18 March 2019

DUTCH MEDIA REPORTED TO CONSPIRE TO CENSOR BONAIRE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER


Complaint filed with Dutch-appointed Governor of territory




Bonaire,  March 15, 2019

To: Mr Edison Rijna
 Governor of Bonaire
 Plaza Wilhelmina 1
 Bonaire     


Subject: Dutch State and Dutch media gestapo tactics - violation of human rights freedom of free press

Honorable Governor Rijna,

With this letter we denounce conspiracy and extortion by the Dutch State interference to undermine the Bonerian press and media fundamental right to freedom of free press.  

Recently on March 6th the major leading daily newspaper of Bonaire, the Extra, on page 31, through an editorial article denounced that they were approached by the Dutch media, based on a “general media pact and agreement”, to conspire to boycott and silence Mr. James Finies, president of the civil society organization : foundation Nos Ke Boneiru Bek (We Want Bonaire Back).

Governor Rijna, a non-democratic appointed governor-institution, representing the King and Kingdom, maintaining powers above/and to over-rule the elected government,  main duty is the legal protection of the rule of international law and as such to respect, to protect and to comply with our peoples rights. Above described gestapo tactics by the Dutch State and Dutch media conspiracy and intimidation of the local media could lead to a totalitarian or dictatorship rule if the people are not informed by free press.  Mr Rijna should take note of the fact as the people if they are not informed freely, cannot make up ones mind and cannot have an opinion. They will be deprived not only from its capacity to act but also of  its capacity to think and to judge. With such a people you can then do what you please.             

As Mr Rijna is aware that our foundation NKBB has position itself towards the upcoming elections advising the people of Bonaire to protest and boycott this election to vote blank or no vote. Contrary to Mr Rijna press-conference urging the people to use their sacred rights to go vote in a illegal system, rejected by the people and where the power is held by the Dutch parliament in the Hague. A blank vote or no vote is internationally  recognized as same, exercise of this sacred right.  This “protest-vote”  is to demonstrate the peoples dissatisfaction of political alienation by the imposed current political system of public entity and as rejection of the Dutch democratic trap to legitimize the 1st chamber, the Dutch senate, with the ultimate aim to legalize the current illegal status and all imposed laws against the Bonerian peoples.  Our “protest-vote” is also in solidarity with the peoples of our sister island Sint Eustatius. Statians cannot vote and are deprived from their “sacred-democratic-rights” because the Dutch government deposed the legitimate elected government in February 2018 through undemocratic abusive legislative, military and police actions and stopped the scheduled free election. 

Our main request to Mr Rijna as governor  is to condemn above revelation of the Dutch state and media conspiracy and blackmail against the Bonaire free press as a serious threat and commence a investigation. Secondly please rectify your last public statement of misinformation and to tell the people of Bonaire the truth that a blank vote or no vote is also a legal exercise of their “sacred”democratic right as a “protest vote” .  And finally as Mr Rijna inspiring initiative of promoting, voting, by writing 685 personal letters towards the first-time-youth-voters on Bonaire to go vote. It would be morally correct, an heroic act of compassion and brotherhood towards our alienated brothers of Sint Eustatius that are deprived of democracy and cannot vote to do same and write 150 letters to all Dutch 2nd chamber parliament members and another 75 letters more to all members of the Dutch Senate requesting them to restore democracy back on Sint Eustatius so the peoples of Sint Eustatius can also make use of their sacred democratic right as civilized peoples in the Kingdom.

Sincerely yours,
James Finies, 
President 
Foundation We Want Bonaire Back

13 March 2019

Julian Willock Sworn In As Speaker Of The House Of Assembly

Mr. Julian Willock was elected and sworn in as the Speaker of the House of Assembly during the First Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on Tuesday, March 12.
Mr. Willock was elected in accordance with Standing Orders number 4 of the House of Assembly which states: Whenever it is necessary for the House of Assembly to elect a person to be Speaker, whether after a general election or when a vacancy in the office of Speaker has occurred in any other way, the procedure for the election shall be provided by this Order.
Mr. Willock took the Oath of Office and pledged to faithfully carry out his duties as Speaker. In an address to the House of Assembly, the new Speaker thanked Premier of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Andrew Fahie and his team for the confidence lain on him. He said he was humbled and has pledged that his tenure as Speaker will be fair, non-partisan and objective.  
Mr. Willock said, “Beyond the proceedings held in the Chambers, I wish to help elevate this House of Assembly to the centre for good governance and working with both the Leader of Government Business, Honourable Fahie, and the Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Penn, to see that the Government’s legislative agenda is achieved.”
The Speaker said the House of Assembly must return to a place where young boys and girls can aspire to be Ministers of Governments, Premiers and even Speakers.
He stated, “I pledge as your Speaker, working with the leader of Government’s business, Honourable Fahie and the Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Penn and all members to restore confidence in this institution; that it is regarded as a beacon for legislative justice, and for what is fair, just and right and most of all, a place where laws are made to protect all resident, locals, expatriates and everyone who call the Virgin Islands their home.”
Honourable Neville A. Smith was elected Deputy Speaker. All other Members of the House of Assembly also took their Oath and Affirmation of Allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Oath and Allegiance for due Execution of Office at the First Sitting of the Fourth House of Assembly.

