Pueblo Soberano leader Helmin Wiels seriously needs to have his head examined. We present this as a piece of friendly advice, after his outburst against Mike Willemse at the Antilliaans Dagblad. Wiels said in a radio interview that Willemse ought to be arrested and he likened the publication of a letter Justice Minister Elmer Wilsoe sent to the American Attorney General Eric Holder to terrorism. Everybody knows what that letter was about by know: a request to lift the lean on bank accounts of American companies belonging to lottery-boss Robbie dos Santos, who just happens to be a brother of Finance Minister George Jamaloodin.
Wilsoe first denied he had written such a letter and when that lie was exposed he simply said that writing it fell within his authority. Now the minister has curtailed the authority of his Attorney General Dick Piar.
Anyway: Wiels notion that publishing this information was dangerous (and that Willemse therefore ought to be arrested – like that would make a difference) shows how dangerous the Pueblo Soberano leader himself is. The only one who does not know this is Wiels himself.
Willemse told this newspaper yesterday that the staff at the newspaper did not feel intimidated by Wiels statements, though they realized that the statements were certainly designed to intimidate. That does not work with journalists who simply do what they are supposed to do.
But that Curaçao has a problem with freedom of the press became once more apparent when Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte, on his own initiative, made a few remarks about Wiels’ outrageous attack on the newspaper. Schotte called the statements harsh.
Most of the time there is more news hidden in what politicians don’t say than in what they do say. Schotte’s performance is no exception.
What did the PM for instance not say? This: Curaçao is a constitutional democracy. Our state regulation recognizes freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Indeed, Schotte stayed away from such remarks, most likely because he needs Wiels to keep his government in office. Ignoring the plight of the free press is a small price to pay for the power he holds.
At the Antilliaans Dagblad Wiels’ statements were digested with admirable calm. Willemse and his staff would probably have been more disturbed had these remarks come from, say, Kingdom Relations Minister Liesbeth Spies – but she would never make such ridiculous statements.
The only thing Wiels has (again) achieved is showing what a dangerous idiot he is. He has no style, no understanding of the concept of the constitutional state, and no respect for anybody that stands in his way.
For sure, the staff at the Antilliaans Dagblad will keep doing what it does best: exposing what the government in Curaçao attempts to hide from the public eye. These pros don’t carry grudges – life’s too short for that – but journalists are also a bit like elephants: they never forget.
At Today, we stand firmly behind our colleagues in Willemstad. With them we wonder how long the Schotte-government still has left on the clock.