Oranjestad- PLP Leader Clyde van Putten is not in agreement with many conclusions of State Secretary Raymond Knops, mentioned in the report Knops submitted to the Dutch Second Chamber earlier this month.
While on the one hand, according to Van Putten, some statements by the State Secretary only state ‘the obvious’ such as the lack of investment of infrastructure, Van Putten cannot agree with many other statements made by Knops.
“I must point out that the backlog in infrastructural and material development on Sint Eustatius as described in your report has always been evident. It is largely the result of gross neglect and the lack of willingness/governing capability over the past decades by both the Dutch Government and the local Democratic Party with which your CDA party has formed a formal alliance. This historic fact has been confirmed by a number of reports commissioned by the same Dutch Government, including the “IdeeVersa” and “Spies” reports, and the same report by Mssrs. Franssen and Refunjol which you used as a pretext for your unlawful intervention”, according to the letter by Van Putten.
Van Putten also takes issue with the ‘sudden willingness’ of Holland to now invest in Statia’s infrastructure. “The fact that the Dutch Government is suddenly willing and able to address these matters and make seemingly resources funds available only now after the unlawful legislation approving regime change was rushed through both of your legislative Houses, is both a glaring self-indictment of failed Dutch Government’s policies and proof of the hypocrisy and bad faith it has been displaying over the year” writes Van Putten.
Van Putten feels that if The Hague had listened earlier to complaints from the island(s), the intervention in St. Eustatius would not have been necessary. “Had the Dutch Government executed the recommendations and engaged in the dialogue which the Government of Sint Eustatius had proposed as recent as March 2017, there would have been no reason to create a false pretext for the unlawful intervention. Unfortunately, and despite calls from the current, democratically elected, legitimate coalition Government of Sint Eustatius of which I form part since March 2015, the Dutch Government chose to ignore the conclusions of said reports, and refused to address the issues at hand in accordance with it’s obligations under the UN Charter and the international laws and conventions regarding decolonization”, according to the PLP Party Leader.
Van Putten also reiterates that he feels that the Dutch Government should end the what he calls ‘illegal occupation of the island’. Van Putten signs his letter as island council member and leader of the Coalition Government of St. Eustatius.
Van Putten is not alone in his criticism on certain issues described by Knops. Koos Sneek (DP) also wrote a critical letter to the State Secretary pointing out various issues he and his party are not in agreement with.