Author

Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110
Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750
Email: gis@gov.vg

25 February 2019

THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR THE ERADICATION OF COLONIALISM - THE PENULTIMATE YEAR




____________________________________________________________________________
SG/SM/19467-GA/COL/3329
21 FEBRUARY 2019
as Special Committee Begins Annual Session

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ opening remarks at the organizational meeting of the 2019 session of the Special Committee on Decolonization, in New York (21st Feb. 2019):


Decolonization helped to transform the United Nations membership, propelling the Organization’s growth from 51 original members to 193 today.

Decolonization is one of the most significant chapters of the Organization’s history. But, this story is still being written, as 17 Non‑Self‑Governing Territories remain.

Each deserves attention. Each still waits to attain self-government, in accordance with Chapter [XI] of the United Nations Charter, the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and relevant United Nations resolutions.

In recent months, there has been notable movement on the question of New Caledonia. Last November, in a referendum, New Caledonians expressed their will on their future and on the status of the Territory. This was an important step forward in the decolonization process.

The cooperation of France, the administering Power, throughout the referendum process, in accordance with the 1998 Nouméa Accord, was commendable.

This Committee, for its part, assisted New Caledonia in the period leading up to the conduct of the referendum, dispatching two visiting missions to the Territory.

To achieve decolonization, the voices of the peoples of the Territories should be heard, as it was the case [in New Caledonia]. The cooperation of all concerned, including the administering Powers, is likewise vital.

It is also paramount that the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories understand the options regarding their political status and the right to choose their future freely.

I applaud the Special Committee’s tireless efforts to uphold its mandate and to support the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to achieve self‑government.

I also commend the Special Committee for maintaining dialogue and productive cooperation with the administering Powers and all concerned.

The United Nations decolonization successes across the decades can inspire us today. Let us uphold our duty to assist all the peoples of the Non‑Self‑Governing Territories in bringing their decolonization process to a successful conclusion, according to their choice.

The Special Committee has accompanied many Territories in their journey since the beginning of the 1960s. As you begin working in the 2019 session, I wish you every success. The Secretariat will do all we can to support your very important work.

20 February 2019

AMER. SAMOA CONGRESSIONAL REP. MEETS WITH NZ AMBASSADOR



New Zealand's diplomat to the United States, Ambassador H.E. Rosemary Banks visited American Samoa’s congressional office recently for a discussion of the Pacific region at the start of the 116th Congress. It was a pleasure to welcome the Ambassador on behalf of my constituents in American Samoa. Both of us represent beautiful places in the Pacific! I appreciate Ambassador Banks’ experience and the insight she shared from her extensive service representing her country to the United Nations, France, Portugal and more. Our nations share a lasting friendship and many of the same priorities, including economic ties. The new Hawaiki cable is another direct link between the U.S., New Zealand and American Samoa.


15 February 2019

EUROPEAN COMMISSION INCLUDES 4 U.S. DEPENDENCIES ON LIST OF "WEAK ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING / TERRORIST FINANCING REGIMES"


"The U.S. Treasury Department (STATEMENT) scolded the European Union for including (four of the five- OTR)  U.S. territories on a list of dirty money hotspots around the world, telling American banks to ignore EU directives in an unusual technocratic spat that highlights continued friction between Washington and Brussels. " FOREIGN POLICY

_______________________________________



European Commission

European Commission adopts new list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes

Strasbourg, 13 February 2019


Today, the Commission has adopted its new list of 23 third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.


The aim of this list is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows. On the basis of a new methodology, which reflects the stricter criteria of the 5th anti-money laundering directive in force since July 2018, the list has been established following an in-depth analysis.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “We have established the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world, but we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system. Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly. The Commission stands ready to work closely with them to address these issues in our mutual interest. "

The Commission is mandated to carry out an autonomous assessment and identify the high-risk third countries under the Fourth and Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives.

The list has been established on the basis of an analysis of 54 priority jurisdictions, which was prepared by the Commission in consultation with the Member States and made public on 13 November 2018. The countries assessed meet at least one of the following criteria:

*   they have systemic impact on the integrity of the EU financial system;

*  they are reviewed by the International Monetary Fund as international offshore financial centres;

; they have economic relevance and strong economic ties with the EU.

For each country, the Commission assessed the level of existing threat, the legal framework and controls put in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing risks and their effective implementation. The Commission also took into account the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter in this field.

The Commission concluded that 23 countries have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering/ counter terrorist financing regimes. This includes 12 countries listed by the Financial Action Task Force and 11 additional jurisdictions. Some of the countries listed today are already on the current EU list, which includes 16 countries.

Next steps

The Commission adopted the list in the form of a Delegated Regulation. It will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension). Once approved, the Delegated Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days after its publication.

The Commission will continue its engagement with the countries identified as having strategic deficiencies in the present Delegated Regulation and will further engage especially on the delisting criteria. This list enables the countries concerned to better identify the areas for improvement in order to pave the way for a possible delisting once strategic deficiencies are addressed.

The Commission will follow up on progress made by listed countries, continue monitoring those reviewed and start assessing additional countries, in line with its published methodology. The Commission will update this list accordingly. It will also reflect on further strengthening its methodology where needed in light of experience gained, with a view to ensuring effective identification of high-risk third countries and the necessary follow-up.

Background

The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is a priority for the Juncker Commission. The adoption of the Fourth – in force since June 2015- and the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives – in force since 9 July 2018 - has considerably strengthened the EU regulatory framework.

Following the entry into force of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive in 2015, the Commission published a first EU list of high-risk third countries based on the assessment of the Financial Action Task Force. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive broadened the criteria for the identification of high-risk third countries, including notably the availability of information on the beneficial owners of companies and legal arrangements. This will help better address risks stemming from the setting up of shell companies and opaque structures which may be used by criminals and terrorists to hide the real beneficiaries of a transaction (including for tax evasion purposes). 

The Commission developed its own methodology to identify high-risk countries, which relies on information from the Financial Action Task Force, complemented by its own expertise and other sources such as Europol. The result is a more ambitious approach for identifying countries with deficiencies posing risks to the EU financial system. The decision to list any previously unlisted country reflects the current assessment of the risks in accordance with the new methodology. It does not mean the situation has deteriorated since the list was last updated.

The new list published today replaces the one currently in place since July 2018.

ANNEX 
The 23 jurisdictions are:
(1)            Afghanistan,
(2)            American Samoa,
(3)            The Bahamas,
(4)            Botswana,
(5)            Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
(6)            Ethiopia,
(7)            Ghana,
(8)            Guam,
(9)            Iran,
(10)          Iraq,
(11)          Libya,
(12)          Nigeria,
(13)          Pakistan,
(14)          Panama,
(15)          Puerto Rico,
(16)          Samoa,
(17)          Saudi Arabia,
(18)          Sri Lanka,
(19)          Syria,
(20)          Trinidad and Tobago,
(21)          Tunisia,
(22)          US Virgin Islands,
(23)          Yemen.






06 February 2019

CARIBBEAN WARNED OF DUTCH RE-COLONIZATION AND MILITARIZATION AS THE CRISIS IN VENEZUELA INTENSIFIES







"These major developments are contributing to re-establishing colonial regiments back in the Caribbean and these re-colonized territories are misused as this Venezuela case and crisis is unfolding to destabilize the region and vision towards a united and integrated Caribbean."
- James Finies, Foundation We Want Bonaire Back.


_______________________________________________________________________________

OPEN LETTER TO SECRETARY-GENERAL OF CARICOM

James Finies, President Foundation We Want Bonaire Back

H.E. Ambassador Mr. Irwin La Rocque
Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Community
Caricom Secretariaat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown
Guyana

Bonaire, February 6th, 2019

Subject:  Urgent appeal from the people of the Dutch Caribbean islands to the CARICOM and Latin America.


Excellency,

I would like to congratulate your excellency and the secretariat on attending the upcoming meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay. In reference to the escalating Venezuela crisis and our previous letters of June 11, 2018 urging the CARICOM and the Caribbean region to intervene and object to prevent an armed conflict in the Caribbean and recent letter dated January 29th, 2019, as the crisis and conflict is deepening we herewith would like to request your urgent attention and call to action on behalf of the peoples of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Curacao and Aruba.

By now it is very clear and obvious that the provocation and escalation is initiated and led by mayor world powers headed by the UK, France and the Netherlands and backed by the US as we witnessing a continuing military build up in Curacao, the ABC islands. We the people of the ABC islands highly object to be dragged into this conflict.

As the discussion is fundamentally based on the issue of democracy and human rights, the so-called ultimatum headed by these colonizing powers is directed towards a new election to re-elect a democratic president and government for the peoples of Venezuela we would like to illustrate herewith the hypocritical position taken by the government of the Netherlands (member of the UN Security Council) a front-runner in this provocation and escalation of this crisis.

The autonomous democratic Caribbean islands forming the country Netherlands Antilles in the Dutch Kingdom was dissolved and disintegrated on October 10, 2010. The Netherlands which maintained ultimate unilateral legislative and judiciary powers in the Dutch Kingdom abused these powers to continue with colonialism in the Caribbean region.

The more dense populated islands Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curacao, something what is not so obvious to outside world, they were all stripped from their autonomy and are back under Dutch control and rule. The Dutch which controls and decides on the budget (and judiciary) of the Curacao government, headed by the Secretary of State Mr. Knops, a ex-military and ex-lieutenant active in the Iraq war,  forced the prime minister of Curacao, Mr Rhuggenaath which is subordinated to the Hague powers to escalation of the crisis. 

Curacao Prime Minister Rhugenaath publicly sided with the ultimatum for a new election causing a direct interference in the sovereign neighboring country Venezuela internal affairs. Curacao which as Aruba, the closest Caribbean islands to Venezuela, are equipped with a full US military forward base and with international harbors and airports of military standards  are at the moment converted in the most strategic war-campaign-bases. War planes are already landing and troops are deployed from the Netherlands towards the ABC islands under guidance of Dutch brigade-general Peter Jan de Vin which was deployed to Curacao to overseer this military operation along with State Secretary Mr Knops.


