31 October 2017


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The Chairman of the 1st Chamber, Mrs. Broekr-Knol and
the Deputy Ex-Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 
R.H.A. Plasterk,
PO Box 20017
2500 EA The Hague
The Netherlands.
Bonaire, October 31, 2017

Subject: Objection to bill 34,702 Constitutional annexation by anchoring the Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba Public Bodies

Dear Chairman Broekrs-Knol and members of the 1st Chamber and Deputy Ex-Minister Plasterk,

I hereby object to your senate proposal to request votes to finalize the second reading on 31 October, to definitively annex and anchor Bonaire (and St Eustatius) in your constitution. As a result, your senate and your senate-members without their humanitarian feelings will deprive their kingdom-partners, the Bonerians who live on Bonaire (and the same counts for Saint Eustatius), of their right to their primary human rights for freedom and equality. 

Your supposedly accepting the law proposal and then constitutionally anchoring our island in your state order without the consent of our people, undemocratic and unilateral against the democratic voice of our people in violation of our fundamental rights. Your position and task as a co-legislator who is independent and taking into account legal aspects and in particular the soundness and consistency with other laws, and certainly not to violate higher legislation, it is your responsibility to definitively ensure the rule of law and democracy.

The arguments put forward by the ex-Minister Plasterk and all members during the last debate, as alibi to formalize the annexation are characteristic and all can be grouped together under abuse of power and a typically persistent inexhaustible VOC mentality of Dutch political governance culture. You are showing that you are misled and manipulated educationally and you do not realize or are not aware that your Kingdom-partners, Bonaire (and St. Eustatius) are not public bodies or special municipalities but full-fledged nations. 

The right as a people to international law in accordance with decolonization, co-signed by the Netherlands as a co-founder of United Nations, has the right to aspire our own emancipation and development and our own future while maintaining our own language, culture, traditions , norms and values, identity and self-governance. That is the basis that definitely needs to be known to the Dutch politicians. 

Or do Dutch politicians know nothing about their colonial past, why they have obligations to their colonized peoples? Do the Dutch politicians not know where all Dutch wealth comes from? That the Netherlands from an insignificant fishing village through piracy, smuggling and slave trade, all by law, legally, have become one of the world's richest countries, with the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors, your colonized peoples? Or do your senate-members not know that the VOC is the world's largest company of the worlds history, about ten (10) times bigger than Apple and Microsoft together?

So you'll be celebrating, just like Plasterk, a potential new Dutch hero, worded, the record-breaking, the first time in history. Celebrating that you humiliated all three Caribbean nations by giving them the right to vote , while all three nations together do not have a tenth (1/10) seat and vote in your senate, which has 75 members is as a mockery of democracy. 

Of course, taking into account that your kids, generations, will never know that their current politicians are no less than your historical heroes such as Piet Heijn and other criminals, robbers who on October 31, 2017 now without any remorse unleash and systematically eradicate their humble human kingdom-partners.

Finally, our human framework and emotional ability give us no other option than trying to understand that with all of you, you as Dutch politicians have missed humanitarian values being nurtured and educated, and this law is in the same category of racism, where our common colonial history began. 

Where you did not with your peers, your own companions, but to the different, dark-colored people declared them as "non-human" by law and then made them slaves and traded them, and never wanted to stop with that terrible human-trading. And it is almost impossible to add more that your racist indoctrination has finally rooted in the constitutional embedding of racism, your exclusive contribution to humanity, institutionalized apartheid, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

James Finies, Nos Kier Boneiru Bek


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His Majesty King Willem Alexander
p/a Kabinet der Koning Postbus 20016 2500 EA
The Hague, Netherlands

Bonaire, October 23, 2017 

Your Majesty,

On June 9, 2017 I addressed attached letter with questions to Your Majesty based on our personal meeting assisted by your Minister of Kingdom Relations Mr. Plasterk, during your inaugural visit to Bonaire on September 16, 2013, where I brought forward our situation (same as Sint Eustatius) of being annexed and embedded in the Dutch constitution against the wishes of our peoples. Your Majesty after hearing, and questioning me and with intervention of Mr. Plasterk, understood our situation and promised and pledged to help us realize our “full measure of self-governance” pursuant to article 73 of the United Nations Charter. 

Our discussion was followed up and confirmed in official writing by your Minister of Kingdom Relations after the debate “vaststelling van de begrotingsstaat van Koninkrijksrelaties (IV) voor het jaar 2014 (33750-IV) “Mr. Plasterk, on questions toward your promise and pledge to us, answered: (quote Mr Plasterk): “het Handvest van de Verenigde Naties bindt alle leden van de Verenigde Naties en de regering is vast van plan om lid te blijven bij de Verenigde Naties”. Letter reference nr. 2014- 0000012853 dated January 8, 2014, by Mr Plasterk was addressed to me (see attached copy) where was stated that, “the people of Bonaire have the right to let their voices be heard and that all acquired and inherited rights are indivisible and respected in their totality by the Cabinet.” 

