This is how we lost our autonomy

We are living proof that our inability to govern ourselves leads to a loss of autonomy. It doesn’t depend on our status within the Kingdom. Scores of independent countries are suffering the same fate. Take Sri Lanka. This country was lured into accepting cheap (Chinese) loans that went to finance shady projects like an airport in the President’s hometown that’s now abandoned and serves as a long-term aircraft parking. It took the Covid tragedy to expose these bad choices. Today inflation is sky-high, there’s no money to import fuel and food and the country cannot pay off its debts.

I believe that the majority of people in Curaçao understand that our problems cannot be ascribed to The Hague. Yet, I get it. it’s easier to create an outside enemy than accept responsibility and change our ways. It can’t be a surprise that some local dinosaurs insist on a conflict model with the Hague because they can financially benefit and/or boost up relevancy. Most of them always have.

The main problem we are facing -if you believe in long-term development and wellbeing- is not the lack of money. We lack capacity, strong institutions, and the right persons on the job. It’s also about making our regulatory frameworks flexible, modern, and our workforce smart and competitive to be able to adjust to changes and be globally competitive.

There is no silver bullet, yet we’ve been betting on ridiculous projects such as ‘one-thousand hungry cows’, a Chinese-designed Las Vegasish strip, a space industry, and whatnot. We need to get our act together and start governing like adults. It’s time to tell the naked truth: without a deal that seriously invests in capacity building and reforms the future is bleak. We will be doomed to depend on others to do what we know we should be doing ourselves.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

Alex David Rosaria (53) is a freelance consultant active in Asia & Pacific. He is a former Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and UN Implementation Officer in Africa and Central America. He’s from Curaçao and has a MBA from the University of Iowa. (USA).




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