Wednesday, June 21, 2006

IS Aruba REALLY Safe?

Let's do a quick comparison of Aruba and the British Virgin Islands, the richest island in the Caribbean. Do I have a beef with the British Virgin Islands? Absolutely not, we had a wonderful day there in 2004 and look forward to another one the end of this year.

Why the BVI'S then? The British Virgin Island's with one of the highest GDP'S per capita in the world of $38,500 ranks #12 in the world. The United States Ranks #9.

The BVI'S are even listed as a "transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe; large offshore financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering. Most, if not all Caribbean countries are listed in the CIA Fact Book as having these dealings with narcotics.

The US State Dept even lists the BVI's as having crime.
"CRIME: Thefts and armed robberies do occur in the BVI. Visitors should take common-sense precautions against petty crime. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and use hotel safety deposit facilities to safeguard valuables and travel documents. Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach or in cars. Always lock up boats when going ashore."
If you visit the US State Dept website you will see the quote for Aruba.
"CRIME: The crime threat in Aruba is generally considered low although travelers should always take normal precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings. There have been incidents of theft from hotel rooms, and armed robbery has been known to occur. Valuables left unattended on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Car theft, including that of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis."
There is then listed in the next paragraph a warning to the parent's young travelers placed there for parent's who need to be reminded that they are parents and guardians of their children. I will just call this what it is, "the Holloway Clause".

Aruba's Illicit drugs are stated as "transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some accompanying money-laundering activity."

Yep, I feel pretty safe in Aruba.