Dutch troops patrol in Kralendijk, capital of Bonaire (December 2018) 
The less populated in-defensive islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius and Bonaire were annexed, integrated and incorporated in the Dutch constitution without equal rights, with all administrating, democratic, judiciary, powers unilaterally re-positioned  under the Dutch parliament in the Hague and at the moment are being governed in a colonial status against the free will of the peoples and not of their choosing.

As the Dutch government is preaching or claiming to support democracy and human rights in Venezuela meanwhile Bonaire is in a heavy humanitarian crisis by neutralizing and erasing their democratic and human rights. Imposing unilaterally laws for a systematic institutionalized ethnic cleansing of the local population, explosion of the crude death rate over 60% and massive immigration over 400%  increase of non-Bonerians. At the moment in a short period the local Bonerians became a minority on their own island and there is no stopping to this displacement and extermination process.

On Sint Eustatius the democratically elected local government were un-democratically removed from power, with claims of corruption without proof or formal investigation by the Dutch government with abusive use of legislative , military and police powers. The Dutch appointed a non-democratic ruler to govern and erased the peoples democratic rights by stopping elections on the island till further notice. Note that the government of Sint Eustatius is the only Dutch Caribbean island which stood up against the Dutch government because illegal annexation on October 10, 2010 and presently are in court-proceedings against the Dutch  government.

These major developments are contributing to re-establishing colonial regiments back in the Caribbean and these re-colonized territories are misused as this Venezuela case and crisis is unfolding to destabilize the region and vision towards a united and integrated Caribbean.

Our urgent call to attention and action is towards the Caricom countries and our Caribbean and Latin American brothers and sisters for supporting our islands of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius in our quest to get re-inscribed back on the list of the Non-Self-Governing-Territories of the United Nations and fall back under the scrutiny of the international community on our way back to regain and restore our fundamental human and democratic rights.


Yours sincerely,
James Finies, President 
Foundation We Want Bonaire Back 




31 January 2019

VENEZUELAN CRISIS IS ULTIMATUM TO CARIBBEAN TO UNITE


"We wish to make a dramatic call to all Caribbean leaders to use this moment to serve as wake-up call, to stand up for all Caribbean peoples. As we all came with the same boats, we all are still in the same boat, with the same common right to emancipation and freedom, to unite and fight together to maintain a peaceful Caribbean, and to actively help to decolonize the Caribbean as there is no free Caribbean until all Caribbean peoples are truly free." - James Finies, President Foundation We Want Bonaire Back





OPEN LETTER TO THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY 
from
James Finies, President 
Foundation We Want Bonaire Back

January 29, 2019

To: CARICOM and all Caribbean leaders

Subject: Ultimatum for Venezuela equals ultimatum for the Caribbean to unify to maintain a peaceful democratic Caribbean

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:

With reference to our attached letter of June 11, 2018 urging the CARICOM and the Caribbean region to intervene and object to prevent an armed conflict in the Caribbean we herewith would like to bring the following to your attention:

We regretfully took note that the Dutch government continued on its path to destabilize the peaceful Caribbean region after serving last year a term in the UN Security Council which primary objective is to prevent conflicts.

After the UK and France launched an ultimatum against the sovereign state of Venezuela recently, the Dutch Foreign Minister Mr. Blok announced that the Netherlands will join them if Venezuela does not comply. Yesterday, this provocation escalated when the Prime Minister of Curacao Mr. Ruggenaath, whose government which last week ha been forced by the Dutch government to surrender their limited autonomy back under Dutch control and rule, declared the same. 

Curacao, together with Aruba and our island Bonaire being the closest neighboring island to the Venezuelan coast can be considered a direct escalation, provocation, and violation of UN Charter guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention and respect for sovereignty and affairs of states is directed by the Dutch government from The Hague.

This is a highly hypocritical approach by the Dutch government which has continued colonization of its Caribbean dependencies and recently has erased the democratic rights of the Dutch Caribbean islands by:

  • forcing the democratically elected Curacao government to surrender their limited autonomy and accept direct higher supervision from The Hague with control over the budget and all judiciary powers and intervention powers remaining unilaterally in the Dutch Parliament in The Hague;

  • destabilizing and forcing the democratically elected government of St. Maarten after the natural disaster of hurricane Irma to surrender their limited autonomy and border control, budgetary, judiciary and went as far as they will have to approve or who will be appointed in the government positions and are completely back under Dutch rule and control;

  • forcing the local government of Bonaire, which has surrendered already all the tax-revenues and powers to the Dutch government, under threat to accept an undemocratic program-manager above the locally elected government to govern and only accountable to The Hague;

  • undemocratic abusive actions of their unilateral legislative powers and military and police powers to depose the legitimate elected government of Sint Eustatius and appointing a non-elected ruler and depriving the citizens of St Eustatius of their democratic rights by blocking a free election.

