Advocate for the independence of Curacao and strong proponent of the Papiamentu language has passed away at the age of 58. She leaves a lasting legacy of struggle for the mental emancipation of her people as reflected in her analysis (see below) on the implications of the dismantling of the former Netherlands Antilles which took place on 10th October 2010. May she rest well.
Chair of the Independence Party of Curaçao
America Latina en Movimiento
As of October 10th, 2010 the country Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist and the countries Curaçao and St. Maarten came into being. At the same moment the three other islands that used to form the Netherlands Antilles along with Curaçao and St. Maarten, i.e. Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius became a municipality of the Netherlands.
The question pops up is there any reason to celebrate the so called new countries? Are these countries new? The colonial ties with the Kingdom of the Netherlands will not only remain, but will furthermore be controlled by the Netherlands through the consensus laws the last government of the Antilles passed. In this era where countries, entities, regions seek to unite and strengthen their position in a globalized world, 5 small islands in the Caribbean are forced by a European colonial power to disintegrate and thus weaken their chances to create strong new countries.
Colonialism by consent, a policy used by France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to force upon ‘their’ colonies and legitimized through referenda, measures that will return to the colonial powers the control over vital national areas, such as public finances, good governance, education, security and others.
So anachronistically, instead of advancing the decolonization process, as the United Nations prescribed in its Resolution 1614 of 1960, we are witnessing a harsh recolonization of the Caribbean area, as well as other regions, by former colonial powers. Already in 1986 the disintegration process of the Netherlands Antilles started when the island Aruba separated from the 5 other islands. After almost 25 years Aruba still remains a Dutch colony, although the separation was celebrated at the time as a liberation process of Aruba.
The countries and islands of the Caribbean and Latin America have every reason to join forces to ensure the well-being of their people by putting their resources under their own control instead of the control of imperial and colonial powers. Caricom, ALBA are but some evidence of this consciousness.
The colonial interventions are not surprising however considering the fact that the Caribbean, strategically of vital importance for the super powers that control the world and economically for its wealthy resources as the oil in its soil and waters, will continue to be the scene for interventions from the industrial and financial capital based in Europe and executed by their governments. Failing public finances, good governance, security, democracy have all been used as arguments for the above mentioned colonial interventions.
It is important to observe that the changes that come into being beginning October 10th will not change the colonial domination of the Netherlands on the islands of Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius. To achieve the benefits from the multiple resources these islands have, the people of the island will have to continue their struggle to obtain their political independence as a step to real independence.
Long live the people of Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius!