Bati Bleki

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Lisette Malmberg, retires from politics

about 19 hours ago

She entered the political arena before in the last elections, under the PPA flag, ran a relatively short and disappointing campaign, did not enter parliament, and now at the end of almost two years resigned the leadership of her party. Remember GOA collapsed, called for early elections, so campaigns had to be organized in a

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Lisette Malmberg, retires from politics

about 19 hours ago

She entered the political arena before in the last elections, under the PPA flag, ran a relatively short and disappointing campaign, did not enter parliament, and now at the end of almost two years resigned the leadership of her party.

Remember GOA collapsed, called for early elections, so campaigns had to be organized in a rush, and since Malmberg mentioned the Awg 400.000 to Awg 500.000 price tag, that is probably what she spent on the race.

In a lengthy midday news interview, Malmberg outlined the reasons for her retirement. She is 62 she said, and when she weighted where she could be more helpful to her country, she came to the conclusion that she would achieve more as an activist and philanthropist.

Malmberg has always operated in the realm of ideas and ideology, and did not fit in with our entrenched you-scratch-my-back, I-scratch-your-back, culture.

I don’t blame her. I just regret she did not have more staying power. But she explained it. Had she been 30 years old, she would have paid her dues, and waited, but since she entered politics late, she decided not to waste her time, because apparently, the country was not ready for a systematic, structural change of direction, which she envisioned, and championed.

Her analysis is right. And she should have known that, and saved the expense of Awg 400.000 to Awg 500.000. She miscalculated people’s disposition and preparedness to do things differently. She thought she would be greeted as a messiah.

But, this country still votes according to old family ties and traditional loyalties, and not according to what’s good for us.

We regret to say that there is a great shortage of talent in politics, and while Malmberg diagnosed the needs correctly, and she made a valiant attempt, she forgot Rome wasn’t built in a day, and expected fast results.

Let’s talk about ‘should.’

The small parties should have banded together, Raiz, PPA, MAS and Accion21. Their leaders should have suppressed their egos and worked together across party lines to reach an understanding with just ONE goal: Take out the two main players. Usher in a new era.

But they squandered the opportunity.

Raiz hurried to join the coalition, MAS and Accion21 did not see eye to eye in view of the fact that a party cannot have two heads, and PPA possibly never considered an alliance.

Of course, I am a Monday morning quarterback.

It’s unfortunate that Malmberg who is charismatic and has a following, did not handle the smarminess of politics well. She will remain involved in civic society, she comes from wealth in the private sector, and talks a good talk.

During the interview, she explained her involvement with the Foundation of Good Governance, at length, stealing activist Armand Hessels’ thunder. According to me, that is a mini academic project, she made it sound enormous.

Her radio interviewer usually snarky and sarcastic, was all honey, as they talked, he loves spectacular failures, they make for good talk-radio.

 

 

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Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami is active in 2023

2 days ago

The national campaign, Stimami Sterilisami, aimed at spaying and neutering cats and dogs on the island took off with SIX veterinary clinics in participation The following are the clinics: – VSH Veterinary Specialty Hospital | Ernesto Petronia 88 – Veterinaire Kliniek | Noord 50 B – Veterinaire Kliniek | Wayaca 128 – Animal Health Veterinary

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Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami is active in 2023

2 days ago

The national campaign, Stimami Sterilisami, aimed at spaying and neutering cats and dogs on the island took off with SIX veterinary clinics in participation

The following are the clinics:

The program was founded by Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, and for 2023 they managed to recruit a number of valuable partners among them the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund (TPEF), Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), Setar N.V., One Love Foundation, and Spazio Realty.

More donations, private and corporate, are welcome:

Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami, account at Aruba Bank #6012630190

According to hotelier Ewald Biemans, President of Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami, Bucuti & Tara will match every dollar or florin that comes in.

Here are the results for 2022

With only one clinic, VSH Veterinary Specialty Hospital, as a partner, the collaboration was successful. Stimami Sterilisami neutered 3,686 dogs and cats, which means that since the program was started in 2016, 31,410 cats and dogs, were helped.

That number for just one clinic is remarkable. In 2023, with six clinics, they are hoping to reach 6,000 procedures, says the Crescenzia Biemans, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Executive Team, Legal & Public Relations and Tara Eco-Horeca Supplies, Managing Director, on behalf of the foundation.

Female dog, Awg 260: Awg 110 subsidized by the foundation, Awg 150 remains as copay to owner

Male dog, Awg 170: Awg 75 subsidized by the foundation, Awg 95 remains as copay to owner

Female Cat, Awg 200: Awg 90 subsidized by the foundation, Awg 110 remains as copay to owner

Male Cat, Awg 35. Awg 45 subsidized by the foundations, Awg 80 remains as copay to owner

Antibiotic, anti-inflammatory drugs and anesthesia, included.

