blog | werkgroep caraïbische letteren

Former colony confronts the Netherlands over coronavirus aid conditions

by Anthony Faiola 

Inside the prime minister’s office in the Caribbean nation of Sint Maarten, the walls of paradise were closing in. In the former Dutch colony renowned for fish stews and rum cocktails on Great Bay Beach, the coronavirus pandemic had ground tourism to a halt, sparking a financial crisis akin to the aftermath of a hurricane. By December, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said, public coffers were so low that she didn’t know how she could continue to cover the government payroll.

Staatssecretaris Raymond Knops op werkbezoek / BZK

She needed a financial lifeline. Four thousand miles away, Mother Holland was prepared to throw one — but with strings attached. What followed would be a racial reckoning in the Caribbean: a bitter dispute between Sint Maarten’s Dutch overseers in Europe and local politicians representing an island populated predominantly by Afro-Caribbeans and other people of color.

Continue reading the Washington Post, March 10, 2021.

Comment: ‘Politiek Sint-Maarten overschrijdt grenzen’, Antilliaans Dagblad, 12 maart 2021.

Your comment please...

  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter