Developments and letters

January 2022 - August 2022

On January 1, 2022, I write a letter about the situation on St. Eustatius, addressed to the new Rutte IV cabinet.

On January 16, I write a letter about the (non-)discussion about the benchmark minimum subsistence security bes-islands.

On 27 january a townhall meeting has been organised. The final report from SHRC (Statia Heritage Research Committee) is being presented. We are present. The presentation gives comments on the almost no communication from the side of the government to the general public. We - as concerned Statians - have made an issue of that all the time. We see that in a broad senses: there is almost no communication about nothing! This is how democracy converts into autocracy. This same evening I write a letter.

On 5 February I will send a letter to the national ombudsman as well as to the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Both will be arriving on the island soon. I may be given the opportunity to explain a few things orally, if that is not the case: the note is at least in their mailbox.

From Sunday afternoon, February 20 to Tuesday morning, February 22, 2022, the new Secretary of State - Ms. Van Huffelen - visited St. Eustatius. On Monday evening there was a meet and greet where I was also invited. An impression with comments.

On March 3, 2022, I write a letter in response to two publications. On the one hand, there is Clyde van Putten who, with the approval of his supporters, I believe is overplaying his hand, and on the other, there is a petition to the effect that I believe is reviving old discussions. None of this is helping the relationship between the Netherlands and Statia. Sigh...

In preparation for the debate in the House of Representatives on the BES Islands on Wednesday, March 23, I am sending today (March 20) this letter.

The debat of 23 March will get a follow up as a so called twominute debate (plenary) on Tuesday, March 29. For that reason I write this letter.

A sad case concerning Regilio Pinas (husband of my colleague Joanne) has prompted a worrying letter to parliament (and Ombudsman and Inspectorate) concerning the deplorably poor organization of the care function (including that of the health insurance office ZVK) on the island. Let us hope that at least his death was not in vain.

Just another look at the inter island connectivity by air. It is simply lousy and in the last eight years that I have lived here, it has only gotten worse. Almost against my better judgment, I am writing a letter about this.

In preparation for the April 14, 2022 debate on governance in the Dutch Caribbean, I offer my contribution at the last minute (one day before).

On April 21, I send a letter in which I try to keep the lid on many a cover-up. I see a global attitude in which to frustrate open, equal and respectful consultation with the Island Council. This attitude does no good to the relationship between Statia and the European Netherlands.

A day later - April 22, I send a supplementary letter in which I elaborate somewhat on the letter of a day before.

On April 28, I am writing two letters:

On May 4th, 2022, the semi-annual IPKO will begin on St. Maarten. On May 2 and 3 - prior to the IPKO - the delegation of the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament will make a flash visit to Saba (May 2) and St. Eustatius (May 3). On May 4 I will write a letter about it.

On May 8 I will write a letter (again) about the ever decreasing air connections and the ever increasing fares for those same connections. All this against the background of a NL-government that only wants to talk about solutions that do justice to the interests of the (other) country Sint Maarten and the monopolist Winair.

On May 12, I write a brief bill about the applicability of NL laws and regulations to the BES Islands and the possibility of making our own laws and regulations (as a public entity).

On May 12, a press statement is issued by the hospital's management (SEHCF). That same afternoon we are registered for the complaints consultation hour organized by ZVK (or: the MinVWS). At that complaint consultation hour we are invited as bring our message to a seminar of representatives of healthcare organizations on all NL-islands in the Caribbean Region that is being organized at the CNSI on Friday May 13. And on May 15, I will write a letter about healthcare.

On May 18 I will write a letter about the social benefits in the Dutch Caribbean compared to those in the European Netherlands. The government should be ashamed of itself.

On June 1, Minister Dennis Wiersma will visit our island and our school. Very briefly I speak to him. I write him a short note that evening.

On June 8, 2022, I will write a letter about the commotion (especially on Bonaire) about the social benefits lagging behind compared to the European Netherlands. My letter focuses on the factual non-existence of the discussion. All laws applicable in the European Netherlands are also applicable to the Caribbean Netherlands, unless.... (after all: comply or explain).

On June 9, 2022, I write a letter in response to a D-66 motion that is supported almost across the parliament, dealing with ecotourism in the Caribbean Netherlands. My letter makes a contribution to what I believe is a useful twist in such a program: consider "history" as a unique selling point of St. Eustatius!

A townhall meeting will be held on June 14, 2022. This is on the occasion of the visit of State Secretary Van Huffelen and Minister De Jonge to the island. This townhall meeting is reason for me to write a letter on June 17.

On June 27, 2022, I share in a letter some thoughts on the (return of) democracy on the island, transparency and leadership. It appears that the Vice President of the Council of State has been on the island whereby - in my opinion - as good as no one has taken notice. Is that because the island government would rather not have ordinary people talking to this official? Only hand-picked interlocutors were invited. What does 'representative' or 'at random' mean in such a sample anyway? Nothing anyway...

On July 7, 2022, I write a letter. The immediate cause is a disappointing procedural meeting of the Kingdom Relations Commission. I perceive delay and obstruction: not nice things in the political process in which St. Eustatius (and other islands in the Dutch Caribbean) yearn for more recognition and equality in the country of the Netherlands.

On July 9, 2022, I write a bill to the chairman of the just appointed committee on social minumum (it is about "the Netherlands" and of course that includes "Caribbean Netherlands": it can't hurt to point this out to the chairman).

On July 25, 2022, there appears the call on to comment on the SZW Laws Amendment Act Caribbean Netherlands 2023. That same day I will provide my comments.

On August 7, 2022, I am writing a letter about: