MONTEGO BAY, December 29, 2022 - The President of the Bonaire Human Rights Organization (BHRO) Davika Bissessar, and president of Nos Ke Boneiru Bek (NKBB) James Finies, are calling on CARICOM not to be taken in by what they said was a halfhearted apology for slavery by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands.
They said they wanted to expose the violations of Human Rights in Bonaire by the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Holland), and the treacherous colonization that the people of Bonaire have suffered, as well as the lack of freedom and democracy.
Finies, who is also the President of the human rights foundation “Nos Ke Boneiru Bèk” has led a one-man campaign against human rights violations in Bonaire since the dissolution of The Netherlands Antilles in 2010, which resulted in Bonaire, together with the islands Saba and Sint Eustatius, became public entities, integrated in the Netherlands without equal rights.
From 1954 until 2010, Bonaire, located in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, 80 km off the coast of Venezuela, was part of the Netherlands Antilles, a country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Since then, the national government of Bonaire has been the Dutch government in the Hague.
For people like Finies, this shift in political power has and continues to represent the re-emergence of neo-colonial take over which he believes violates the territorial status of Bonaire as a sovereign nation.
The Netherlands’ political regime is now being blamed for violating the human rights of the people, destroying their culture, identity, and language and seizing their natural resources.
“The first law they pass even before annexation in 2010 was the mining law. In essence, the mining law says that all natural resources, both terrestrial and subterranean, are theirs (Netherlands) and all the land belongs to them if they need it. Another thing that they did — and I want to warn the Caribbean about — is that they first seized our airport, which is now managed by Holland and they expanded it not for commercial or international standards but to military standards,” Finies said.
The following is the full text of the Open letter to CARICOM:
Honorable CARICOM leaders,
With this letter Nos Ke Boneiru Bek (NKBB) wants to inform the CARICOM leadership of the Dutch attempt to deviate the attention from their continued crimes against humanity by a halfhearted Dutch apology for slavery.
The Dutch government continues committing crimes against the Caribbean peoples, by continuing the colonisation of their subordinated Caribbean territories up today.
At the same time the Dutch announced an apology for slavery and a budget of 200 million euros to raise awareness for slavery, they are funding the War in the Ukraine with 500 million.
Human rights defenders Davika Bissessar-Shaw, President of the Bonaire Human Rights Organisation and James Finies President of Nos Ke Boneiru Bek (NKBB).
We would like to remind the Caribbean leadership that with the illegal annexation of our island Bonaire on October 10, 2010, the Dutch acquired 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone in the Southern Caribbean Sea Basin in which they have absolute power by complete colonial rule from The Hague, Netherlands.
The threat is real (see our previous letters sent to you in 2018 and 2019 on the Dutch provocation of Venezuela), the Caribbean as a peaceful region is over with Bonaire 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela and the Dutch expanding the airport beyond commercial to military standards.
Furthermore, NKBB has to remind every Caribbean leader of the sudden Dutch interest in Southern Caribbean basin, with Venezuela, Surinam, and Guyana oil and gas as the new emerging Gold Coast.
NKBB urges the CARICOM not to be taken in by the Dutch apology ruse. The Dutch are aware that the CARICOM leadership is very serious concerning the reparation’s trajectory on slavery. The Dutch main objective should be understood as to divide the Caribbean leadership, meanwhile they continue their colonial agenda depopulating and ethnically cleansing Bonaire peoples by substitution which will inevitably lead to the disappearance of the native Bonerians as Caribbean people.
The promised 200 million euros for awareness will be mostly spent in the Netherlands and are cut from the budgets for poverty eradication and implementation of MDG and SDG projects.
The Netherlands have used this strategy of promising UN and international funding to eradicate poverty to destroy and dissolve the Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010 and never kept the promises.
NKBB hopes the advice in this letter will find a listening ear with the CARICOM Secretary General and CARICOM Heads of States and strengthen the resolve to end coloniality.
James Finies – President Nos Ke Boneiru Bek
Davika Bissessar – President Bonaire Human Rights