May 26, 2021 -After every hurricane by which the island was struck, no matter the devastation, we, the people that believe in St. Maarten, always show our resilience and bounce back. Yes, we do get help to assist initially but, as though it is instinct, we do rebuild our country and get our economy up and running in a relatively short time.
Perhaps we should consider the constant delays in receiving liquidity loans to be a blessing in disguise. Although many people are struggling, the country is still surviving. Perhaps it is because that is what we do and that is what we are made of.
The financial assistance that we have received thus far is an accumulation of loans that must be repaid. In fact, these loans become payable as per April 2022, unless the Netherlands decides to extend the payment arrangements. Be that as it may, we must bear in mind that we will have to generate the funds to repay our debts from within our economy. Maybe it is not a bad thing that we are forced to do with less. It should be seen as something we can learn from.
Our assertiveness may sometimes be perceived as bold, but it is actually a reflection of our strength which increases by the day. We are partners in the Dutch Kingdom. Equal partners, but not with equal equity, which confuses the conversation. But, whether we like it or not, that is the constitutional structure that is cemented in the Kingdom Charter. A Kingdom with partners that may require assistance from time to time, partners with different cultures, partners who sometimes do not speak the same language. But, we are partners that share a joint history, yet, our differences often present obstacles in our relationship. Despite all of this, we must be able to count on one another and that we are fair to each other.
Our country must be able to stand on its own. Our continuous proclamations of doom and gloom after 10-10-10 show that many of us do not truly believe in St. Maarten, but are merely here to benefit from the good ride as long as others are towing the vessel.
Our continuous efforts to belittle our own and to label them as corrupt and other sorts of degrading names show that the people of this country do not understand the true meaning of being a patriot. Yes, I admit that some have made mistakes, but a few rotten apples do not spoil the whole bunch.
If you do not believe that we can stand on our own in our own country and you are not willing to work towards standing on our own, then I truly believe that you do not belong here; born here or not. Every country has naysayers, those who preach doom and gloom, corrupt politicians, law enforcement officials, businessmen and women, and others. But, that should not stand in the way of remaining patriotic to the country we call home. If that is not St. Maarten then I’m sure after reading the above you will draw your own conclusion.
Why do we continue to beg to be dependent while we know we have the ability to stand on our own? The recent presentation to parliament by the Chamber of Commerce revealed that after Hurricane Irma in September 2017, 1584 new businesses were established of which 641 were sole proprietors, a clear indication that we want to and are able to invest in our own country, thus building our economy.