From: Denicio Brison (
Sent: on 11/27/06 6:12 PM

Reflections on Separate Status, “Me Too Politics”,  the “Valley of the Shadow of Silliness” and other themes

By: P. Denicio Brison, B.Sc., LL.M.

November 2006

Congratulations to the DP party… It is not without some amusement that we have watched the National Alliance join the DP’s Youth Wing as Junior Partner, Chief Cheerleader and vicious attack dog of the Sint Maarten Democratic Party and its intrepid leader Sarah Wescott-Williams.  That is the folly of playing “Me Too Politics.”   With their ringing endorsement the DP party can now lead us into Separate Status, with Sarah as Prime Minister… brilliant DP, simply brilliant…

Crown me King of Upper Prince’s Quarter, Emperor of Backstreet or Prime Minister of Country St. Maarten, all lofty titles, but devoid of any real meaning… The Dutch must be shaking their heads in disbelief at the island council’s non-debate of the “slotakkoord” during which they descended into the Valley of the Shadow of Sillines, in their delusional orgy celebrating the humiliation meted out to them.  If they had known they could have gotten away with so much they should have demanded even more from St.  Maarten… It must have reminded them of the Indian Chief who sold them Manhattan for US$20 and a bag of beads, proudly showing of his trinkets to skeptical tribe members, all the while insisting on what a terrific bargain he’d struck…

And the real winner is… the banks.  If they continue to play their cards right, they will walk away with the billions plus interest they recklessly loaned the Antillian Government over the years.   They correctly calculated that Holland cannot afford the economic collapse of the Antilles… the thought of hordes of black, destitute Antillians washing up on their shores sent shivers down their spines and had them running for their checkbooks…  Ronald Reagan explained it this way to the U.S. Congress, worried about runaway deficits:  “Don’t worry about the deficit.  The deficit is big enough to take care of itself!”

Any one stumbling across the slotakkoord years from now can be forgiven if they were to surmise that they had just found a capitulation treaty.  This document reads like the terms and conditions of surrender imposed by a victorious nation on a country it has just vanquished.

As Curacao goes, so goes St.  Maarten?  All indications are that the Curacao political establishment will not roll over and play dead at the emasculation of its autonomy.  If this document were to be rejected by Curacao, where does that leave St.  Maarten?

Separate Status as stepping stone to…?  There is this idea floating in from across the Big Pond which holds that if Holland does a good job of supervising St. Maarten (and maybe Curacao) the citizens should consider giving them a vote of confidence and opting to become a… Dutch Community, just like Saba and Statia and Bonaire.

All of which brings me to my final observation.  For the past 40 years St.  Maarten has built an economy that is second to none in the Caribbean.  People from over a 100 nations have given us a huge vote of confidence by choosing to live and invest here.  All this was achieved, not because of, but in spite of, the Dutch.  But, if you don’t believe in yourself you have no other choice but to believe in, and depend on others.

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