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Open letter to ConocoPhilips.

I feel very much obliged to let my voice be heard on behalf of the concerned people of Curaçao, in particular those who are directly or indirectly dependent on the Refinery of Curaçao for their daily basic needs and their survival. In general I am also obliged to express my great concern for the overall well being of the people of our islands who are living moments of a challenging financial and economic situation.
Let me state firmly that in no shape or form am I attempting to defend or protect neither PDVSA as a company nor Venezuela as a country. With 300 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, both PDVSA and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela should be able to look after their own.
Following years of failed negotiations and litigation between two giants in the oil industry, ConocoPhilips has won arbitration against PDVSA.
The details of the war, at this point, for us are not relevant. What is relevant is where Conoco-Philips has elected to “pursue enforcement and financial recovery of its award to the full extent of the law.
Both ConocoPhilips and PDVSA are present and effective in the global oil industry. They both have oil processing , refining and storage facilities throughout the entire world. Both have an extensive gasoline station network throughout the US continent. PDVSA sells gasoline through it’s CITGO gas stations while ConocoPhilips does the same through it’s Philips 66 gas stations.
Both ConocoPhilips and Citgo’s headquarters are located in ‘Houston’s Energy Corridor District’. Conoco Philips lawyers could have easily hop over and place their embargos on PDVSA’s Citgo assets within the United States
ConocoPhilips however choose not to fight this war on their home turf, but has chosen to fight this war in the Dutch Caribbean, namely Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Sint Eustatius respectively. ConocoPhilips has shown no regard what-so-ever for the consequences these actions may have on the already fragile economies of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Sint Eustatius.
During the eighties the American Government launched the Caribbean Basin Initiative, with all its good intentions. It then was also in the interest of the United States not to have poverished nations due to weak economies in America’s then so called backyard. For certain items that were part of the initiative, the lobby distance between a.o. Texas (Houston) and Louisiana had proven to be very short.
What we are experiencing now is in line with the blatant selfishness and disregard that communities have learned to expect from such multinationals and or interest groups. When you choke some of the largest flows of cash in a small economy; you inadvertently choke that economy. ConocoPhilips has never created or maintained not one single job on our island. Yet ConocoPhilips sees it fit to put thousands of jobs in the small fragile economy and labor market at stake.
If all goes according to plan, ConocoPhilips will get it’s cheque, PDVSA will collapse and the score will have been settled. ConocoPhilips might tell us.....Nothing Personal, just business!!!!! A salient side effect will be the fact that thousands of Dutch Caribbean Nationals will have to move on or even migrate to find a new job. A bloody shame that our people will have to pay such a high price for a relative small amount of a company with 73 billion in assets.
Shame on you ConocoPhilips for choosing not to fight this war on your own turf in the Energy Corridor in Houston;
Shame on you for the anguish you have poured in the hearts and homes of Dutch Caribbean families.
Shame on you for choosing to victimize innocent bystanders who have nothing to do with the conflict between ConocoPhilips and PDVSA.
You are acting like a bull that is out to destroy our economies without regard.
ConocoPhilips please find a different ball field on your own turf and leave us in the Dutch Caribbean alone!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maria Liberia-Peters,
Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands-Antilles.
Curaçao, May 13th 2018.

Open Letter to MP Wycliffe Smith.

I doubted very long whether I would write this letter.
Let me begin by congratulating pastor Wycliff Smith with his upcoming executive position as Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS). I believe that a man with your experience can contribute a lot to policies in these fields, especially education. But reading all publications recently in the newpaper and on social media, I start to doubt whether you’ll be strong enough to stand your ground once in that chair. Pastor Wycliff Smith in public stated that he was not willing to form any government with criminals (suspected!), not under his watch and therefor he rejects to form with the USP of Frans Richardson. One can discuss such a stand, but one must admit that at least it’s clear.
MP Chanel Brownbill recently in Court got convicted on a tax evading criminal law suite to 18 months in prison of which 15 month suspended. Of course MP Chanel Brownbil appeals this verdict, which doesn’t make any difference that he is CONVICTED on a criminal charge of tax evading.
Now everyone turn to the pastor Wycliff Smith to hear what now? The pastor Wycliff Smith answers that ‘the law must have its course and that he is not willing or planning to break with the negotations to form a new government’.
Pastor Wycliff Smith now behaves as a Pharisee (read Matthew 6.5 and more). Again I always said that the pastor was walking in too large political Shoes and would make wrong political public statements. But he promised us time after time to be transparant in all decision making. So I will accept the pastor saying he wants to become Minister of ECYS, because he believes he can make a difference. And therefor willing to accept the support of a CONVICTED criminal in Parliament but rejects the support of a SUSPECTED criminal in Parliament. The Pharisee pastor Wycliff Smith even goes further by stating that he also believes that a fall of Government in these days is not desireable nor good for Sint Maarten. For your information Sir, NO GOVERNMENT ISN’T GOING TO FALL IF YOU HOLD YOUR STAND OF NOT FORM A GOVERNMENT WITH CRIMINALS. It only probably means that for your ptincipal you’ll have to give up on your personal ambition to become Minister of ECYS. We have a caretakers’government in place until a new government coalition is formed! It’s arrogant assuming that you not forming a government will mean a fall of government. Believe me, a new government at all time will be formed with or without you pastor Wycliff Smith.


Healthcare Crisis.

Dear Editor,

Healthcare in St.Maarten is in a crisis and our island is at cross-roads. We have persevered through mother nature’s wrath. While we have overcome and focused on rebuilding oddly, we have forgotten about health care. Your healthcare. Your spouse’s healthcare. Your children’s healthcare. Essentially, the mechanism that ensures your family lives their life to the fullest.

Looking around you’ll see a lot of people suffering in silence. The trust is not there. Suffering because family members are not able to receive adequate healthcare and are instead sent to third world countries such as Columbia or they do not receive any at all. This is not because of a lack of desire on the part of local Healthcare Professionals. What does that say about our predominantly Christian community if we cannot properly care for our fellow citizens or for ourselves?

Yes, the Hospital is being funded or it is supposed to be funded. However, a Hospital is more than a building. It’s a complex organization. One that houses healthcare professionals that are adequately funded, that have the tools they need, that are of a decent amount or healthcare providers to serve a population and engage in cutting-edge treatments to ensure you and your family live life to the fullest.

Sadly, St. Maarten’s healthcare system is being held hostage by nepotism, so-called transparency veiled by hallow statements and gross mismanagement. We are preached to by Politicians about transparency and accountability and not shown where the government spends its healthcare budget or what that budget even is. Reviewing the cadre of healthcare policymakers and administrators in Government we can see the gross inexperience administering what in other countries are simple healthcare programs. Some policymakers have run hotels and construction companies, some went to a school and received a degree and have no healthcare experience, and some have written a children’s book. While these are respectable professions and vocations, what, exactly, does that have to do with healthcare? Still some are even relatives or friends of current government personnel and have secured their current positions based on who they know and not what they know.

Anyone, remember the constant Dump fires and the public health emergency that it presents. Is it any wonder that nothing gets done?

Anyone have an idea as to the repercussions the fire has on islander’s health? Or their children’s health? Not to mention the local economy.

Is it any wonder that despite the consistent and regular flood of government propaganda and false data-if they release any data-to the contrary, the islands healthcare system-your healthcare system-is an absolute mess?

We need better.

We deserve better.

.-Concerned Healthcare Professional

False Documents.

Dear Editor

The old saying goes that there is nothing new under the sun, but this is the first time I’ve heard of this. St. Maarten is the first country in the world to have developed two story lands. I'm talking about land, stacked on top of each other.

No, I'm not talking about air rights. I'm talking about land with the same identical borders, located on the same spot and sold or left to two different entities. The only way this could happen is if one parcel is stacked on top of the other, and we all know that's physically impossible, but, it can be done, with special effects, on paper, performed by the Cadastre department of St. Maarten and a Notary public.

These two entities, namely the Cadastre and Notary are our guardians of the land, so to speak, but to commit this act. they had to really dig deep to get this rabbit out of their hat. Out comes the squatter's right, giving ownership to someone, who in turn sells it to someone else. Fifty years later, no one is the wiser and even so, it's a done deal and irrevocable. In the meantime, they confiscate someone else's land, destroy that deed and all is good and dandy. Land is moved on paper and the two-story land has disappeared. The legal owner's heirs are either not affluent enough to retain legal counsel or are not interested because of succession land squabbles.