Ironically all this is happening at this same moment and is kept under the radar where the Dutch government is taking the front-line in this provocation towards an armed conflict where its re-colonized ABC island inhabitants - all innocent humble friendly Caribbean peoples - would be in the first line of retaliation and can easily be wiped out and ethnically cleansed. Meanwhile, the command will remain safely in The Hague, Europe. 

It would be no coincidence, because the ABC islands, all within eyesight's from each other, all are equipped with an international military standards airport and deep harbors could be the major reason behind this war-campaign, as through war-economics and military actions they enriched themselves to become one of world’s richest countries. This is nothing new for the Dutch if we glance back at their horrific colonial past.

We would like this letter to be a serious warning to the Caribbean as the colonizing powers headed by UK, France, and the Netherlands, and backed by US, who all share the major colonial interests to remain in the Caribbean region. They have finally shown their real intentions that they are back on track to repossess their former colonies, and attempt to turn back the colonial clock if possible.

The intentions and tactics are very clear, as the Dutch promoted, supported and financed the division, destruction, and dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010 and recolonized the Dutch Antillean islands. The same tactics of destruction are carried forward to the Caribbean level, to divide the Caribbean and stop the unification and integration process of the Caribbean.

We wish to make a dramatic call to all Caribbean leaders to use this moment to serve as wake-up call, to stand up for all Caribbean peoples. As we all came with the same boats, we all are still in the same boat, with the same common right to emancipation and freedom, to unite and fight together to maintain a peaceful Caribbean, and to actively help to decolonize the Caribbean as there is no free Caribbean until all Caribbean peoples are truly free.

The CHamoru Language of Guahan: Life, Love and Peace


28 January 2019

ARGENTINA REAFFIRMS SOVEREIGNTY OVER MALVINAS ISLANDS





Letter dated 3 January 2019 from the Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General 

Upon the instructions of my Government, I have the honour to transmit herewith the official press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina on the occasion of the 186th anniversary of the usurpation of the Malvinas Islands by the United Kingdom, marked on 3 January (see annex). 

I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 47, concerning the question of the Malvinas Islands. 


(Signed) Martín García Moritán 
Ambassador Permanent Representative



Annex to the letter dated 3 January 2019 from the Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

 Press Release 
Question of the Malvinas Islands
 Buenos Aires, 3 January 2019



On 3 January 1833, the Malvinas Islands, which are an integral part of the Argentine national territory, were illegally occupied by military forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

The Argentine Republic, since its beginnings as an independent nation, has expressed, through government acts, its firm resolve to exercise its effective sovereignty over the archipelagos and maritime areas of the South Atlantic, as the rightful successor to Spain. That exercise of sovereignty was interrupted 186 years ago with the start of the British occupation, an act that Argentina protested immediately and to which it never consented. 

The recovery of the effective exercise of our sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, in accordance with international law, while respecting the way of life of their inhabitants, is a permanent and unrenounceable objective of the Argentine people, as reflected in the national Constitution. 

The United Nations recognizes the existence of a colonial situation in the Malvinas Islands, where the underlying sovereignty dispute must be resolved by the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom through bilateral negotiations, taking into account the interests of the inhabitants of the Islands. 

The Argentine Republic continues to receive the support of the countries of the region for its legitimate sovereignty rights in the question of the Malvinas Islands, both bilaterally and through various regional forums. Other multilateral forums, such as the Organization of American States, the Group of 77 and China and the Ibero - American Summit, have called for a resumption of negotiations. 

The Government of Argentina has expressed its willingness to resume negotiations to find a solution to this sovereignty dispute and reiterates its readiness to continue working to build a climate of trust that is conducive to such an outcome. 

On this date that is so significant for our country, the Government and people of Argentina reaffirm once again their legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. 

27 December 2018

Panama Afro-Descendants Express Solidarity with the Raizal Community in demonstration in San Andres, Western Caribbean


SAN ANDRES PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION OVER POLITICAL CRISIS MET WITH COLOMBIAN RIOT POLICE



The peaceful demonstration led by leaders of the indigenous Raizal community of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina in front of the government headquarters in San Andre was held in the wake of the imposition of Colombian military governance of the archipelago. The civic action was met with a large contingent of military police, clad in full riot gear, who sought to remove the demonstrators by force. The Raizal leaders stood their ground. The civic action was taken in the wake of the violation of current law which requires civilian governance by a resident of the territory.  

20 December 2018

LIDERES DE SAN ANDRES ARCHIPELAGO DEMANDA LA RETIRADA DEL GOBERNADOR MILITAR "ILEGAL" COLUMBIANO


sanandres-colombia.com
_________________________________________________________________


COMMITE PERMANENTE por la DEFENSA DE LOS  DERECHOS HUMANOS
 
Hacemos la Paz defendiendo los Derechos Humanos 


Ante la situación que se presenta desde este miércoles en la madrugada, donde un grupo de ciudadanos Raizales se encuentran protestando de forma pacífica, encadenados a las afueras de la Gobernación de San Andrés, el Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (DDHH), emitió una ‘alerta temprana’ ante las posibles “afectaciones a la integridad de cualquier manifestante” o “cualquier procedimiento que atente contra los derechos humanos del pueblo raizal”.


