Letter from Koos, Letter from Clyde

Statia, The Netherlands and the UN

When I read the letter by Mr. Clyde van Putten threatening to hire high tier US lawyers to have The Netherlands expelled from the United Nation I pondered a while whether to comment on this or not. It sounds so out of whack, it gives the impression that it is part of a soap opera. Although the statements made are so ridiculous that it is difficult to take them seriously, we have to remember that they are coming from a gentleman who is an island council member and calls himself premier minister and the leader of government of St. Eustatius. Although these titles are nothing more than fantasy titles, the unsuspecting reader may take it for granted, which means they also expect a level of accuracy and truth to what comes out of his mouth and what he puts on paper. Taking this into consideration I believe it is important to comment on these statements, no matter how ridiculous they are.

I do not so much doubt the fact that van Putten and his PLP, supported by Reuben Merkman, are not able to carry out this ludicrous idea, although I seriously doubt the success of it. He has more than once proven to be able to waste much needed government funds on useless actions and trips. Moneys that could have been spent on better projects that could improve the situation of Statia and its people. It will however for sure make Statia the laughing stock of the Caribbean. For him it is nothing more than another smoke screen that he puts up to hide his government’s and his own failures. Mr. van Putten is the leader of a government that is unable to handle its day to day affairs. A government leading an island that is largely dependent on the financial assistance from the same country they feel need to be expelled from the UN. The Netherlands, a founding member of the UN, whose tax payers foot two thirds or more than 40 million dollars of the cost of our island, need to be expelled because according to him they treat us so badly.

For the two and a half years this man and his coalition are in office, they have produced absolutely nothing that has been in the interest of Statia. From all his beautiful plans, of which we still remember the huge colorful posters alongside the road during election time, nothing and absolutely nothing has been achieved. The civil service has been seriously compromised, whereby quality civil servants have been, often illegally, replaced by cronies who do not have the first clue of their task and responsibilities, while others are threatened and discouraged when they try to follow rules and procedures. Government’s financial household is in total disarray, laws are broken on a daily basis and financial accountability is an unknown word. The island council they have degraded to a body of ordinary shouting streetfighters with no other role than to keep a defunct executive council in its seat, while adopting unlawful regulations, ordinances, and motions.

Mr. van Putten is leading a coalition that is continuously fooling the people with their unrealistic autonomy ideas for which they cannot receive any support in parliament, neither by the other islands in the Kingdom. The aggressive, insulting way he pursues this distorted idea is yet another smoke screen to hide his and his government’s incompetence to address the basic issues our island is facing.

Mr. van Putten and his clan have refused to carry out a plan of action to get our government out of the impasse and back on track. A multi-annual plan, largely financed by The Netherlands, is collecting dust since February 2016. The working relations in the executive council are nowadays decided in front of the judge. He has declined the opportunity to get a listening ear and to vent his apparent frustrations about the relations with The Hague with the recently installed committee of wise-men.

And who is Mr. Clyde van Putten? A man who boast of almost 30 years of public service in the island council, in the parliament of the former Netherlands Antilles and as a short-lived commissioner. A man who, in all these positions cannot show one real achievement for our island besides a plan to get a rusty old second-hand water plant from Bonaire. A man who cannot boast of anything he has achieved for himself. I advise being very critical and to take his words, written or spoken with all the above in mind.