However, up to now this promise and pledge has not been fulfilled. Neither the voice of our peoples, the democratic rejection, the referendum of December 18, 2015, of this illegal imposed status and neither the signed treaties and Charter of the United Nation are respected. Netherlands cannot covet a seat on United Nations Security Council in the coming year 2018, while refusing to comply with the Charter’s obligations. 

The government and parliament of the Netherlands went ahead against democracy, against our fundamental rights with the process of the second reading on September 5, 2017. On September 6, 2017, Bonaire flag day, we were unilateral and undemocratic annexed and embedded in the Dutch constitution on unequal rights and not complying with our right as the peoples of Bonaire (and Sint Eustatius) to “a full measure of self-governance.” 

I received on July 5, 2017 a letter from your Cabinet (reference# REK 2017001217, by the Director Mrs. Beuker) that my letter had been forwarded to the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. From the Second Chamber- Commissie Kingdom Relations, Griffier T.N.J. De Lange, I received a letter (reference# 2017Z08113/2017D20349 dated July 5, 2017) stating to have received said letter as “information”. Then, on July 25, 2017, I received a letter (reference # 2017- 0000360554 from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations by Director Dr. E. J. Arkenbout) that more time is needed then the procedural three (3) weeks to answer my letter. 

Up to today, almost 5 months later, this letter and the questions have not been answered. I herewith politely request your Majesty to do everything within your authority to see to it that the government of The Netherlands answers the letter and questions and clarifies its position toward the United Nations Charter within seven (7) days. This will help us all in the Kingdom to understand with regard to our position and our right to a full measure of self-governance and political equality, whether or not we are equal and free within the kingdom. Hopefully it would stop the bullying and intimidation by the Dutch government of the smaller islands, especially Bonaire and Sint Eustatius, and bring back peace in the Kingdom. 

We then can continue our process of healing and reconciliation of our mutual colonial past, which has been halted and reversed on October 10, 2010. This will incite a new beginning, the re-start of building together a unified and prosperous Kingdom based on freedom and equality as promised by Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina on December 7, 1942 from London, that after the war, the Kingdom would be reconstructed on the solid foundation of complete partnership, based on equality and as a founding member of the United Nations, The Netherlands signed the Charter on June 26, 1945 at the San Francisco conference. 

Submitted by your humble servant, James Finies with utmost trust in the support for justice and equity of Your Royal Highness.

His Highness Majesty King Willem Alexander 
p/a Kabinet Der Koning Postbus 20016 
2500 EA Den Haag Nederland 

Bonaire, June 9, 2017 

His Highness, On September 16 , 2013, during your inaugural visit as our new King to the Caribbean islands of your Kingdom, I, Serrio James Finies, had a personal meeting with you and your Minister of Kingdom Relations Mr. Plasterk. 

On this historic moment, I on behalf of the people who supported our foundation Nos Kier Boneiru Bek (We want Bonaire back) fight for our United Nations mandated right to a “full measure of self-government” pursuant to article 73 of the UN Charter, I petitioned your Majesty to do your utmost in your power and influence to first stop the politicians and government of Holland from bullying, and intimidating our local politicians and from famishing our peoples when we started the discussion to initiate the process of self-governance and political equality. Secondly, I petitioned your Majesty because the current constitutional status was imposed on our peoples without a referendum to decide whether or not we agree to this new status. 

This discussion was witnessed by the Kingdom representation Mr Stolte, the governor of Bonaire, Mrs. Emerencia where Your Royal Highness pledged to me and the people of Bonaire that Your Highness will cooperate to give the people of Bonaire their “full measure of self-government” and to continue together working on the healing and reconciliation process , building together a unified and prosperous Kingdom. 

Your highness’ promise and pledge was confirmed in writing by your Minister Mr Plasterk in an official letter reference nr# 2014-0000012853 dated January 8, 2014 where was stated that …...“ the people of Bonaire have the right to let their voices be heard and that all acquired and inherited rights are indivisible and respected in their totality by the Cabinet” 

As your highness is aware, I personally sacrificed 222 days of continuous day and night vigil protest at our government building till this referendum was held by the government. The peoples of Bonaire rejected this current status in a decisive indisputable No- vote of 65.55% in the December 18, 2015 referendum. However the Dutch government is not respecting this democratic decision and voice of our peoples and have made the first reading in October of 2016 and now have on the agenda for the new to be formed government the second and definitive reading to annex and anchor Bonaire and its peoples in the Dutch constitution. 

Meanwhile since this unlawful new status came into effect on October 10, 2010 and the new open immigration policy our population almost doubled mostly with Dutch Europeans, and if this is not halted immediately we will soon become a minority, direction to be assimilated and exterminated as the Bonerian peoples by substitution. 

With this letter I address myself on behalf of the people of Bonaire to you our King and as Head of the State of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the knowledge and comfort of your pledge to me and the Bonerian peoples on the 16th November 2013. 

