Loans no threat to autonomy

Central in the ongoing stalemate regarding the third tranche loan negotiations is the assertion that the proposed Caribbean Reform Entity would infringe upon Curacao's autonomy. But no one in the Curacao government has offered a legitimate argument to support such a claim. Instead, political self-interest is blocking the path to the greater good – getting Curacao's finances in order to further the well-being of the people and economy of Curacao.

The Netherlands has no interest in recolonizing the island, as some have suggested. Rather, the CRE's financial oversight they insist upon is intended to ensure that Curacao won't need yet more loans from the Netherlands after this third round of assistance. Keep in mind Holland has its own infrastructure and society to maintain with its taxpayer funds. Curacao opted to distance itself from the Netherlands ten years ago, becoming an autonomous country. But now that the island is experiencing financial hardship it wants Dutch aid unconditionally. The interest-free loans from the Netherlands are already a very generous response to the island's immediate need to weather a disruption of its commerce. Rarely does one receive something for nothing, and the current cabinet members should acknowledge as much and approve the loan terms.

The people of Curacao understandably are keen to continue the nation's growth as an autonomous country within the Kingdom. But with autonomy comes responsibility, which can be severely tested in times of financial hardship. In these circumstances, individuals, businesses, and governments frequently seek outside assistance. There is no shame in asking for help. Indeed, it takes courage and strength to do so. Accepting this financial and administrative help doesn't jeopardize the island's freedom and autonomy whatsoever.

The CRE's central and critical purpose is to help Curacao renovate its fiscal management to ensure the island's long-term financial independence and prosperity. Allowing the CRE to help in the long run actually moves Curacao closer towards true autonomy rather than undermining it.

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