Owners of large dogs weighing over 25kg, will be charged an additional Awg 50

Owners of dogs or cat in heat or pregnant, might be charge additional for the procedures in view of a more complicated procedure

How does it work?

You must register on line, www.stimamisterilisami.com

You will receive a registration NUMBER and confirmation via email.

Give the number to your vet of choice.

Pay your share, the foundation will do the rest,

Receive a date for the operation.

Receive a receipt for your portion of the procedure.

Why sterilize?

We have all seen the abandoned and unwanted animals on the street, and we must avoid this overpopulation, it reflects badly on the island, and results in much suffering for our four legged population. We will avoid the barbaric practice of killing the abandoned and unwanted animals, if we spay and neuter.

 

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An Ombudsman for Aruba

3 days ago

In Aruba’s National Integrity System assessment, NIS, a whole chapter is dedicated to the institution of the ombudsman. The report outlines the history of the concept, the resources needed, the transparency required, the integrity mechanisms, the promotion of good practices, the complaint handling, the structure of the organization, its independence, accountability and the kind of

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An Ombudsman for Aruba

3 days ago

In Aruba’s National Integrity System assessment, NIS, a whole chapter is dedicated to the institution of the ombudsman. The report outlines the history of the concept, the resources needed, the transparency required, the integrity mechanisms, the promotion of good practices, the complaint handling, the structure of the organization, its independence, accountability and the kind of investigations it conducts.

The writing of the assessment was initiated by the Foundation for Good Governance Aruba (SDBA)

The organization received a letter of appreciation from the Minister of Transport, Integrity, Nature and Seniors’ Affairs.

The idea to establish an ombudsman here has been on the political agenda since 2004/2005. A draft of the national ordinance for the constitution of a children’s ombudsman has been completed in 2016 but due to lack of political enthusiasm, the set up was postponed several times. The current coalition agreement,  2017-2021, lists establishing an ombudsman as an important point.

Why have they been dragging their feet?

There is a difference of opinion between GOA and Parliament.

GOA thinks it should be set up under the portfolio of MinPres, and that the ombudsmen should be hired and fired at a simple parliamentary vote, so that the 11 members of the coalition hold the power to recruit and/or dismiss.

The parliamentarians, especially those in the opposition parties, think that the national ordinance should be anchored in the constitution, and that means Aruba’s ombudsman will practically be untouchable, besides they say to make him truly apolitical it should require a 2/3 parliamentary vote to hire or fire. If indeed untouchable, the legal protection that he/she offers, needed to be addressed as well.

The first draft of the national ordinance was also criticized by the Council of Advice, RvA, in 2015. They had some legal technicalities to address, besides policy and analytical topics, that they wanted changes. GOA did not have the energy to argue with RvA, and thus it took long to address.

In total almost 20 years.

At the end, GOA won. The ombudsman we’re getting will be a political appointee, hired and fired with a simple parliamentary majority. It is not anchored in the constitution, not free from interference, eleven members of parliament, the coalition, may decide.

The opposition parties fought tooth and nail, but lost. It is not a separate entity; it is affiliated to the office of the prime minister. The budget? Her budget.

It was held back 7 months, recently, and finally passed this week.

All parties were initially in favor, but some did not want/could not change the constitution, especially MEP members, did not want to accept a truly apolitical entity, then the threshold was lowered, and whoever it is, he/she will not be untouchable.

 

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Former minister Guillfred Besaril, in hot water

4 days ago

L’Affair Besaril stirred muck up this week. Our former, one and a half terms minister, at the Arubahuis in the Netherlands, who wanted us to believe that he vacated his position to become a full time father, wasn’t exactly honest with us. He couldn’t go back to the Police force, since he was under investigation,

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Former minister Guillfred Besaril, in hot water

4 days ago

L’Affair Besaril stirred muck up this week.

Our former, one and a half terms minister, at the Arubahuis in the Netherlands, who wanted us to believe that he vacated his position to become a full time father, wasn’t exactly honest with us.

He couldn’t go back to the Police force, since he was under investigation, and some say he remained on the payroll of MinPres’ office, on standby, fully employed, not working, a consultant of sorts.

A damning audio surfaced this week, where Adi Thijsen, his party peer, and his successor in the Netherlands, is heard ranting on and on about the fact that Besaril is not suitable for the Minister Plenipotentiary job, and while it is not clear who Thijsen is speaking to, he carries on, how Besaril has to go, Evelyn knows, she cannot claim semi-integrity, she must be careful lest the opposition  jumps on the opportunity to condemn GOA, Besaril mishandled the affairs of the Arubahuis, his colleagues there spilled the beans and became whistle blowers, Evelyn knew BEFORE reappointing him to the job.