We take great comfort in the knowledge and assurance that the Government of the Netherlands holds the law in high esteem. Indeed, the International Court of Justice is seated in the Netherlands. The rule of law guarantees justice, and assures peace and tranquility in the realm. 

The rule of law is the highest expression of the Dutch spirit of fair play and equity. Because of this we have some more questions that we wish to address to your Highness which we wish to have these answered within seven (7) days because of the urgency and wrongfully intentions of the Government of the Netherlands to annex and anchor us in the Dutch constitution against the will of the Bonerian peoples. Question: Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that the “United Nations Charter is the paramount instrument of international law?” 

Comment: We know that the Government of the Netherlands holds the UN in high esteem. This is witnessed by it seeking a seat in the Security Council. The governments of the various islands in the Kingdom accompanied the Government of the Netherlands on its mission to the UN to offer support to the Government of the Netherlands in its quest for a seat in the Security Council. 


Will the Government of the Netherlands “fulfill faithfully its obligations under the UN Charter? Comment: UN Resolution 747 (VIII) of November 27, 1953 states: Expresses to the Government of the Netherlands it confidence that, as a result of the negotiations a new status will be attained by the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname representing a full measure of selfgovernment in fulfillment of the objectives set forth in the Chapter XI of the Charter. 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that “a full measure of self-government” is the objective of the Chapter XI? Comment: The “Hoge Raad” (ECLI:NL;HR 2008: BD 6568, 21-10-2008) considered the following: Het Handvest van de Verenigde Naties c.a. Hoofdstuk VII van het Handvest van de Verenigde Naties vormt blijkens Resolutie 955 (1994) mede grondslag voor de instelling van het Rwanda-tribunaal, hetgeen het gewicht van dat orgaan en de dominante verplichtingen van staten om aan het Handvest te voldoen, onderstreept. (r.o. 23) 


What does the Government of the Netherlands understand under “een dominante verplichting?” Is fulfilling the objectives of Chapter XI of the UN Charter a “dominante verplichting” of the Government of the Netherlands?” If “a full measure of self-government” is an objective of the Chapter XI is it also an objective of the Charter? Does this create for the Government of the Netherlands the obligation to “fulfill the objective of the Charter?” 

Does this obligation create the corresponding right to a “full measure of self-government?” Does this obligation fall within the scope of Article 103 of the UN Charter? Comment: We are aware that Chapter XI (Article 73) also contains the principle that “the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount…” 


Does recognition of this principle create the obligation under the Charter to put the interest of the inhabitants paramount? Does this obligation fall within the scope of the obligations mentioned in article 103 of the Charter? Comment: Article 6 of the UN Charter states: A member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. 


If it can be shown that a member State of the UN persistently violates the principle that “the interest of the inhabitants are paramount” should that State be expelled from the UN under article 6 of the Charter? Comment: Resolution 945 (X) of December 15, 1955 contains amendments by Uruguay and India to the effect that the Netherlands Antilles did not obtain a “full measure of self-government” Question: Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that this resolution confirms the position of the United Nations General Assembly? 


What concrete steps should the government of the Netherlands undertake to ensure that it complies with the rights of the islands to a “full measure of self-government?” Comment: From the debates at the UN we know exactly which articles were deemed to be impeding the “full measure of self-government” . They were, the position of governor, articles 43, 44, 50 and 51 of the Kingdom Charter. 


Will the Government of the Netherlands comply with its obligation to ensure “a full measure of selfgovernment” and declare these articles in conflict with its obligations under article 103 of the Charter? 


If the Government of the Netherlands does not declare these articles in conflict with its obligations under the Charter can it explain why? Does the government of the Netherlands agree that articles 73 a to d are still applicable? 

Comment: UN Resolution 742 (VIII) of November 27, 1953 sub. 6 states: Considers that the manner in which Territories referred to in Chapter XI of the Charter can become fully self-governing is primarily through the attainment of independence, although it is recognized that self-government can also be achieved by association with another State or group of States if this is done freely and on the basis of absolute equality. 


Does this create for the Government of the Netherlands the obligation to associate, integrate or adopt any other form of association, on the basis of absolute equality? 


Does this obligation fall within the scope of article 103? Question: Does the government of the Netherlands agree that any law that conflicts with the obligations listed below, is “without legal effect or force” as article 103 states “obligations under the Charter shall prevail.” a. The obligation fulfil the objective of the Chapter XI: full measure of self-government b. The obligation to place interest of inhabitants paramount c. The obligation to associate on the basis of absolute equality 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that any attempt to act in conflict with the abovementioned obligations should never, under any conditions, be contemplated, much less undertaken, by any law abiding member of the United Nations? 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that obligations under the Charter are “jus cogens,” a body of rules from which no derogation is possible? 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that all articles in “Het Statuut” which are in conflict with the following obligations under the Charter: a. A full measure of self-government b. The principle that the interest of the inhabitants are paramount c. Absolute equality Fall within the scope of Article 103? 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that the legal force of Article 103 of the UN Charter “covers not only its member states, but also “international and regional organizations, private contracts, licenses and permits.1 ? ” 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree with the following statement? 

