To: the State-Secretary of Kingdom Relations Mr. Raymond Knops
2500 EA The Hague, The Netherlands
Bonaire, May 14, 2019
Subject: autonomy or self-governance is not a choice- it is the most fundamental inalienable right of the peoples
Honorable Mr Knops,
We took note of your recent press media communications that you don’t see the BES-islands, Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius in the future as autonomous self-governing islands. Reason given that they are too small. I would like to remind you that Bonaire is a nation and according to UN General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of December 14, 1960; – “that inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as pretext for delaying our fundamental inalienable right to self-governance”
Further on you declared that your undemocratic intervention, coup d’etat, overthrowing the legitimate democratic elected government in Sint Eustatius in February 2018, had a disciplinary effect on the Bonaire government, as your recent visit to Bonaire, the government spoke much more friendly. This is evident as the leaders of government of Bonaire, both commissioners Mr Tjin-Asjoe and Mrs Den Heijer, with their subservient vision, publicly voiced, that “we cannot eat bread with autonomy”.
Firstly we recognize and respect your right of expression so you may have an personal opinion on our current illegal state-structure. However we herewith want to bring to your attention that neither you nor your government and your Bonaire friendly local government possess no legal rights nor power to deny the peoples of Bonaire and the other BES-islands, principally Sint Eustatius right to self-determination and self-governance. Both islands in their respective referendum of 2014 and 2015 rejected this illegal imposed colonial status and both island parliaments as representation of their peoples ratified these as legal democratic decisions of the peoples.
Instead of assisting our islands in enhancing their autonomy, your government, a member of the UN Security Council, has limited the development towards more autonomy and now declares that we will never regain back our autonomy. This constitutes a grave violation of the Charter of the Kingdom based on the agreements signed with the United Nations Organization in 1954. Your government continued irresponsible and undemocratic decisions and actions have caused a setback in the governing of the islands which has led to a re-colonization that violates the Charter of the United Nations especially article 73 chapter XI and article 103 chapter XVI, and resolutions 742, 747, 945, 1514 and 1541, all which address the sacred rights of the Peoples of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius.
Our mutual colonial history, which you voiced to me personally that you don’t know and don’t care off, is a very dark one, with your government legalizing crimes and inhumanity, your laws to piracy, smuggling(drugs), slave-trading, making you the worlds history cruelest colonizers. We may have expected you with time to have grown out of this horrific barbaric culture, to civilize, but your recent declarations exposed your truth again, that nothing changed throughout the centuries, and you have put a suit over the plunderer of the defenseless Bonaire peoples.
Our response is by quoting Ghandi: “ that throughout history the way of truth has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible, but in the end , they always fall”.
We the peoples of Bonaire maintain our hopes high that “we shall overcome” and you shall respect, protect and comply with our inherited and acquired rights. We possess the same rights as you, to be as free and as equal and as human as yourself and all European-Dutch citizens of the Kingdom. We urge the international community to be awarw of this illegal colonial status where our peoples find themselves in.
Respectfully yours, James Finies, president Foundation We Want Bonaire Back