Curaçaoans are being asked to say yes or no to the question: "I approve of the result of the round-table conference to come to an autonomous Curaçao within the kingdom". But the dispute has moved far beyond that proposition.
The negotiations have opened up all sorts of old wounds, and the historic differences within Curaçao society now seem stronger than ever. In a country rooted in a history of slavery and colonialism, the divide between yes and no runs mostly along racial and economic lines. The whiter, richer and more educated people are more likely to vote in favour of the deal, while the less privileged black population leans towards no. Traditionally, it has been the poorer segment of the population that clings to the security of close ties with the Netherlands, while the local intelligentsia says it is fed up with Dutch "interference".
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