"The fact that domestic law cannot be invoked so as to justify a non-observance of an obligation of international law surely rules out the possibility that an arrangement contracted under domestic law could prevail over international law.” 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree with the following statement? …article 103 applies to all sorts of contractual rights and obligations, irrespective of their source, including unilaterally obtained obligations. There are good reasons for such a perspective. Most importantly, it would completely defeat the object and purpose of Article 103 if States could avoid its effect by subjecting their agreements to a domestic legal system…. 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that “Het Statuut” falls within the scope of article 103 of the UN Charter? Question: Does the Government of the Netherlands agree with the International Law Commission that “Charter” is also used to signify “Treaty?” 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that by stating “The Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands” it declares to the world community that “Het Statuut” is a treaty? 

Question: If the Government of the Netherlands is of the opinion that “Het Statuut” is not a treaty, why declare to the world community that it is a “Charter” knowing full well that “Charter” means “Treaty”? 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that under the obligation that” the interests of the inhabitants are paramount”, their interests are expressed by their representative bodies? 


Does the Government agree that under the obligation of absolute equality there cannot exits any form of supervision or hierarchy? 


Does the Government of the Netherlands agree that even if parties were to agree to such supervision, such an agreement itself would be in conflict with the “obligation to associate on the basis of absolute equality”, thereby triggering the provisions of Article 103 and rendering any such attempt to “contractout” of Charter obligations unenforceable? 

Submitted by your humble servant, James Finies with utmost trust in the Justice and Equity of Your Royal Highness.

30 October 2017

French Guiana Activists Protest Emmanuel Macron's Visit

French Guiana activists protested the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron in the capital city of Cayenne late Thursday night.

Activist groups "So That Guiana Takes Off" and "500 Brothers" reportedly threw homemade petrol bombs while local police answered with tear gas. Forces also arrested five demonstrators who were out in the street to show their opposition to Macron's refusal to talk about territorial issues.
Protesters were also angry over the French president’s comment, "I am not Father Christmas because the people of Guiana are not children" as he got off the plane. The leader of the association of mayors, David Riche, said, "We don't need Father Christmas, we need a government that realizes that in Guiana, nothing works."
The French colony suffers from 23 percent unemployment, more than double that of mainland France. Residents and activists complain the country suffers from a massive influx of undocumented immigrants, pot-holed roads, high crime rates and an inadequate public health and education system.
Macron said he’s committed to providing the current Guiana government US$1.26 billion in “emergency” funds.
Macron added, "The state has made too many promises which have not been kept … I'm here to tell things as I see them, make commitments that I can keep during my term in office and help provide the authority which is essential on this territory." 
Macron pledged US$1.26 billion as part of a larger package agreed upon by the former French Guiana Prime Pinister, Bernard Cazeneuve, and previous French President Francois Hollande last April as they were both leaving office. The two former leaders, who departed their posts in May, also promised to invest approximately US$2.4 billion in French Guiana over an unspecified timeframe
The leaders’ pledges were to appease territory-wide strikes and roadblocks that took place last March and April as residents protested the French government’s neglect of the territory. Activists took over the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana, where European and French rockets and satellites are launched and maintained.
To protesters, the center represented government transfer of money into an international space project in their backyard while ordinary citizens of French Guiana endure poverty and unemployment. 
"What we need today is that the commitments are honoured," Cazeneuve told a local news channel.
Macron and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are set to visit the space center on Friday.


Conference participants cite French, U.S. colonialism in Caribbean. Dutch and British colonialism also deeply intrenched in region.

