Kralendijk- Social worker Edwina Molina is of the opinion that the original population of Bonaire should determine the future of the island. Molina points out that there is much dismay among the original population, when it comes to developments of the last few years.
According to Molina, many native inhabitants on the island feel belittled and misunderstood. “I have difficulty with the fact that some state that the Netherlands should take full responsibility for the governing of Bonaire. This is not fitting for the year 2018, and it is also undemocratic! It feels like recolonization and generates feelings of aggression in a significant portion of the indigenous population.”
Feelings of aversion
Molina says that many people underestimate how deep the feelings of aversion run among many original inhabitants on the island. “People feel already dominated by the Netherlands due to the current constitutional status. If some of the Dutch people living here with a ‘know-it-all’ attitude now want to define what the future of the island should looks like, that irks many Bonaireans”, says Molina.
Molina points out that in the 2015 referendum, a big majority of eligible voters voted for more autonomy for the island, and not for less.
Molina says that since 10-10-10 the island is dominated by everything that comes from the Netherlands. In her opinion, native Bonaireans are often dismissed as unqualified, or simply corrupt. “Undeserved”, says Molina.
Flying in of Dutch ‘experts’ makes no sense
Molina is against the practice of flying in advisors and professionals from the Netherlands. “Our local professionals have often studied in the Netherlands at the same colleges and universities as those whom they fly in from the Netherlands. In addition, our local professionals master the three common languages (Papiamentu, Spanish and English) on the island, and they are familiar with the Bonairean culture. It is therefore completely unjustified to depict Bonairean natives as incompetent and create the impression that “expertise” should always be flown in from the European Netherlands,” says Molina. Molina also feels that large sums of money are wasted by all the flying in of “experts” from The Netherlands.
Molina says she realizes that with her criticism, some will see her as the ‘angry black woman’. “Which I’m not, by the way. I just can’t stand injustice and if I see how things go wrong or could be done better, then my hands itch to do something about it. But always on the basis of equality. We, as locals, have to take matters into our own hands and show both our own people and the Netherlands that things must and can actually be done in a better way”.