Sint Eustatius – Wat is het verschil tussen de Russische invasie in Oekraïne en de “staatsgreep” van Nederland toen het op 7 februari 2018 het democratisch gekozen eilandbestuur op Sint Eustatius afzette? Die vraag werpt eilandsraad Clyde van Putten (PLP) op in een zondag verspreide schriftelijke verklaring.
Van Putten noemt Nederland hypocriet door het door Rusland schenden van de democratische rechten van het Oekraïense volk te veroordelen, terwijl het zelf Sint Eustatius al vier jaar “bezet” houdt. De politicus benadrukt dat het leven van de Statianen er in veel opzichten op achteruit is gegaan sinds Den Haag het bestuur over het eiland nam.
Statement Councilman Clyde van Putten
In a statement on Sunday afternoon, Island council member Clyde van Putten said that democracy is a birthright! It’s a human right! He said there should be no condition attached to this and the people of Sint. Eustatius should not be negotiating the return of democracy. He said from the onset, it was wrong for the Dutch government and parliament to impose this type of draconian measures based on erroneous and baseless accusations that were leveled against his government. van Putten said that the Wiseman Report, which was an articulation by political detractors of the Progressive Labor Party that governed the island Between 2015 and 2018, was used as an excuse by the Dutch to remove the lawfully elected government from office by means of a coup d’état. The councilman further stated that 4 years later, after the serious and baseless accusations that were leveled against his administration, the Dutch government has failed up to now even after various investigations to bring forth any credible evidence to substantiate their decision that led to the takeover of the government on the 7th February 2018. He reiterated that he was disappointed that with the coming of the State Secretary Alexandra van Hufflen, that we would have been able to turn a new page and improve upon the relations between the Hague and Sint Eustatius. Van Putten further stated that by refusing to restore democracy it was an outright rejection and disrespect of the will of the people as expressed in the elections of October 2020.
He said it is clear that the people of Sint Eustatius are being punished because of the dislike by the Hague of an individual or a political party. He referred to statements made by the state secretary and other senior officials which suggest that they wanted to be Cautious in avoiding a repeat of the past. He rhetorically asked what was the problem in the past? Van Putten said that the only thing he can think of is that during the governing period we worked towards making Statia more sustainable and less dependent on handouts from the Netherlands. He said he is convinced that the sole reason for the takeover of his administration by the Dutch was based on their decision to opt for a full measure of self-governance in keeping with the agreement signed by the Dutch in 1952 with the United Nations. Van Putten said the Hague should not determine which political party or individuals can be elected on the island and who become commissioners, this is totally up to the people in a free and fair election.
When we look at the ongoing invasion by the Russian government in Ukraine the NATO alliance which the Dutch forms apart of is publicly condemning this assault and dubs it a violation of the democratic rights of the Ukrainian people. I wish to ask what is the difference between that situation and the coup d’état that was carried out by the Dutch government where a lawfully elected government of Sint Eustatius was removed. Van Putten said that he found the Dutch very hypocritical and inconsistent in their actions.
The councilman said in conclusion that after 4 years of Dutch occupation and with 3 appointed commissioners and their expert teams running the affairs of Island, they have failed miserably at every level to live up to their promises made since they took over the government. Even in conversation with the common man on the street they would tell you that the situation of the island and government is the worst that it has ever been. Our people are dying for proper medical care, poverty is continuously rising, inflation and the cost of living is at an all-time high and we are being taxed heavily despite the worsening economic situation on the island. He calls on the Dutch government, the upper and lower houses of parliament to honor and respect the democratic principles and the human rights of our people and restore democracy forthwith to free and fair people here on ST Eustatius.