ORANJESTAD, Island councilman Clyde van Putten (PLP) on Tuesday afternoon accused Government Commissioners Alida Francis and Claudia Toet of torpedoing the proposed summit of the Island Councils of Bonaire Sint Eustatius and Saba that was slated for November 15th 2021 on Sint Eustatius.
A peeved Van Putten said that based on the proposed ‘draconian protocol’ that was put in place as a condition for the participation of the island council delegation from Bonaire, the delegation decided at the last moment that they were unable to participate under these unfavourable conditions.
The measures entail amongst others, that on the arrival of the delegation they would have to undergo an antigen test despite the fact that they would have to submitted a PCR test upon arrival at the FDR Airport. The delegation would further be confined to a 5 day quarantine and will only be able to participate at the summit and the official Statia day ceremony at 6 AM under what Van Putten referred to as ‘very stringent and inhumane conditions’.
“To this end they will be unable to participate in any further activities marking the Statia day 2021. I consider this an outrage, taking into account that the members of the proposed delegation from Bonaire are fully vaccinated”, said Van Putten.
Van Putten furthermore stated that he considers the actions of the commissioners to be an abuse of power and also double standard taking into account. “”As recent as May of this year state secretary Raymond knops visited the island and met with elected, appointed and civic leaders and was also was all over the island mingling with our citizens of the community, moreover on many occasions without a face mask. This is also true for other civil servants of RCN and by extension the national government in the Hague who visits the island on a regular basis and is not subjected to these inhumane conditions”, according to Van Putten.
Van Putten said that from the beginning it seemed clear that the Government Commissioners were not willing to make the summit, to which a motion in the Island Council called, a reality. “From the evening of October 14th 2021 when this motion was presented and supported by all members of the progressive labor party faction and also independent member of the island council Mr. Koos Sneek, it was very apparent that based on the reaction of the government commissioners that they were not willing to make this summit a reality and therefore was not prepared to lend any form of corporation for the realization of this summit”.
Van Putten concluded in saying that whilst he is in favor of protecting the island community from the Covid pandemic he says the policies implemented by government should be practical and realistic, stating that a rule for one should be a rule for all.