ALERTA TEMPRANA 

Desde las 4 a.m. del día de hoy, 19 de diciembre, un grupo de raizales dio inicio a una toma pacífica de la Gobernación de San Andrés, debido a que el Gobernador elegido en 2015, Ronald Housni Jaller fue destituido por presuntos actos de corrupción y en su lugar fue nombrado el Contralmirante Juan Francisco Herrera Leal, ante el incumplimiento de la condición legal establecida respecto a la calidad de residente de la Isla, se pide la remoción inmediata del Gobernador encargado, Contralmirante Herrera. Entre otras exigencias se encuentra la devolución de unos lotes que le pertenecen al pueblo raizal y que en este momento han sido ocupados por la Policía del departamento. 

Transcurridos pocos minutos de la toma, sobre las 04:30 a.m. hace presencia Fuerza Disponible y ESMAD a cargo de un uniformado que los pobladores logran identificar como el Mayor Sánchez, sacando de forma violenta a dos personas que se encontraban encadenadas dentro de la Gobernación como acto simbólico y político de la toma pacífica. Además de esto empezaron a intimidar y agredir con sus implementos y los caninos de apoyo a los manifestantes que se encuentran en este momento exigiendo sus derechos frente a la entidad gubernamental . Se quitaron agresivamente los carteles y desmontaron las carpas que se tenían para proteger de la lluvia al pueblo raizal. 

Rechazamos los actos de intimidación, agresión y amedrentamiento por parte de la Fuerza Pública, igualmente rechazamos la forma en que se violenta la ley y la Constitución por parte del Gobierno Nacional al designar al Contralmirante Juan Francisco Herrera Leal. 

Exigimos garantías para el ejercicio de la protesta pacífica, de acuerdo con el artículo 37 de la Constitución Política, los tratados en materia de DDHH y DIH que Colombia ha ratificado y los protocolos para el manejo correcto de manifestaciones y multitudes. 

Hacemos el llamado a la comunidad nacional e internacional, a los movimientos sociales y populares para respaldar, difundir y apoyar las diferentes exigencias del pueblo raizal en la Isla de San Andrés. 

Por último, hacemos responsables al presidente de la Republica Iván Duque, al Ministro de Defensa Guillermo Botero y al Comandante de la Policía en el departamento de San Andres Jorge Antonio Urquijo Sandoval, por las violaciones de Derechos Humanos que puedan ocurrir y las afectaciones a la integridad de cualquier manifestante , de igual forma cualquier procedimiento que atente contra los Derechos Humanos del pueblo raizal.

17 December 2018

CARIBBEAN EXPERTS CALLS FOR REGIONAL ACTION IN SUPPORT OF SELF-DETERMINATION OF DUTCH-ADMINISTERED CARIBBEAN


 3rd CONFERENCE ON THE POLITICAL FUTURE
OF THE DUTCH-ADMINISTERED CARIBBEAN
RE-UNITING THE ANTILLES AND CARIBBEAN IN SOLIDARITY

FINAL COMMUNIQUÉ

Kralendijk, Bonaire, December 15, 2018

The  Third Conference on the Political Future of the Caribbean,

Having met at Bonaire, West Indies on 7th and 8th December 2018,

Aware that the political status of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius (Statia) and Saba was transformed in 2010 from being a part of the autonomous country of the (former) Netherlands Antilles to a new political arrangement unilaterally advanced by the Kingdom of the Netherlands akin to that of 'partial integration', and characterized by serious political and economic inequality, rather than the promised political and economic equality originally envisaged.

Also aware that this new status is tantamount to unilateral annexation, and is wholly inconsistent with the minimum standards of full self-government and equality required on the basis of international principles of democratic governance,

Noting that in 2010, Curaçao and Sint Maarten joined Aruba as the second and third semi-autonomous countries in the Kingdom without the full measure of self-government required under United Nations (U.N.) Resolution 1541 (XV), and subject to the applicability of Article 51 of the Kingdom Charter which provides for unilateral intervention in the affairs of the autonomous countries,

Also taking note of the “Assessment of self-governance sufficiency in conformity with internationally-recognized standards – Country Curacao” undertaken in 2012 by the global Dependency Studies Project which found that the present governance model in place in Curaçao emerging from the 2010 dismantlement process of the Netherlands Antilles further reduced the level of self-government to a diminished autonomous model and is not in compliance with contemporary international standards of the full measure self-government.

Further taking note, that the Dutch government through strategic political organs named the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT), the Special Police Task Force (RST) and the General Prosecutor through consensus laws is overruling the democratic parliament of Curacao and in so doing controlling the political, social, cultural and economic development of Curacao.

Conscious that in addition to the Dutch-administered partially-integrated dependencies, and the autonomous countries in the region, are other non-independent countries (NICCs) including the six British-administered non self-governing territories of Bermuda, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla; the U.S. administered dependencies of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; the integrated departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana, and the Archipelago of San Andres, Providence and Santa Catalina, and the French-administered collectivities of Saint Martin and Barts,

Bearing in mind that the 'public entity' status does not reflect the wishes of the people of Bonaire who had previously selected a political status of "direct ties to the Kingdom" in the 2004 referendum held in Bonaire rather than the political status of "public entity" which has been unilaterally and systematically imposed by the Government of the Netherlands,  since the 2010 dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles and the subsequent transition, without these having been defined in the context of Chapter XI, Article. 73 and 74 of the U.N. Charter.