Resisting Nuclear and Environmental Disaster:
Building Peace in the Caribbean
A Declaration from the 1st Caribbean Peace Conference
Bridgetown, Barbados, Oct. 6-7th, 2017
The Peace organisations existing in the Caribbean — the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI), the Cuban Movement for Peace and People´s Sovereignty (MovPaz), the Jamaica Peace Council (JPC), the Guyana Peace Council (GPC) , and the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity (NIDOH-C) , as well as several national delegates of other progressive organizations (all together representing eight sister nations of the Caribbean– Barbados, Cuba,, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela) and the USA Peace Council   met in Barbados  over the period of 6th and 7th October 2017 to discuss critical matters relating to world peace and to adopt the Declaration inscribed hereunder.
At a meeting of the World Peace Council held in São Luis ,Brazil from November 18-19 2016 and hosted by the Brazilian Center for Solidarity of the Peoples and Struggle for Peace (CEBRAPAZ), and meeting under the theme “Strengthen the peoples’ solidarity in the struggle for peace, against imperialism” it was determined that “strengthening the World Peace Council is a key task in this solidarity”, and to this end the peace councils of the Caribbean were requested to stage a pan-Caribbean conference in the year 2017.
Given the call from the World Peace Conference in Sao Luis, the Caribbean Peace Movement moved to organize its first Caribbean Peace conference in the island of Barbados between October 6th and 7th, 2017.
The delegates of the First Caribbean Peace Conference view with concern, the neo-liberal counter-offensive of imperialism, which is impacting Caribbean societies largely through the installation of retrograde capitalist forces, which have opened the countries to private sector dominance and the reversal of the social gains in health, education, public housing and transportation, adversely impacting the quality of life of the Caribbean working people.
The First Caribbean Peace Conference also recognizes that climate change poses a major threat to the countries of the Caribbean region, as it impacts negatively on our ecological and economic systems and increases the risk of natural disasters that can wipe out Caribbean economies by wreaking havoc on infrastructure and by causing significant loss of life. 
The Conference notes with alarm the extra-ordinarily intense and violent current hurricane season which has resulted in billions of dollars in infrastructural damage, destroyed entire islands, crippling their economies and has resulted in scores of deaths.  It has not escaped notice that these natural events that have been exacerbated by the effects of human activity, have occurred following denials by the leadership of the USA — the world’s most eco-unfriendly nation — of the need for any global agreements to combat global warming.  From that perspective, the failure to build global consensus around climate change and the necessary responses represents a tremendous threat to Peace in the Caribbean region and militates against the stability and the proper functioning of Caribbean institutions and societies in general.
We also recognize the presence of foreign military bases in the Caribbean as contributing significantly to further environmental degradation and as an erosion of the security and stability of the region.  We therefore denounce the military maneuvers and exercises which destroy the environment and undermine the health of the populations residing in proximity to those military bases.
BUT IN addition to their environmental costs, the First Caribbean Peace Conference also views the presence of the large number of foreign military bases and facilities in the Caribbean region as a serious threat to the peace and stability of all the nations given their warlike and interventionist purposes.  We consider it to be both urgent and necessary to resolutely join in the actions of the international campaign against foreign military bases and for a world of peace without nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons.
The First Caribbean Peace Conference acknowledges the 1967 Tlatelolco Treaty which established our region of Latin America and the Caribbean as a nuclear free zone, and to this end, we demand the immediate cessation of the transshipment of nuclear waste through the Caribbean Sea.
We also recognize the significance of the fact that 122 United Nations member states have adopted the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, the first and only international legal instrument that declares illegal all nuclear weapons. However, we forcefully condemn the fact that the superpowers possessing such weapons that can wipe out humanity have deliberately and arrogantly avoided signing this essential treaty.
We also  note with alarm that a specific threat to Caribbean peace resides in the proliferation of firearms in the Caribbean , in an environment of economic and social collapse occasioned by neo-liberal capitalism and the corrupt activities of drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking.  When coupled with the intense foreign media penetration that the Caribbean has been subjected to, the phenomenon of imported values eclipsing our local values of respect and human decency, and with movies and films perpetuating greed, violence, opulence and selfishness, then the rise in senseless killings and gang warfare, presents itself as a direct threat to our Caribbean civilisation. 
AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND, the 1st Caribbean Peace Conference hereby:
  1. Dedicates the work, results and outcomes of the conference to the memory and honour of the eternal Commanders Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro Ruz, and in recognition of both the 50thanniversary of the fall-in-combat of Commander Ernesto Che Guevara and the 1st anniversary of the passing of Dr. Fidel Castro on November 25th 2016. We pay homage to these two world visionary leaders, who made extra-ordinary contributions to peace and to the liberation struggle of African, Latin-American and Caribbean countries.
  2. Demands the end of the foreign military presence that MINUSTAH represents in Haiti and its replacement by a civilian and humanitarian support mechanism. In addition, the Conference rejects the notion of a “failed state”, which is a concept that is used by the forces of imperialism as a justification for interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations and as a motive for military intervention for regime change.
  3. Affirms our determination to safeguard peace in Latin America and the Caribbean in keeping with the Havana Declaration approved by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at the second CELAC Summit held in Havana, Cuba in the year 2014– a Declaration which establishes our region as a Zone of Peace.
  4. Re-Affirms our commitment to the principle of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and our profound respect for the principles and norms of international law, the inalienable right of every State to freely choose their political, economic, social and cultural system without interference of any kind, and the sovereign equality of states.
  5. Recognizes the role played by women in advancing the peaceful and sustainable future of the planet, and acknowledges that the achievement of peace and an end to violence are dependent on respecting cultural, racial, religious, and sexual diversity.
  6. Commits to fight against imperialism, neoliberal policies, and foreign military actions which seek to undermine and defeat the progressive and democratic governments and movements of the region.
  7. Rejects the prevailing hegemonic concept of the “ideal western state”– a concept which encourages racism, white supremacy, and discrimination. Instead, we recognize and accept a broader and more inclusive concept of human development, participation and democracy.
  8. Rejects the interventionist actions, the threat of military intervention, the media campaigns, the psychological threats, the economic war, and the financial blockade orchestrated and directed by the government of the United States of America (USA) and by sections of the national and international conservative oligarchy, which undermine the peace and stability of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as they attempt to destroy the Bolivarian revolution and its positive influence on Latin America and the Caribbean.
  9. Recognizes the sovereign right of the Venezuelan people to undertake reform of their nation’s Constitution, and accepts the National Constituent Assembly elected by over eight million people as a legitimate expression of the Will and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people: and we also remind the world that the National Constituent Assembly is provided for within the Venezuelan Constitution.