When the gentleman in Simpson bay was ripped off his land which he had submitted papers for, they said he made mistakes by not filing the correct papers. They even brought in a new term, namely, "Water rights", to bolster their contention, something nobody had ever heard of in St. Maarten. People who should have been disqualified for obtaining the land, produced a bag of papers documenting that they had submitted requests for the land, even though they were submitted much later than the man who was occupying it. I think he even proved that records were falsified, and maps were tampered with, all to no avail. He lost his case and 40 years of history was obliterated from our historical record.

Personally, I don't think that was the case. I think his papers were in order. That gentleman was also a victim of the two-story scenario. Only thing is, he is alive, so when they couldn't wait any longer to grab his land, they lowered their make-believe land unto his. That's when they brought in the water rights, surrounded him, probably obfuscated his documents, overwhelmed him with paperwork and the rest is history.

There are many honest, hardworking people working in the Cadastre department, but this charade of maintaining land records, maps and other Cadastre duties, performed by the criminal Cadastre personnel for their own enrichment must end. In my opinion, most of the ownership for land and other documentation has been tampered with. False annotations have been made to illegal Meetbriefs, to embellish the proof of being authorized to request Meetbriefs. These illegal Meetbriefs have served for people not entitled to land to obtain building permits and allowed them to build on land that they have no bond to.

Because of the lax enforcement of the prerequisites to request a Meetbrief, descendants of people who were allowed live on land, out of the goodness of the real land owner's heart, are now flying in the face of legal heirs. This farce must stop. The issuing of false land documents must be classified as Land Fraud. This is a crime. A major crime, that someone should have to answer for.

Francis D. Hodge

Subject: Objection against your Call for the consultative referendum on Wednesday, March 21 2018.

Dear Minister,

You call on the people of Bonaire (and St. Eustatius) to vote for a 1st consultative referendum on the Law on the intelligence and security services 2017 on Wednesday, March 21st.

First of all, I would like to kindly ask you, as a new Minister of Kingdom Relations, to take note of my various previous letters in which I am informing your Chamber and Government that your dictatorial course of unilaterally annexing and embedding in your Constitution of the illegal status of the Public Bodies of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius infringe against your own agreed treaties and the international legislation.
Your state-secretary of Kingdom Relations Mr. Knops recently publicly proclaimed to me during his visit to Bonaire that he don't know nothing about our collective colonial past and treaties and human rights. This illegality does not seem to interest him either, given his recent international blunder in St. Eustatius, officialized by your Cabinet and parliament, your seemingly-legal undemocratic-colonial intervention, and imposed colonial government. Hypocrisy at the highest, where the Netherlands as a co-founder of the UN Charter, internationally prominent profiling as a philanthropic country, and even, has worked himself in the UN Security Council, and on the other hand, violating his own co-kingdom-partners human rights.

On 18 December 2015 on Bonaire and 17 December 2014 on St. Eustatius, the peoples rejected this illegal status by referendum and our own legitimate democratically elected representatives have ratified the results as legal democratic decisions in our island councils. Your government ignore our referendum, the voice of our people and are forcing and governing our people into a status that they formally and legally have rejected, imposed by your economic, military and police power. This is undemocratic and adverse to the inherent fundamental freedoms of our peoples to govern themselves.

Now you are planning as a new minister to build on this illegality, in this malignant marsh of crime against our peoples and humanity, by further violating another foundation of democracy and the rule of law; the inalienable human right; the right to respect have respect for private and family life, his home and correspondence. You should know that this law expressly forbids your government to interfere with any public authority, us the citizens, from exercising our rights. Your question and referendum is then in advance unlawful because dominant human rights are inviolable and even with consent (your wrongful referendum) remains a violation of our human right.

Now we understand better and feeling again the pain and suffering of our ancestors, how your parliament conspired and conjured inhuman laws against them, your legal “kapersbrief”, your legal military permission and actions against our ancestors, declared as non-human, according to your law, as commercial good , your pernicious human trafficking. It seems so simple for your government, all according to your laws, to your honor and conscience, the inhuman.

Finally, I object to your unlawful attempt, your illegal referendum to legalize illegality, with or without permission from me and all other residents of Bonaire and St. Eustatius, who these rights belongs to , that these rights remain inviolable human rights.

James Finies, citizen of Bonaire

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