Yesterday Elvio Carmela passed away. 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.
Mellow but a tenacious heart who for the last decades has been fighting for pension rights. The elite media outlets always took him lightly subliminally trying to downplay his pension justice stance defending corporate interests.
26000 pensioners are now entitled to 818 Florin ($454) per month and Minister Koeiman of social affairs claims to increase their pensions to 1000 Florin ($555) plus to save the governmental pension fund the pension age will ‘have’ to go up from 60 to 65. Now here it gets funny these decisions were taken late january but they count as of january 1st 2012 without any period of transition which normally should be the case. (meanwhile Parliament hasn’t even approved the reform. Supposedly late April)
Take in account that this minister represents the (41 years) Social Justice party MAN. His style reflects more a neoliberal party who obeys the Cft (Supervisory Financial Council installed by Dutch government) and are not accustomed to consult with prime stake holders. The commission in charge of the new pension adaptions were not represented by a pensioner organization like Elvio Carmela or the confederation of pensioners KOPAMKO headed by Oscar Semerel. So how you going to decide upon the fate of pensioners without envolving them in the process?
Two thorns in the eyes of minister Koeiman to smooth talk his pension reform through the Curacao Parliament. Why? Because mr. Carmela and mr. Semerel demand that Curacao according to the 1979 ratified UN Economic and Social Rights Pact and the 2000 Madrid Treaty are entitled to receive equal pensions like pensioners in the Netherlands. At least 1600 Florin ($889). This would mean that minister Koeiman who yaps al the time about emancipation should force the Dutch government to either integrate the Curacao pension fund in theirs or come up with the lost compensation to establish a solid fund via corporate and governmental alternatives.
In January Dutch members of Parliament were in Sint Maarten for a Dutch Kingdom Interparliamentary meeting. Social groups requested an audience but of course were denied by neocolonial motives. Their mission was: “The Kingdom government is constantly referring to good governance and higher supervision for the countries here in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, but is not addressing the human rights deficit in social economic and cultural rights which according to the same article in the Charter of the Kingdom is also a Kingdom affair. The social organizations want the Parliamentary delegations to address these issues and to instruct the14 ministers of the Dutch cabinet and each minister plenipotenciary of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten to comply with all human rights treaties and eliminate the human rights deficit in the Kingdom of the Netherlands just as they started to address the democratic deficit in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”
Ex minister of social affairs Rufus McWilliams proposed to augment the sales tax from 6 to 7% to cover pension expenses.
So called progressive emancipatory media and independence advocates like Helmin Wiels’ Pueblo Soberano all seem to be afraid to bust their usual sharp opinion on the pension issue.
Their silence condemns them teaming up with these oppressive neo-colonial tactics. Its being noted in the hallways of social justice heavens.
The pension reform flipped by minister Koeiman is also rife with manipulations like: “Everbody agrees that measures should be taken, the question now is what kind of measures”. I haven’t seen no poll, read no research among our labor force and pensioners that they “all agree”.
Nothing no scientific evidence just pure political speculation by a minister instead of emancipating standing up for our rights within a dutch kingdom were we treated like 3rd class citizens leads us to fall in that mental slave trap to please corporate and Dutch interests.
Elvio Carmela has switched to another life form beyond our earthly comprehension but do remember this as he and Mr. Semerel wholeheartedly agreed that minister Koeiman’s pension reform reeked of the Papiamentu saying: “Bakoba pa kwe makaku (Banana to catch a monkey)”
Rest In Power Don Elvio