  10. Supports the efforts made by the revolutionary government of Venezuela to establish dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition — with the aim of achieving a lasting peace — within the framework of the discussions that are being held in the Dominican Republic with the support of the International Community.
  11. Expresses the broadest solidarity with countries and peoples under colonial rule in the Caribbean and South America who have been denied the right to self-determination and sovereignty, and in particular we demand the end of French colonialism in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana and commits to giving active solidarity to the people of those countries in their struggle for independence, sovereignty and self-determination.
  12. Demands an end to foreign military presences in Latin America and the Caribbean in general, and in Puerto Rico, the Malvinas, Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in particular. We also reaffirm that the Malvinas, Georgia and Sandwich Islands are part of the territory of Argentina and must return to the sovereignty of the Argentine nation.
  13. Condemns the refusal of certain Caribbean countries to recognize the legitimate right of the people of Palestine to sovereign statehood.
  14. Condemns the government of the Dominican Republic for its mass deportation of persons described as “Haitians” and carried out from the year 2015 to the present. The Conference demands the cessation of such deportations, and calls for an internationally supervised determination of the nationality and legal status of the remaining dark-skinned residents of the Dominican Republic in order to remove the anxieties of this group. The Conference also calls for the establishment of an international committee to determine compensation for persons illegally displaced by the mass deportation carried out directly or encouraged by the government of the Dominican Republic.
  15. Demands the return to Cuban national sovereignty of the territory illegally occupied by the US Naval base in Guantanamo; and further demands that the US government accept the formal proposal made by the Cuban government to include this issue in the bilateral agenda as being a key factor in the process towards the normalization of the relationship between the two countries, as well as a key issue in the quest for regional peace and safety.
  16. Supports the struggle of Cuba in all fora for the unconditional removal of the illegal economic, financial and trade blockade, which is the longest one in known history, and which not only qualifies as an act of genocide in International Law but is also a fundamental violation of the Sovereignty of third nations in that it is based upon the extra-territorial application of national or domestic USA legislation.
  17. Rejects the nasty, unfounded and unjustified decision taken by the Donald Trump administration against Cuban diplomats in the USA, and evidently aimed at erasing all the constructive steps recently achieved towards the normalization of the bilateral USA / Cuba relationship, and which is– by extension– a new obstacle to the development of normal relations with the rest of the Caribbean.
  18. Condemns all acts of terrorism as the anti-thesis of peace, and in particular we recall and condemn the terrorist act committed on October 6th 1976 when a bomb was planted on a Cuban commercial aircraft which resulted in the deaths of 73 persons within the territorial space of the island of Barbados. And to this end we demand that the Government of the USA extradite Luis Posada Carriles, the mastermind of the terrorist act, to Venezuela in order that he may stand trial, and we also reiterate our support for the campaign of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network in Defense of Humanity to have the United Nations declare October 6th as “International Day Against Terrorism”.
  19. Supports the people from several Caribbean islands in their struggle to overcome the aftermath of the repeated natural disasters which have destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and to achieve the necessary political and social stability that will enable them to overcome the current situation.
  20. Expresses solidarity and encourages concrete actions to alleviate the suffering of the victims of recent natural phenomena, which have led to devastation, destruction and loss of life in the Caribbean, and in this regard the Conference demands the creation of global institutional responses that are morally, economically and politically commensurate with the crises which have befallen these countries.
  21. Insists that global climate change discussions be re-engaged in order to reduce the possibilities of such disasters that have befallen the Caribbean in the 2017 hurricane season.
  22. Condemns the policies that produce the indiscriminate deportation of Caribbean prisoners from North American prisons, human trafficking and arms trafficking in the Caribbean, and that help to generate high crime rates that threaten the stability of several Caribbean nations.
  23. Rejects the Media Penetration and the Media Propaganda which dull the senses of Caribbean populations to violence, crimes against the person, the assassination of leaders, invasion and war, and we encourage our governments to create the conditions for local media practitioners and cultural activists to advance our own aesthetics, feelings and concerns.
  24. Supports the right of the nations and people of the Caribbean to pursue and demand reparations from the colonial powers for the centuries of vassalage and exploitation founded on the genocide of the indigenous people, African enslavement and colonialism.
  25. Identifies the United States, NATO and the great powers of the European Union and their allies, in their ambition for world domination, as the main threats to peace and the happiness of the peoples of the entire planet and we demand an end to all wars of imperialist aggression.
  26. Demands the elimination of nuclear weapons and an end to the threat of their use, and further demands that our respective governments and the nuclear-weapon possessing states promptly sign and ratify the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
  27. Celebrates the renewed commitment to the founding or reactivating of the Caribbean movements and associations of Peace and their linkage to the World Peace Council, and recognizes that it is vital to articulate and engage upon such collective work in favor of Peace in the region and in support of the sustainability and validity of the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
  28. Expresses gratitude to the hosts, supporting institutions and personalities, and to the Barbadian people as a whole for the warm welcome given to the participants in the meeting, and for supporting all the logistical arrangements of the 1st Caribbean Peace Conference in Barbados.
  29. Supports and undertakes to — individually or in a collective manner — pursue the actions and initiatives contained in the Plan of Action approved by the Conference.
  30. Reminds the Caribbean people of our unique history of race and class based oppression, and of our historic struggles to resist, overcome and transcend such oppression and denial of human dignity, and re-affirm that our history has bequeathed to us a sacred mission to advocate and defend the principles of freedom and human dignity, and to stand with and give active solidarity and support to all peoples who are legitimately fighting against oppressive forces, and for freedom, dignity, respect, sovereignty, self-determination and peace.
 List of signatories to the Bridgetown Declaration:
1. Silvio Platero. Cuban Movement for Peace and People’s Sovereignty.
2. Trevor Prescod M P. Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration.
3. David Comissiong. International Network In Defense of Humanity.
4. Hope Mc Nish. Jamaica Peace Council.
5. Omesh Satyanand. Guyana Peace Council.
6. Henry Lowendorth. United States Peace Council.
7. Garcin Malsa. International Movement for Reparations (Martinique)
8. Khafra Kambon. Caribbean Pan-African Network.
9. David Abdulah. Movement for Social Justice.
10. Gerald Perreira. Organization for the Victory of the People.
11. His Excellency Francisco Fernandez. Ambassador of the Repubic of  Cuba
12. His Excellency Francisco Perez. Charge-de-Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
13. Bobby Clarke. Clement Payne Movement.
14. David Denny. Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration.
15. Dr. Tennyson Joseph. International Network In Defense of Humanity.
16. John Howell. Pan-African Coalition of Organizations.
17. Thelma Gill-Barnett. International Network In Defense of Humanity.
18. Margaret Harris. International Network in Defense of Humanity.
19. Lalu Hanuman. International Network In Defense of Humanity.
20 Edson Crawford. Clement Payne Movement.
21. Buddy Larrier. Non-State Actors Reparations Movement.
22. Ivana Cardinale. Caribflame .
23. Akanni Mc Dowall. National Union of Public Workers.
24. Myrna Belgrave. Pan-African Coalition of Organizations.

