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Apologies for the slavery past without reparatory justice are no apologies

Dear Prime Minister Rutte,
In memory and honor of our spiritual and courageous African ancestors who fought against oppression for our freedom, we, UCF, D'HERO1 and the Reparatory Justice Cooperative Alliance request your kind attention to the following.
1. Earlier this month (d.d. 3 November 2019) it was announced that the cabinet would soon apologize for the slavery past. A majority of the House of Representatives has insisted on this after a visit by a parliamentary delegation to Suriname, Curaçao, and Bonaire;
2. In recent days, various media have reported on the intention of the cabinet to apologize for the Dutch slavery past on Monday 19 December;
3. According to sources from The Hague, seven members of the cabinet will travel to Suriname and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom where they will give speeches in which they will express regret on behalf of the State of the Netherlands. The speeches will all be delivered on the same day in the Netherlands and in the former colonies that had to deal with slavery;
4. Prime Minister Rutte will apologize in the Netherlands. Minister Weerwind (Legal Protection) will travel to the Surinamese capital Paramaribo as a descendant of enslaved people;
1 Ubuntu Connected Front en Decades of HEROES for the Elimination of Racism and Oppression
Ubuntu Connected Front | The Netherlands
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | www.ubuntuconnectedfront.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/ubuntucf | Twitter @IkbenUCF | Instagram @ikbenucf
5. State Secretary Van der Burg (Asylum) goes to Aruba, Minister Van Gennip (Social Affairs) to Bonaire, State Secretary Van Huffelen (Kingdom Relations) to Curaçao, State Secretary Van Rij (Finance) to St. Eustatius, State Secretary Van Ooijen (Welfare) to Saba and Minister Kuipers (Public Health) to Sint Maarten;
6. The apologies are not accompanied by reparations or direct financial compensation for the descendants of enslaved people;
7. Despite the fact that the content of the above messages has not (yet) been confirmed by the cabinet, the intention of the government and the cabinet to apologize for the Dutch slavery past after almost 150 years is in itself a good gesture;
8. Our thanks go in the first place to all persons and organizations who have committed themselves in recent years in the context of the slavery file and making excuses and to all who had no doubt that this moment would arrive;
9. In view of these developments, we recall on behalf of UCF, D'HERO, and the Reparatory Justice Cooperation Alliance that the Netherlands has a long history of Afro-phobia (anti-black racism), colonialism, slavery, and the otherwise oppression of Africans and citizens of African descent;
10. We agree that slavery and the slave trade (including the trans-Atlantic slave trade) were declared a crime against humanity by the UN in 2001;
11. We point to the fact that the racist ideas that underlie slavery and the discrimination that characterized slavery can still be seen in society today;
12. We emphasize that without remedial measures, which explicitly include reparations, the negative consequences of colonialism and transatlantic slavery, which are still present today, in particular for citizens of African descent, will continue to exist;
13. We emphasize that apologies for the Dutch slavery past are only of value if they are expressed unconditionally (without restrictions on reparatory justice). Apologies without ethical, historical, educational, financial, socio-economic, or cultural reparation are no apologies, especially when it is taken into account that the negative effects of that slavery past are still felt today in Dutch society, the Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, and Saba) and the Republic of Suriname.
14. We point out to the current government and cabinet that, despite the fact that they have been made aware of the need for legal reparatory justice for many years, they are partly responsible for allowing the various negative effects of the slavery past to continue to have an effect in the present;
15. We would like to point out to the government and cabinet that other matters that stand in the way of successful apologies at this stage, such as remedial measures (including payments), the crime scenes, the role of the current cabinet, the role of the prime minister, the position and possible role of the Koning, the proposed role of Minister Weerwind as the descendant of an enslaved person, the impact of the slavery past, etc.;
Ubuntu Connected Front | The Netherlands
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | www.ubuntuconnectedfront.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/ubuntucf | Twitter @IkbenUCF | Instagram @ikbenucf
16. We are well aware that this is not the time to delve into the complexities, underlying problems, and possible solutions of making unconditional excuses for the Dutch slavery past;
17. We assume that if, as appears from the messages, you as a member of the government and cabinet intend to apologize for the Dutch slavery past on December 19, 2022, you wish to do so successfully. In order to achieve this, we have tried to make it clear that the government and cabinet will have to take more time to make the intention of apologizing for all involved in the spirit of Ubuntu a success.
Ubuntu (I am because we are)!
Sincerely / Kind regards,
Mr. R.P. Vaarnold LL.M.
President UCF
Director D'HERO
06-12131348
P.O. Box 94564, 1090 GN Amsterdam
A copy of this letter will be sent to relevant stakeholders and various media.

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