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Populism in the Caribbean; Curacao

In the state owned companies all supervisory board members were replaced. This was in direct conflict with new legislation designed to inhibit such activity[1]. The new coalition started a process of scrutinizing CEOs, suspecting them of bad management and corruption, and starting investigations on their doings in thepast[2].These investigations are called operational audits and forensic investigations. In this very public process senior managers in state owned enterprises were described as the black jetset, and were accused of having acquired wealth by stealing from the companies of the people[3]. Some of the institutions be deviled by this patronage are the Homeland SecurityService, the Central Bank, the utility company, the state owned telecomcompany, and the state owned company that operates the harbour. These actions were justified on the grounds that the existing heads of state enterprises constituted a conspiracy against the people, a tactic that has been identifiedas typical of populists (Vossen, 2010).

State owned enterprises were considered to be a result of neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is condemned, together with everything and everybody associated with it. The more populist parties framed the PAR as a neo-liberal party, and people associated with or sympathizing with them are investigated. People with unknown affiliations are investigated as well. People who are able to think for themselves, if they are in key positions are also scrutinized.

Parallel to this process, 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.

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