27 October 2017


The British dependent territory is among the borrowing members of the CDB.

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Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Press Release

BVI And Caribbean Development Bank Discuss Reconstruction

A British Virgin Islands (BVI) delegation led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourble D. Orlando Smith, OBE held a high-level meeting on reconstruction with the President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Warren Smith and senior bank staff at the Annual World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington, DC on October 13.

The two sides discussed financing options for the Territory to rebuild and rehabilitate its infrastructure after the widespread damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

"We had very productive discussions on the ways in which reconstruction can be financed, both short and long-term. I am pleased we have the full-support of the CDB”, said the Territory’s Minister of Finance.

They also emphasised the importance of building back better to strengthen the resilience of the BVI in the face of future category 5 hurricanes and extreme weather events caused by climate change.
Commenting on the Government’s goals for reconstruction, Premier Smith said, “Our objective is to become a model of resilience in the region and a centre of excellence in infrastructure. This will not only make us more resilient, but also more attractive as a tourism destination and international business centre.”

The Premier was joined by Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie Skelton and Director of the BVI London Office, Benito Wheatley.


26 October 2017


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Watch webcast of AM and PM sessions at links below:

Special meeting on the “Aftermath of recent hurricanes: Achieving a risk-informed and resilient 2030 Agenda” - Economic and Social Council, 4th Meeting

Special meeting on the “Aftermath of recent hurricanes: Achieving a risk-informed and resilient 2030 Agenda” - Economic and Social Council, 5th Meeting

24 OCTOBER 2017

Amid Greater Intensity of Natural Disasters, Access by Middle‑Income Countries to Multilateral Financing Ever More Vital, Speakers Tell Economic and Social Council

