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Populism in the Caribbean; Curacao

In the mean while Omayra Leeflang of the PAR and Nelson Pierre of NPA  started talk shows in the same format as Wiels to fight back. In a sense Leeflang had no option, given the success of the PS. Pierre returned from Colombia, coming out of retirement.

Facebook plays an important role in this whole process. Voters exchange ideas using social media.

There was constant conflict within the coalition. This resulted in a decrease in trust and a subsequent cessation of economic investment, which had a severe and negative impact on the projected economic growth for 2011; the island experienced negative growth. In the meantime,a significant number of civil servants were employed, leading to budgetary problems for the government. A group of 38 representative organizations, ranging across the business community, labor unions, NGOs and churches, united to express their concern over the situation on the island[1]. CEOs and civil servants were going to court to protest the fact that they had been passed over. To date the government has lost all these cases in the courts.

Many new projects are distrusted and discredited as being schemes of the elites to enrich themselves. The opposition accuses the government of corruption and of taking over the new country by removing CEOs and top civil servants to appoint their own people, who are loyal to the party. Meanwhile, in August 2011 an international investigation involving the United States authorities was started, into financial activities that the brother of the Minister of Finance (a member of the MFK)[2]. All this contributes to the reduction of trust on the part of investors in the island, again producing negative economic growth and stimulating a rise ofsocial tension[3].

As an illustration of the conspiracy theories of the populists (Vossen, 2010), in September 2011 the second Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival was held[4]. The organizer was accused of money laundering by the leader of the PS. The truth of the matter is that the organizer is part of the elite creating added value for the community, but the populists do not believe that such a thing is possible.

[1] (Accessedon 28 September 2011)

[2] on 8 September 2011)

[3] on 28 September 2011)

[4] on 8 September 2011)

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