Arrindell fuels drive for independence

GREAT BAY – Former Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Rhoda Arrindell has expressed optimism about the independence movement for St. Maarten. In her opinion, most of the current parliamentarians are realizing that independence is best for St. Maarten and this she believes will help propel the movement to another level.
Arrindell is calling for a referendum to determine the constitutional course St. Maarten should embark on as in her view, that referendum is long overdue. “We are looking for a referendum at the earliest possible time that parliament can call it,” she says. “It’s now 17 years since the last referendum. It’s more than due and I think the parliamentarians recognize that as well. So more than anything else that referendum is way overdue.”
A signature drive has already started and the St. Martin Independence Foundation is already mobilizing to act. “We have been asked to petition the Parliament with an official meeting in Parliament. We are busy now with the signatures of the petition. That is going before Parliament before the end of the month,” Arrindell says.
One of the primary tasks for the independence movement is to garner international support, Dr. Arrindell notes. She posited the intention to get St. Maarten placed on the United Nations Decolonization list and to dispel what she believes is the impression created by the Dutch that constitutional issues in St. Maarten are being handled internally within the Kingdom.
“We have until 2020 to get on that list and that’s our aim,” she said, adding that Bonaire and St. Eustatius have been working hard in this regard. “What the Dutch are doing in these islands is isolating them from the rest of the international community and from the Caribbean. It comes across as if it’s an internal matter in the Dutch Kingdom. That’s an old trick that has been used over and over in these types of situations.”
In Dr. Arrindell’s opinion, St. Maarten is too precious to the Dutch as the island is strategically poised in the Caribbean as a commercial hub for air and seaport traffic. This she views is vital to Dutch competitive interests in the Americas. “The Dutch gets opportunities that they would not get as merely European countries. This is a geographical space that permits the Netherlands and France to compete against other Caribbean nations for certain things. It is also a very strategic transshipment point. The Dutch are maritime people. Traditionally that’s their history. Pay attention with what’s happening to St. Maarten at the harbor and the airport. Those are not accidents. And why is it important to control justice and finance? Those are no accidents.”
But if parliamentarians are more poised to support independence for St. Maarten, are the people confident that the island can go on its own? Some opponents of independence have expressed fears for several years that the island is too small, that a St. Maarten passport may not be as valuable as the Dutch passport and that St. Maarten cannot remain viable economically as an independent nation.
Dr. Arrindell dismisses all these arguments. “St. Maarten is economically viable to stand on its own. Not a dime out of the St. Maarten annual budget comes from anywhere else than from St. Maarten people. All of the money that comes from the budget that governs this little territory is generated right here on St. Maarten.”
Regarding the passport issue, she believes a St. Maarten passport will be just as valuable and usable like that of any other nation. Persons, she said would also have the option of dual citizenship. “That argument is slowly dying a natural death. It’s a big argument but again, it has no value. Because everywhere I have traveled in the world I have met people from everywhere else that have their own passport so it doesn’t prevent them from traveling,” she said. She also does not buy the argument that the island is too small.

Source: TODAY


  1. Good points!

    Rhoda only flying this kite because her party leader is telling her to do so. He’s in big trouble and school children say it’s only a matter of time before he ends us the same way his grandfather ended up. Hence the call for independence as it’s always the Dutch man fault. Never, their greedy thiefing hands fault.

  2. Dreamers! SXM local passport would not be recognized with significant countries.

    France will most prob close the border and they will bring in military to stabilize the situation knowing that the Dutch side will be then fully controlled by gangsters and mobsters.

    Trump will speak with Hollande wants to see his assets secured in Terres Basses. And will call also call the Netherlands to smoke out the drugs trafficking and money laundering.

    Forget it Mrs. Arrindell. Normal people without strong family ties won’t vote for independence.

    One major hurricane hitting the island and the civilization would be wiped out. Chaos like in Haiti will take over.

    Is this what you want? A country solely dependent on (cruise) tourism and having a massive over head on civil servants?

    Neither we have any raw materials, nor any industry. How do u want to run the economy when having a track record of political instability? Just with sun shining? What kind of investors you want to attract here then in future?

    Everybody in the world with knowledge and money knows that the Dutch side is a very shady place. With that in mind and this low level of eduction on the island what are you planning to do then? Offering financial services like our brothers from the BVI’s or Caymans?

    The situation at our prison is a disgrace. How would you ensure safety for tourists? For cruise lines it is one click and they no longer will come here in case crime would rise. How do you want to feed all these hungry mouth of families breeding one child after the next? What perspective can you offer them?

    Independence is a sexy word. But you need to have good and robust plans. And honestly speaking I haven’t seen any yet. Only big mouth parliamentarians. Only thing what drives you and some local biz people here is that they are feeling tired about the Dutch che king on your dirty business. Whilst you guys tend to forget that the normal average citizen has no problem or conflict with Holland. They are the only ones which can step powerful on your toes. Don’t make your problem becoming the problem of the people in St. Maarten!