Also bearing in mind that the 'public entity' political status was formally rejected by the people of Bonaire in a 2015 referendum by a decisive 'No' vote of over 65 per cent and the results were formally certified and endorsed by motion of the Island Council on 8th March 2016 as a clear mandate of the people, but the Government of the Netherlands decided to unilaterally embed the “public entities of Bonaire”, Sint Eustatius and Saba in the Constitution of the Netherlands,

Recognizing that any subsequent referendum on the preferred political status that would be selected from a group of political options of democratic governance and political equality should be conducted under the direct supervision of the U.N.,

Taking into account that the people of Sint Eustatius voted in its 2005 referendum to remain within a restructured autonomous country of the Netherlands Antilles, but as the 2005 referendum outcome resulted in the dismantlement of that autonomous country, the Island Council of Sint Eustatius subsequently approved a motion to accept the ‘direct ties’ arrangement offered to Bonaire and Saba, even as the people had not voted in favor of the status, and even as the nature of its political and economic inequality had not yet been revealed,

Also taking into account that the people of Sint Eustatius in a 2014 referendum, under official observation of the U.N. Electoral Affairs Division of the Department of Political Affairs, formally rejected the imposed 'public entity' status by voting for a more autonomous status from a list of political status options, and recalling that the results of the 2014 referendum were formally certified and endorsed by motion of the Island Council on 25th May 2015 as a clear mandate of the people resulting in the subsequent drafting in 2016 of a White Paper and a draft constitution for an autonomous Sint Eustatius,

Alarmed that the Government of the Netherlands, in spite of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Sint Eustatius and Bonaire in their rejection of the imposed political status of ‘public entity’ in 2014 and 2015, respectively, has proceeded through measures in the Kingdom Parliament to formally annex the two territories through a process of ‘embedding’ the two islands (along with the island of Saba), in the Dutch Constitution and further alarmed that this unilateral process of the Government of the Netherlands could result in a legitimization of the dependency status contrary to international norms of democratic governance and in opposition to the expressed will of the people of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius,

Recognizing the resumption of direct, albeit strained, contact between the Government of  the Netherlands with the democratically elected government of Sint Eustatius following the suspension of contacts in 2015, and again in 2016, and deeply concerned that the method of unilateral withdrawal of communication with the elected government of the territory continues to be an unacceptable practice,

Further expresses its deep concern for the imposition of unilateral financial supervision which requires Netherlands’ government approval for public expenditures by the Government of Sint Eustatius despite its compliance with the financial regulations of the Netherlands Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT).

Alarmed by the political decapitation of the legitimately elected government of Sint Eustatius by the Government of the Netherlands on February 7th 2018, and the appointment by the Netherlands’ government of an undemocratic administrating governor constituting further erosion of the democratic rights and processes to elect a next democratic government.

Aware that the legitimately elected government of Sint Eustatius filed a petition at the Court of First Instance to initiate main proceedings against the Government of the Netherlands,

Recalling the Motion adopted by the Island Council of Sint Eustatius on 28th May 2015 which confirmed, inter alia, that the population of Sint Eustatius had not yet exhausted all its options as far as exercising its right to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and  the Article 1, of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights respectively and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights which reminded the Netherlands of its continued obligations towards Sint Eustatius as part of the former Netherlands Antilles,

Also recalling the resolutions of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and Caribbean (COPPPAL), issued on December 1, 2016 on Bonaire and June 6, 2017 on Sint Maarten, respectively, rejecting any form of colonization in the Americas, with regards to the future political status of Puerto Rico and the future political status of the Caribbean territories administered by Holland,

Taking note of the interest expressed by the incoming government of the U.S. Virgin Islands to examine the political status evolution of the territory, and encourages the territory, in the context of it’s listing by the United Nations (U.N.) since 1946 as a non-self-governing territory, to re-engage with the U.N. decolonization process by resuming its participation in the proceedings of the Special Committee on Decolonization, and the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee).

Also taking note of the proposed 'Raizal Statute' submitted to the government of Colombia by the Raizal Authority of the archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina with the aim of modernizing the political, socio-economic and constitutional relationship between the people of the archipelago and the State of Columbia, and affirming the self-determination aspirations of the Raizal people,

Outraged that after 120 years of United States (U.S.) colonialism, and 37 U.N. resolutions asking it to immediately return Puerto Rico’s sovereignty to the Puerto Ricans, and distressed by the unilateral imposition of the colonial fiscal control board imposed upon the people of Puerto Rico by the U.S. Government,

 Appalled by the insulting U.S. response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico caused by the impact of Hurricane Maria precipitating an already alarming migration of Puerto Ricans from their homeland, and increasing their already superior recruitment rate into the US military, resulting in an alarming reduction in population and family displacement with the premeditated intention of changing the demographic composition of the territory,