We speculate that at the time Thijsen wanted the job himself, so that is why the recording most probably, because Besaril won out.

Embarrassing, but not surprising.

Our MinPres must be irked by Thijsen, but Thijsen was irked by her, and purposely recorded his conversation for use at an upcoming opportunity, we are not sure if he intend it for general consumption. It must have been part of his ‘negotiation’ strategy, but it leaked anyway!

The million dollar question.

Why did MinPres sit on the information, and when it saw light, why did it take GOA so long, until mid-January, 2023, to send Besaril a formal letter, terminating his services, upon which he hired a high profiled lawyer. He has been a civil servant for many years and there is a lot at stake. During his career he served as a policeman, he even worked in the organized crime section, and he is an educated man, having obtained a Bachelor in Training & Human Development.

I was always told the man is not very smart. Indeed, such a breach of trust occurs when an official blurs the line between his work title and his private person.

So, now you know that GOA waited a long time to offload Besaril. Supposedly the first worrisome reports surfaced in May 2021, focusing on fraud, and unethical practices, still he was left on the MEP list, and reappointed GevMin, in spite of whistle blower testimonials.

It’s a mystery. MEP party peers report MinPres was certainly very lenient with Besaril. He was disliked and avoided by many, and finally when an audit was announced, some hot potatoes were left out. It was a limited audit, conducted by the Central Accounting Service, CAD, and the department of Human Resources, DRH, reviewing about 15% to 20% of the materials, excluding Aruba Day 2018/2019, which was not investigated. The auditors concluded the minister was living large on the public’s dime. He turned out to be arrogant and greedy, operating from a strong sense of entitlement.

My sources speculate the Dutch OM would have reacted more sternly.

The fraud took place on Dutch soil, why isn’t it prosecuted in the Netherlands?

Here it will take long, and there will probably be a civil suit as well. It will be featured as political persecution.

 

A bit of history: After finishing his studies, he returned to the Aruba Police Force, rose through the Union ranks, but switched to politics. In November 2013, he was elected Member of Parliament, on the MEP benches, and even served as the President of the Parliament. On November 20th, 2017, Besaril was appointed as the Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba in the cabinet Wever-Croes I. He has been in the Netherlands ever since, with Cabinet Wever-Croes II.

Last year a number of  whistle-blowers wrote a well-documented letter to the prime minister spilling the beans that the man has been abusing Aruba’s debit and credit card. A two week investigation eventually followed, covering about 25% or relevant materials, revealing an ugly reality.

Our Minister Plenipotentiary did not learn anything from the former-minister Paul Croes debacle, and from the scandal surrounding the POR party funds, and the fall from grace of politician Alan Howell.

His list of dubious transactions is long, covering every aspect of life, from rent to furniture, Mac Pro computers, car rentals, charged meals, and airline tickets.

 

 

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Police Protest

5 days ago

Aruba’s police force lost two members to undisclosed illnesses, in the last thirty days. Yesterday, the men in blue mourned one of their colleagues by blowing sirens and lowering the flag to half-mast. Their Union leader was on hand to speak to the media, and what he had to say wasn’t pretty. Apparently, the Police

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Police Protest

5 days ago

Aruba’s police force lost two members to undisclosed illnesses, in the last thirty days. Yesterday, the men in blue mourned one of their colleagues by blowing sirens and lowering the flag to half-mast.

Their Union leader was on hand to speak to the media, and what he had to say wasn’t pretty.

Apparently, the Police headquarters on Wilhelminastraat, a gorgeous art deco building, is making members sick. True to its age, the building is moldy, and nothing has been done about it for a long time.

There has been talk about moving the HQ to a different address but the process is slow. In the past they had evacuated the building once, but were told to get back after a while, following some kind of cleanup.

The minister of Justice was nowhere to be found.

His people laid out their charges against him, describing him as a man of promises and no action.

As a former policeman they expected him to take better care of his men.

Old phones, ancient computers, a scarcity of bullet proof vests, no airbags in cars. In a recent chase of illegals, police men and women waded at Mangel Halto, in the lagoon up to their waist, and their cardboard shoes fell apart when they emerged from the water.

The men in blue called their work conditions unacceptable, and to top it off, an error made by the accounting department was corrected just now, and significant amounts of money were deducted from their January pay, no advance notice, no payment plan, as they were all recovering from the December expenses.

Member of parliament Molina, also a former policeman was nowhere to be found, either. The protest was triggered by the passing of Rigoberto Tromp, 62, a long time member of the force, and according to Union leader a number of other colleagues are also battling fatal illnesses, which they blame the building for.

I checked with a lawyer: The sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. The main cause? Poor ventilation or poorly maintained air conditioning systems.

We should not take it lightly.

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