Published On: Thu, Mar 22nd, 2018

The Statia vs Holland Political Dilemma: The Beam In The Other’s Eye

Up to this day, the existing constitutional and political dilemma between the island of St. Eustatius (“Statia”) and the country of The Netherlands (“Holland”) has been approached as an “or/or” issue, as a  choice between two premises which many among us believe to oppose each other: democracy and practicality as incompatible end goals (quod non). The reality of the chances for success in this matter however may earlier and better be found in answering the question how to properly balance these two premises in a way which is most beneficial to the Statia people.

In order to soonest accomplish that it will be necessary for the two sides, being not just their political representatives but also the individuals and groups backing them, to stop with only looking at the beam in the other side’s eye, and to honestly and critically start looking at what the other side has been considering as the beam in the eye of their other. And at the same time also too to not just look at the mote in one own’s e eye but also at the one in the other side as such effort may end up with the two sides finding each other in a surprisingly more positive and productive way.

Such may also not just be more beneficial to the working and general relationship between the two sides but also for that with the other islands of our former Netherlands Antillean constitutional constellation and even also regarding the relationship between our said islands, separately and together, with our mother country, Holland, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

And as the dilemma has been brought to everybody’s attention in such a public and confrontational  manner, the best way to mend the risen heated feelings in most sections of, particularly the Statia community, would be for the leaders of the two sides to agree to meet, first behind closed doors and thereby also to agree on the manner by which to bring the two sides closer together and to move on and do what is best for the Statia people.

The components of the beam in the eye of the other side are well known to both of them as well as the public as such has been well publicized by the local and outside media. And both parties know that part of what the other one has criticized about it is true or more or less so and part also understandable considering their past mutual history.

In one (or, if necessary, more) properly organized and moderated meeting(s) each of the parties should be given proper attention to what the other side has brought forward regarding the elements of what it considers as the beam in the other’s eye. They then can explain and defend themselves but should also acknowledge the parts where they have not acted to the best of their ability and conscience and they therefore can do better, regardless of how difficult such acknowledgement may be and sometimes indeed is.

The simple acknowledgement of “our sides have made mistakes” will not be enough. The mistakes should be called and discussed by name, particularly as some of these mistakes (on both sides) may have a long history and be running deep and touching (rightly or wrongly held) feelings, not only among the leaders involved but also under substantial segments of their respective communities.

For every now and then it is good and cleansing to remember the wounds which in times have been caused by one to another in our Kingdom of the Netherlands, symptoms of which still can arise and cause new wounds at most unexpected moments and having serious consequences, of which even I personally can speak about, although, perhaps not with as much deep bitterness as such may be the case with others.

And those meetings should be followed by the two sides coming together to the public in the most respectable manner in order to move on.

Properly executed such procedure should and hopefully will lead to better mutual understanding, less drama and more cooperation between the two sides in the best interest of the Statia people and with that of our Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Sint Maarten, March 22, 2018

Elco Rosario