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Open letter to CARICOM Heads of States and the Caribbean leadership

unwatermeeting30032023CARICOM Secretariat                                                                                                                                                        Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown                                                                                                                                            Guyana

March 30, 2023

Subject: Bonaire Human Rights denounce The Dutch King’s official visit to the United Nations – March 22-24, 2023

Excellencies,

We, Bonaire Human Rights Foundation (BHRO) and Nos Kier Boneiru Bek (NKBB), are writing to you about the above-mentioned visit of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands within his delegation of democratically elected leaders of Curacao Aruba and St Maarten, the semi-autonomous islands of the Kingdom. In his delegation, the governor of Bonaire Mr. Edison Rijna was also present and was said to represent the people of Bonaire. This is yet another attempt to manipulate the UN about Bonaire, because of the island of Bonaire, which has a no-democratic elected leader. The governor is representing the King and the Dutch government that appointed him, as the governor is not elected by the Bonaire people.

Immediately after this hypocritical Dutch King-led UN water conference, the Netherlands appoints governor Rijna of Bonaire that has a notorious track record of corruption and criminal linkage and acts and was under investigation of the Dutch RST(Investigation  Collaboration Team) and the Public Prosecutor. This shocking appointment of Mr. Rijna as top diplomatic position in the UN as “special envoy” for the Caribbean Netherlands for EU and UN funds and economic relations with Latin America to maintain contact with the region as well as with UN-related organizations relevant to the Caribbean Netherlands is wrought under Dutch government duress. 

This is a deliberate action of the Netherlands to contravene the activities of BHRO and NKBB of the last ten months in the Caribbean region and Latin America highlighting exposing and raising awareness of the blatant continued Dutch colonialism our island Bonaire is facing as we are seeking the re-enlistment of Bonaire as a Non-Self-Governing-Territory with the United Nations.

The King’s visit coincided with meetings dedicated to the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) especially in the Caribbean which face unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities. The Dutch King took the stage as the organizer and exposed the cruel hoax, the rampant reality of the continued colonization of the Dutch Caribbean islands. This inhuman reminiscence of colonialism still lingers unchecked in the Caribbean even though colonialism was declared a Crime Against Humanity by same United Nations.

The Dutch King brought with him to the UN world stage his subordinated leaders of Caribbean islands that up to today remain under the colonial dominance of a Hague-based government. The King more or less admitted to the reality of coloniality when he said at this high-level meeting “…We even represent the Small Island Developing States, because part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands lies in the Caribbean, and comprises Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten (CAS-islands). As well as the islands of Bonaire, Saba, and St Eustatius. (BES islands).” What the world and UN do not know is that the Dutch Caribbean islands governments, which the King and Dutch presented there on the UN stage, do not meet the minimum international law and United Nations recognized standards of self-governance.  The Dutch government in name of the King possesses many undemocratic instruments and powers to create laws and acts, which unilaterally overrule all the subordinated Caribbean island's governments.

On the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010 the islands Bonaire, Saba, and St Eustatius(BES) were illegally annexed by unilateral undemocratic action by the Dutch government.

Then subsequently integrated and incorporated in 2017 the BES islands peoples with the same Dutch Nationality and with the same Dutch Passports in the Dutch Constitution under unequal rights as second-class citizens and against the democratically expressed wishes and decisions of the island peoples. Shouldn’t we call this a new form of Apartheid in the Caribbean?

15th March 2023 – Island Council Elections and Electoral College Elections on Bonaire

BHRO and NKBB called on the people of Bonaire not to vote as a protest as non-voting is the only way to resist a system that is farce, illegitimate, and authoritarian. Despite a full-blown Dutch-led campaign to go vote in different languages and media, almost 50% of the local population did not vote compared to before the illegal annexation of 2010 when the voter’s turnout was normally consistent above 80%. This no-vote protest action showed once more the Bonaire people’s unhappiness towards this farce democracy and farce election where their elected leaders possess no power as

The Hague, Dutch government decides. And these elections were held just prior to the King’s visit to the UN.

A question that will never be raised at no level by none of the Dutch-appointed Caribbean leaders brought to speak on behalf of the Dutch at the UN, where is the representative of Sint Eustatius? The Hague removed the locally elected government led by Mr. Clyde van Putten from office in February 2018 by force and appointed a governor and colonial ruler to govern St Eustatius. And up today, after more than 5 years the situation remains the same and nobody, no Dutch Caribbean leader can and is doing anything about this crime against humanity and shame to Caribbean people’s dignity.

We again send out an urgent warning to the CARICOM and Caribbean leadership. It indeed is really about the water, as the King and his Caribbean henchmen mentioned on the UN stage. In 2010 with the illegal annexation of the island Bonaire in the Southern Caribbean, the Dutch King and his government took full legal and political control of another 200 nautical miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Caribbean waters.  Bonaire also possesses a very deep-water harbor, only fifty miles of the Venezuelan coast, and the Dutch government rapidly expanded the local Bonaire airport beyond international commercial to military standards, making a Caribbean war imminent. Indeed, the kingdom’s focus is on water, it is about control of the Caribbean waters and all the natural resources in it.

Finally, as the King said; “we all need to live a decent life”. Yes, we the Bonerian people have inherited and acquired this right, so why then keeping our people subordinated and colonized, not allowing us to exercise our human right to be equally free and equal to all people in the Dutch European part of the kingdom?

Please accept the testimony of our highest consideration,

Sincerely,

Mr. James Finies, President Nos Kier Boneiru Bek

Ms. Davika J. Bissessar, President of the Bonaire Human Rights Organization

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