1. Affirms that the referendum results of 2014 in Sint Eustatius, and of 2015 in Bonaire, constituted a formal, genuine and legitimate refutation of the 'public entity' status as expressed by the people, and alarmed that the 'public entity' status imposed on the people of Sint Eustatius and Bonaire had been misrepresented as a genuine status of political equality by the Government of the Netherlands in 2010 at the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles,

2. Deeply concerned that the people of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius are presently being governed, contrary to democratic norms, under a political status of political and economic inequality not of their choosing,

3. Reaffirms the continued applicability to Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba of relevant international law doctrine on self-determination and decolonization, including the provisions of Chapter XI on the "Declaration Regarding Non Self-Governing Territories,"

4. Also reaffirms the continued applicability of Article 73 (b) of the United Nations (U.N.) Charter which mandates that "Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement,"

5. Emphasizes the continued applicability to Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba of the U.N. Decolonization Declaration [Resolution 1514 (XV)], its companion Resolution 1541 (XV), and all other relevant U.N. resolutions, as well as the present Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and its plan of action,

6. Also emphasizes the applicability of relevant General Assembly resolutions which recognize that "the existence of colonialism in any form or manifestation," as "incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, the (Decolonization) Declaration and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights' and further emphasizes the applicability of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly which confirm that self-determination is a fundamental human right protected under the core human rights conventions including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), et al,

7. Takes note with interest that the U.N. General Assembly Resolution 945 (X) of 15 December 1955 removing the former Netherlands Antilles from the U.N. list of Non Self-Governing Territories did not affirm that the former Netherlands Antilles had achieved a full measure of self-government, as stated by the government of the Netherlands in the Dutch Parliament on December 22, 1955,  with the statement... “' The emancipation process has been completed” thus leaving open the possibility for the U.N. to resume formal review of the self-governance sufficiency of the former territory and any of its former constituent parts, in particular Bonaire and Sint Eustatius, as well as Curaçao and the other semi-autonomous countries within the Kingdom with the aim of fostering a genuine process of self-determination,

8.        Calls on the Government of the Netherlands, as a matter of urgency, to lift the financial supervision imposed on the Dutch administered Caribbean, and further calls on the Government of the Netherlands to exercise respect in their communication and dealings with the territories and semi autonomous countries,

9.         Condemns the  Government of the Netherlands for its actions in unilaterally embedding the so-called 'public entities’ of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba in the Constitution of the Netherlands, and calls on the international community to review whether these actions are a violation of the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of the so-called “public entities”,

10.       Calls for the Government of the Netherlands and/or other relevant U.N. member States to initiate the necessary procedures for the re-inscription of the former Netherlands Antilles islands of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius, and Curaçao and the other semi autonomous countries within the Kingdom, on the United Nations list of Non Self-Governing Territories to provide the international community with the required platform to review, in depth where democratic deficiencies in the dependency governance arrangements may exist,

11.       Calls on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to consider that the Caribbean is not in a post-colonial condition,  and to give due recognition to the issue of the self-determination of the remaining non-independent Caribbean countries in the region as unfinished business; and requests that self-determination and decolonization be placed on the permanent agenda of the CARICOM Heads of Government,

12.      Endorses the commissioning of an independent Self Governance Assessment of the political status and constitutional arrangements of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius, through the use of the "Corbin Self-Governance Indicators," to determine the nature and scope of the public entity status according to international standards, and requests that the necessary resources be identified for the Assessment to be carried out as a key substantive document to inform the U.N. in its consideration of the re-inscription process of Bonaire and Saint Eustatius.

13.      Further endorses and supports fully the trajectory of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius for re-inscription on the list of Non-Self-Governing-Territories of the United Nations

14.      Aware that the proposed Raizal Statute which was negotiated between the Government of Colombia and the recognized representatives of the Archipelago of San Andres, Providence and Santa Catalina, has been submitted  to the previous Colombian Congress in 2018, and the new Congress which convened after the congressional election of 2018, is currently reviewing the proposed statute.

15.      Concerned, however,  that the State has not yet recognized the rights of the people to self-determination as recommended by the  Raizal representatives in the originally proposed statute.

16.      Once again, urges the  Colombian State to modify its constitution in order to recognize the inalienable right of the peoples of the Archipelago to self-determination in accordance with international law, in particular, the U.N. Charter, U.N. Resolution 1541, U.N. Resolution 742, and relevant human rights instruments.

17.      Calls on the Government of the Netherlands to adhere to the spirit of its Charter to provide for the autonomous functioning of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Bonaire

18.      The political movements, Movemento Kousa Promé and Pueblo Soberano call on the government of the Netherlands to end the consensus laws of Curacao and to respect the vision and spirit of the U.N. Charter in the same way as it respects the Treaty of Lissabon regarding the European Union and to implement the U.N. Charter on the self- determination of our people.

19.      Calls on the Government of the U.S. to implement the U.N. Charter as related to the self-determination of peoples, and to implement the 37 resolutions of the U.N. Special Committee on Decolonization calling for the self-determination and independence of Puerto Rico,

20.       Calls on the Government of the U.S. to facilitate the self-determination of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands consistent with the relevant resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly.