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February 14 2013

November 05 2012

Curacao: Feeling the Tension

The recent parliamentary elections in Curacao have brought a lot of racial and cultural tension to the surface.

Karen Attiah thinks it is a real problem.

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September 05 2012

Congolese-Belgian Blogger Travels to Curaçao

Congolese-Belgian blogger Sanza traveled to Curaçao to find the African heritage and wrote a post for Afro Europe:

Food was great and actually similar to West and Central African food. We also eat beans and rice, cornmeal (what they call fungi), cassava and plantains as well. I tasted Iguana soup in Jonchies restaurant near Westpunt.

March 29 2012

This Week in the Caribbean Blogosphere

Again this week, the regional blogosphere was dominated by talk of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba. With reports of repression at an all-time high, Cuban bloggers were dismayed by the outcome of the trip.

Uncommon Sense, who is part of the Cuban diaspora, thought the papal visit was summed up by a photograph of the pontiff meeting Fidel Castro, which he republished on his blog, saying:

I read a transcript of Pope Benedict XVI's homily in Havana today, hoping to find something to convince me that His Holiness and the church he leads are on the right side of history, and on the right side in the struggle for freedom, in Cuba.

Unfortunately, there was little there to make me forget the message, intended and otherwise, in this photograph…

The photograph also offended others. In a guest post at babalu, Asombra said:

I’m sorry, but this grotesque travesty is deeply offensive, and if the Vatican cannot understand that, then it understands nothing, and nothing can be expected from it. Alas, I cannot believe this is a case of cluelessness.

This is a choice made by this pope to put Nero or Caligula before his victims, before the persecuted and the oppressed, before the millions that have suffered and lost so much at his filthy, bloody, evil hands—the same hands taken warmly in his own by Benedict. This has nothing to do with ministering to the marginalized, the outcast, the stigmatized and the socially undesirable. This is smiling at, catering to and fraternizing with the devil. If there was no way to avoid this abomination, Benedict should not have visited Cuba.

When Uncommon Sense posted a video of members of the crowd at the Papal Mass in Havana “[crying] out for ‘Libertad', he was firm in his opinion that:

The faithful have the final word.

The fact that the Pope was said to have discussed the issue of the country's dissidents with President Raul Castro was hardly salve to the wound of many bloggers - especially in light of reports like this one from Capitol Hill Cubans:

Just prior to this evening's Mass in Santiago de Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI, a courageous young Cuban screamed ‘freedom' and ‘down with Communism.'

He was immediately detained by Castro's secret police and brutally beaten.

The blog also posted its view on the ability of the Pope to effect change in a post titled “Pope Speaks, Regime Answers”:

Pope Benedict XVI said today after praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity:

‘I have prayed to the Virgin for the needs of those who suffer, of those who are deprived of freedom, those who are separated from their loved ones or who are undergoing times of difficulty.'

And the Castro regime answered, through the Vice President of the Council of State, Manuel Murillo:

‘In Cuba, there will not be political reform.'

Any questions?

There were other items of note in the Caribbean blogosphere this week, though…

Girl With a Purpose had her finger on the pulse of the country's local government elections, regularly posting updates and then final results: The governing People's National Party enjoyed a comfortable win, winning 147 of 228 divisions.

Jamaica Woman Tongue, meanwhile, dealt with the issue of language (”proper” versus “corrupted”) and cultural heritage in these two interesting posts.

Over in Curacao, TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA took issue with what he called the disrespect being shown to Liberty Battle Park:

The organizational forces have done a good job at not maintaining the Lucha pa Libertat park.

Maybe after 14 years they will receive an ancestral enlightenment to plant 4/5 trees for the visitors. Or just maybe they would shine up the statue every 4 months, lick up the benches with paint. Put trashcans, clean up once a week?

Put some historical info placards for tourists and indigenous folks unfamiliar with the 1795 revolt. You know what I mean. Show respect. Honor. Make us feel you serious about your cultural consciousness business.

Trinidad & Tobago
In the twin island republic this week, the two political bloggers who questioned whether the political entity “Congress of the People” was still relevant continued their examination of the issues, here and here.

Barbados Free Press, meanwhile, continued lobbying for the cause of illegally held Cuban prisoner Raul Garcia:

43 days ago, Raul Garcia discontinued his ‘fast unto death’ on the word of Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that he would be moved from his illegal imprisonment at H.M. Dodds Prison to a non-punitive facility. Garcia, naive fool that he is, took the bait and remains at Dodds… having lost his credibility and media interest. Worldwide interest in his case went to zero overnight. Only little old BFP keeps Mr. Garcia close to our hearts.

Listen folks: Raul Garcia has been held illegally according to Barbados’ own laws for over two years.
Is there not a shred of decency, of justice, left in our justice system, in our Parliament?
Apparently not.

Finally, the case of Trayvon Martin continued to move regional bloggers from Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidadian diaspora fashion and beauty blogger Afrobella expressed her sadness by saying:

Every time I sit and try to write about Trayvon Martin, the words get stuck inside me. I have started and stopped this blog post so many times over the last week. It’s been so hard to know what to say because this case makes me feel so hopeless and so sad, and so afraid for the future of this country. I hate the comments I’m seeing online. I’m hating the slant of some of the coverage I’ve been reading. I hate that people are finding ways to say that Trayvon’s sartorial choices made him a deserving victim.

