Postulation day for two of the three former Netherlands Antilles, the present Bes Islands and still Dutch colonies was on February 6, 2019 in preparation for March 20, 2019 Island Council elections. For clarity sake let me explain. Elections should have been held on the 3 islands namely, Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire. However, we all know what happened to St. Eustatius.
The democratically elected representatives of the people of St. Eustatius were removed on February 7th 2018 amongst several allegations which have yet to be explained or proven. St Eustatius contested the matter in court, but on December 11, 2018 the claim made by the ousted government was rejected.
A democratic process! I say this sarcastically. The Democratic Deficit is what is reigning. A reference is made to the referendum held in 2014 and the low turnout and results. Then what is wrong with the Dutch allowing democracy to rule by allowing the people of St Eustatius to decide who they want as their representatives on March 20, 2019?
Did the leader Mr. Clyde van Putten make too much noise about the Statia Oil terminal? How much revenue can it generate? The Saba Bank how rich is it? How is Bonaire doing? What was the population of Bonaire prior to them becoming a BES Island and what is the population as to date? How many are allochtoon (foreigners) here I am referring to European Dutch and how many are autochtoon (native inhabitants?)
The Dutch are responsible for Defense, Nationality and Foreign Affairs. But the Venezuelan crisis that is affecting the ABC islands is an internal matter according to foreign Minister Stef Blok but they are willing to get involve in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. There are fighter jets on the island of Curacao.
Let me clarify unless am misunderstood, I am totally against what is happening in Venezuela where people are suffering under inhumane conditions and a solution must be found. But stating that what is happening with the influx of Venezuelans on the ABC islands is an internal matter is hypocritical. What is the present condition of the Bes Islands? An investigation by the Bureau Regioplan proved that more than half of the population of the BES population (Saba St. Eutstatius and Bonaire) lives below and some lower than the poverty line.
So what has the Dutch done for these islands except remove a democratically elected government in St. Eustatius and bind a yet to be elected island council in Bonaire to an agreement even before the elections are held. And this process apparently is legal based on their laws. One would have thought that one of the richest countries in the world with its expertise, its financial resources and its hundreds of years as an independent country has what it takes to take the people of the BES islands out of poverty. St. Eustatius still has water shortages. But they talk about the constitution of the Netherlands to which all of the Dutch territories have to comply. A Democratic process?