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Populism in the Caribbean; Curacao

Parallel to this process of replacing CEOs of SOE, the names of institutions were changed as an act of nationalism (Millett, 2003). Names that were linked to colonialism were replaced by names that were declared more patriotic. The two most visible cases were the change of names of the National University and Peter Stuyvesant College.

A climate of fear was created. This is the effect of the vilification of the elites and institutions through the media. In August 2010 the media itself became the target of the populists. The PS accused the media of being biased and against the government, mainly against the PS. Wiels called for his followers to boycott the sponsors of the media. Observers state that PS was becoming paranoid and was becoming like a religious cult. This led to furious reactions from the PS. The PS correctly referred to cases from the recent past where media personalities had been fired be cause they sympathized with the opposition, and nobody had protested then.

At the end of August 2011 a parliamentary investigation of the judicial system was announced. The atmosphere was hostile because of the verbal aggression on the part of the protagonists. Crime was on the rise. Some linked these two phenomena.

At the end of September 2011 Curaçao was audited by the IMF. The IMF was concerned about the financial and economic development of the island. Shortly afterwards the judicial institutions expressed their concern about the wide spread verbal aggression and intimidation by the populists[1].This led to an attack on these institutions by the PS. This attack extended and developed the conspiracy theories that had been advanced by the populists (Vossen,2010).

Schotte traveled as much as possible, especially in the Caribbean region, to portray himself as a statesman. In a short period he visited Brazil, the Netherlands, Trinidad, the United States, Cuba, Spain, Peru, Barbados and Haiti, sometimes at the request of the Netherlands as a representative of the Kingdom. At the end of September 2011 Schotte was part of the Dutch delegation attending the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. Schotte gave interviews for Fox News and CNN. These activities are examples of Schotte’s populist tactics. He raised his personal profile, mainly abroad through the international media and domestically through photographic reports by is personal photographer.

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