Curaçao Election Result Sparks Calls for Independence

A cruise ship moored in Willemstad, Curaçao
A cruise ship moored in Willemstad, Curaçao (Shutterstock/Galina Savina)

Curaçaoans on Friday returned to parliament a majority of parties that favor further dissolution from the Netherlands.

Pueblo Soberano, which advocates full independence, and former prime minister Gerrit Schotte’s Movementu Futuro Kòrsou both won five out of 21 seats in the island’s legislature. They are likely to continue their coalition with the Social Democrats.

Schotte tendered his resignation in August after two lawmakers had pulled out of budget talks. The island’s governor — the representative of the Dutch king — subsequently appointed an interim prime minister instead of allowing Schotte to stay on as caretaker. He likened the move to a coup d’état and speculated the Dutch were involved.

The Hague was involved to the extent that it demanded Curaçao make deeper budget cuts to mend its deficit. Pueblo Soberano refused to cut education spending, precipitating the crisis in Schotte’s coalition. Read more “Curaçao Election Result Sparks Calls for Independence”

“Russia Seeks Naval Presence in Cuba, Vietnam”

Russia hopes to establish another naval base abroad and is eying Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam as possible locations, the country’s naval chief was quoted as saying on Friday.

Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the commander-in-chief of the Russian navy, told the RIA Novosti news agency, “It’s true that we are continuing work on providing the navy with basing outside the Russian Federation.”

Russia’s only foreign maritime base at present is situated in Tartus, Syria in the Eastern Mediterranean. Although the facility is limited in scope, preserving it is seen as a reason for Russia to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad despite international condemnation of the brutal crackdown of dissent that he has orchestrated in Syria for the last seventeen months.

Russia vacated the Cam Ranh naval base in Vietnam in 2002 during Vladimir Putin’s first term as president because the country could no longer afford to pay the rent. Reoccupying it may spark some undue concern — in Beijing. Read more ““Russia Seeks Naval Presence in Cuba, Vietnam””