In rebounding from the devastating effects of natural disasters, middle‑income countries needed access to multilateral financing and support for a risk‑informed, resilient approach to hazards, speakers highlighted in a special meeting of the Economic and Social Council on the aftermath of recent hurricanes.
In a keynote address, Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary‑General for Human and Social Development of the Caribbean Community, noted that most countries in the hurricane‑stricken region were middle‑income status and ineligible for concessional financing from multilateral institutions or official development assistance (ODA).
He said the international community must alter its thinking about criteria for access to concessionary funding, which must include the vulnerability of States.  The number of severe hurricanes was projected to increase by 40 per cent if global temperatures rose by 2°C, which would have a devastating effect on small island developing States, especially in the Caribbean.
Similarly, Miroslav Lajčák, President of the General Assembly, said more funding was needed to restore services like health, water and sanitation, shelter and food in countries affected by changing weather systems.  He added that affected States must redesign settlements in their rebuilding efforts, integrating clean energy, building better infrastructure and enhancing water and sanitation systems.
Also focusing on reconstruction, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary‑General of the United Nations, said the international community must support affected countries to become more resilient, promote a risk‑informed approach to rebuilding and strengthen financial systems to cope with large‑scale shocks.  Risk‑informed sustainable development was a necessity, which required enhanced risk‑governance systems and should dictate policies and investment criteria.
She urged for greater investment in disaster‑resilient infrastructure and housing to reduce economic losses through technology, innovation and partnerships.  The international community must also ensure that funding supported longer‑term resilience in affected countries facing external shocks by reconsidering eligibility criteria for concessional financing.
Addressing hurricane devastation, Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Disaster Risk Reduction, said the average annual loss from disasters in the Caribbean was 100 per cent of what was usually spent nationally on health, education and social protection.  Given the rising sea levels and warmer oceans, many of those countries could expect stronger storms and their surges in the future.
Climate scientists had also stated that two tipping points had already been reached, he said.  First, coral reefs were being destroyed by warming oceans, acidification and storms.  Second, the West Antarctic ice shelf was melting, with rising sea levels the result, and would continue to do so.
Alicia Ibarra, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), pointed to the small size, insularity and external indebtedness of countries in her region.  Some 70 per cent of Caribbean populations lived in coastal zones only 10 meters above sea level, adding to their extreme vulnerability.  The intensity of droughts could continue to be a significant concern, as seven Caribbean States were among the top 36 water-stressed countries.
She underscored the importance of the proposed Green Fund, which would finance projects assisting nations in adapting to climate change.  ECLAC had already identified projects and was attempting to ensure middle‑income countries received concessional financing from that fund and other stakeholders like the World Bank.
Presentations were also made by Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council; Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary‐General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; Jessica Faieta, Assistant Secretary‐General and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and Francis Ghesquiere, Head of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, World Bank Group.
The event was moderated by New York Times reporter Lisa Friedman.
During the ensuing discussion, speakers recounted their experiences coping with hurricanes and other natural hazards, with many emphasizing the need for reconstruction-financing and echoing pleas for revised criteria to access concessional financing and ODA.
Antigua and Barbuda’s delegate recounted that hurricane Irma — the most powerful hurricane recorded over the Atlantic to hit land — had come ashore as a category 5 hurricane in his country, exposing it to winds higher than 195 miles per hour.  After Irma had ravaged Barbuda, the storm had left what had often been viewed as the most beautiful, untouched island in the world uninhabitable.
His Government was now faced with rebuilding the island, but had graduated to a high‑income country in June 2017, he said.  Despite its high level of vulnerability, it was categorized in the arbitrary ODA assessment criteria of gross domestic product (GDP) and largely ineligible for concessional financing and ODA due to revenue per capita exceeding the artificial criteria set.
On a similar note, Jamaica’s representative, stressing that the time had come to address the concerns of small island developing States, said the international community must provide better access to concessionary finance.  Adding that many were highly indebted middle‑income countries, he said an effective risk financing instrument was needed for emergency operations and to rebuild damaged infrastructure.
The representative of the Dominican Republic said his country had suffered enormous losses from hurricanes Irma and Maria, which had damaged thousands of kilometres of roads, bridges and agricultural lands.  Noting that more than $500 million would be needed for relief and reconstruction, he said disaster risk prevention, humanitarian action and adaptation to climate change must go hand‑in‑hand with the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Other delegates expressed similar sentiments, with Venezuela’s representative urging for greater reconstruction measures, debt alleviation and favourable financing for small island developing States.  He proposed establishing funds with contributions from countries with greater responsibility for climate change, which would then be used to assist affected States.
The Maldives’ delegate highlighted the loss of coral reefs as natural barriers to storms and melting ice sheets contributed to sea level rise.  Her country and other small island developing States would work to enhance their resiliency, but she urged for greater assistance from the international community.  Improving response should start well before disaster strikes, particularly in capacity‑building, disaster resilience and financial support.
The representative of Trinidad and Tobago said the devastating aftermath of the recent hurricanes had clearly shown the international community the effects of climate change.  Adding that the region’s developmental possibilities were also significantly reduced, he said such events had widespread effects on economies, especially the agriculture, tourism and infrastructure sectors.
Also speaking were the representatives of Dominica, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Bahamas, Honduras, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, France, Ecuador, Russia Federation, Colombia, Switzerland, Nepal, Japan, Chile, Algeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Barbados, Guyana, United Arab Emirates, Bolivia, Belize, Canada, Fiji, Montenegro, Philippines, El Salvador, India, Sierra Leone and South Africa.  A representative for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) also spoke.