The BBC is reporting that “[a] prominent politician on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, Helmin Wiels, has been shot dead.” Wiels was a Leftist and leader of the pro-independence party, Pueblo Soberano (PS). The party had done very well in the most recent elections on the island, and much of their success attributable to Wiels’ promise to follow a path of “Curaçao creole socialism.” Indeed, Wiels was a vocal admirer of the Late Hugo Chavez and a proponent of joining the various regional projects undertaken by Venezuela.
Finally, it should not be lost on anyone that Curacao is one of three “Dutch” islands that sit off of Venezuela’s coastline. In fact, the distance between Curacao and Caracas is just shy of 300km. It is in this light that the presence (courtesy of an invitation by the Netherlands) of a U.S. Air Force base on Curacao, and another one on Aruba, are particularly relevant.
The Venezuelans (or any government in South America for that matter) know these geographic and political realities quite well. It’s high time we in the north learn to appreciate them as well.