its people. Nationalism for Curacao would bring a long awaited liberation in the form of sovereignty; a golden age for the island was beckoning.
A fast track scheme of nation building, from national language, flag, anthem to Olympic team was quickly developed, and imposed on the passive masses.
That the song and dance of symbol politics towards 19th-century nationalism could not deliver a nation overnight and would leave a dangerous vacuum for opportunists, never occurred to the new leaders.
But almost instantly, opportunists slipped into the power void. After a bloody coup d’état that cost the life of Curacao’s nation builder, Helmien Wiels, shady characters infiltrated all levels of society and took over the island. In the dark niches of a fast growing shadow economy, ruthless gangs battle for what they consider their piece of the pie. A grotesque display of gang terror to intimidate the wavering weak and meek became daily routine. Soon, even the bravest, most diligent and best were shaking in their boots.
High hopes of the disillusioned for The Public Prosecutor and The Courts to correct the unforeseen slip-up turned out to be clinging to straws while drowning.
But even the mightiest foes will have an Achilles heel which the diligent can exploit.
Jacob Gelt Dekker