It’s all so heavy and ugly and upsetting. Not the kind of thing I like to write about on a blog that’s about beauty and positivity. So I will end this post with my hopes, regarding the outcome of this ongoing situation.

I hope that the murder of Trayvon Martin doesn’t lead to any additional violence.

I hope there is some form of justice and I hope it doesn’t take forever. The wheels of justice are already turning too slowly here.

February 21 2012

Curacao: Media War?

“In the information era we live in and social media revolutionizing the way we siphon written truths it’s still a sad thing that letters to the editor are not popular in Papiamentu newspapers”: TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA thinks that “Papiamentu newspapers needs to step their political and overall report game up.”

February 17 2012

Curacao, Haiti: Media Mandate?

In light of prime minister Schotte's recent welcome of Haitian president Michel Martelly “(who repeatedly suggested a pardon or amnesty of Duvalier) [and] who publicly is seen with…ex dictator Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier in Haiti like nothing happened like nobody got terrorized, killed under his regime”, TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA asks: “What happened to the omniscient Dutch media on this island?”

February 13 2012

Curacao: Elvio Carmela Dies Amidst Pension Reform Struggles

TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA pays tribute to the late Elvio Carmela, “a man who stood up for the unemployed, the welfare recipients and kept defending the rights of senior citizens as president of the pensioners association.”

February 02 2012

Curacao: Diaspora & Development

More Than A Ruby visits Curacao and writes an interesting post about the dynamics of the African diaspora, calling the country “a global village that's kind of held together by a shared language, the Catholic religion, and Carnival, but otherwise people stay in their own huts.”

November 07 2011

Caribbean: the meaning of identity

Creative Commess hosts a blog symposium “about Caribbean people, about West Indian people, about our contemporary experiences … ranging through race & identity to culture, mental health to constructs of beauty and more,” with contributions from seven Caribbean bloggers.

November 02 2011

Curacao: Royal Visit to Curacao

TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA blogs about the Dutch royalty's visit to Curacao, explaining why some of the public reaction has “queen Beatrix feeling a bit chilly up in the tropics.”

October 11 2011

Curacao: Triple 10 - Fooled Again?

A year after the dissolution of the Dutch Caribbean federation formerly known as the Netherlands Antilles, TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA examines the fallout: “They still whipping us with a refurbished copy paste Dutch colonial constitution. Same old problematic political coalition system. New government old tricks new business elite same greediness as their predecessors. Media needs a restructuring…justice system still oppressive just like education for our youths.”

October 07 2011

Curacao: Comedy or Mockery?

TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA calls a comedy show that is in town for five performances “Afro-Curacaoan mockery disguised as comedy”, saying: “The moment we stop legitimizing everything that destroys our self image or stagnates it from growing will be the moment we win. The moment we smile.”

Curacao: Inadequate Narrative on Slavery

A Netherlands-based Curacaoan blogger shares his impression of the debate on the television series “De Slavernij” (The Slavery): “It seems…that the production team (I’m excluding the historians and experts for now) has put little to no thought in how to structure the complex narratives surrounding the subject of slavery.”

October 04 2011

Curacao: Remembering Our Heroes

TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA remembers the day in 1795 when “Tula and the rest of our liberation warriors [were] executed after they revolted against the Dutch slavery system”, saying: “One of the main reasons you forget about the killings of our freedom fighting warriors easily is because we have a cultural self-esteem deficient media.”

October 03 2011

Curacao: Changes Needed in Court of Justice

“A Dutch European lawyer indiscriminately lambasting a prime minister and a party leader in front of four innocent new judges…indoctrinating them from day one how to judicially digest post-colonial power struggles from a sole Dutch white privileged position is borderline dangerous”: TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA thinks it's time for “this constant deep rooted Dutch European naivety blended with superiority feelings [to be]…corrected and replaced with a new historically mature understanding.”

September 20 2011

Curacao: Financial Reality

“Yesterday an IMF delegation presented their 2011 Article IV Consultation Discussions: Preliminary Conclusions with the usual rhetoric, cut, reform, kill mantra”: TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA posts a poem intended to show “that these programmed Washington DC economists are not gods.”

September 16 2011

Curacao: Images of Slavery Inappropriate

TRIUNFO DI SABLIKA takes issue with certain images on the Golden Coach, which has become the symbol of the Dutch monarchy: “The sidebar ‘Tribute of the Colonies' activates great resistance from us. On that side are half-naked black men and women who offer their riches to the royal king. In the colonial era and the aftermath of slavery this seemed like a very ordinary picture. Now it reminds us of a horrible period in Dutch history.”

March 23 2011

Aruba, Curacao: Eloquent Arguments

Written by Janine Mendes-Franco

The lawyer as orator? Karel's Legal Blog discusses “a sensitive subject.”

March 16 2011

March 04 2011

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