New York: The undersigned are pleased to announce that COPPPAL, the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean, fully supports the quest of political and civil society representatives of the Dutch overseas Municipalities Bonaire and Sint Eustatius to have the Dutch Government’s decolonization and human rights record scrutinized by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, (Decolonization Committee or C-24).
In a June 19th letter addressed to the C-24, and in addition to a related resolution adopted by COPPPAL on November 13th, 2015, COPPPAL Adjunct-President Gustavo Carvajal Moreno and Vice-President- and former Minister of Justice and Vice-Prime Minister of Aruba- Hyacintho Rudolfo (“Rudy”) Croes again request the Committee’s attention for the specific case of Bonaire.
The letter states that prior to 2010, a referendum was organized on Bonaire, during which the people of the island were not adequately informed, and chose direct ties with the Netherlands, without knowing what the contents of such a constitutional relationship were. As such, the people of Bonaire were deceived. Moreover, the people of Sint Eustatius never voted for direct ties with the Netherlands.
The letter continues to point out that after the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles on 10/10/10, Bonaire ended up in an unclear constitutional situation, which ultimately resulted in an annexation by the Netherlands. Holland was solely thinking of the economic benefits of the natural resources in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zones of the islands, which it would possess.
Said annexation, according to COPPPAL, is a direct violation of United Nations resolutions 1514, 1541, and 2625 which were approved by the Netherlands in 1954.
The island government of Bonaire held another referendum. In this consultation, the following answer had to be answered: “Does the population agree with the new status as colony or the annexation?”
The results of the referendum were that more than 60% of the population voted “NO” and rejected the annexation.
COPPPAL ends its letter by stating that it rejects and condemns each form of colonization on the American continent, for example that of Puerto Rico, de Malvinas Islands, and the Dutch, British and French islands in the Caribbean. In the case of Bonaire, Sent Eustatius and Saba, COPPPAL condemn every intention of creating new colonies in the Caribbean.
The organization further states that it is a shame that in the middle of the 21st century, violations of United Nations resolutions 1514, 1541, and 2625 continue to take place.
On behalf of the population of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius, we would like to thank the COPPPAL and the people they represent for their strong and continued support of the process we have started.
Clyde I. van Putten
Leader of Government and Island Council Member Progressive Labor Party, Sint Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
President Nos Ke Boneiru Bek, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean