Opinion: Caribbean passport

POSTED: 11/28/13 12:26 PM

Andre Bosman is at it again, now with a proposal to introduce Caribbean passports for citizens in St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao. A dark blue for Curacao, a light blue one for Aruba and probably an UP-green one for St. Maarten. How crazy is that?

Most parliamentarians in the Netherlands see nothing in the idea, and neither does Kingdom Relations Minister Plasterk. Bosman apparently has a short memory, or he just happens to be equipped with very limited historical awareness.

Remember the Second World War and the Jewish Star? Starting May 3, 1942, the Germans obliged all Jews over the age of six in the Netherlands to wear this star on their clothing. Ironically, a Jewish textile factory in Enschede produced the stars during the war – almost 540,000 of them.

Such a distinction between citizens is not done – it never was, and it never will be, but Bosman seems to have different ideas about this.

If passports with a different color would identify the citizens of the islands, why not throw in a passport for the good people of Friesland and Limburg? Why not oblige all members of the VVD to always wear a blue tie?

On the other hand, we should not forget that the grassroots movement in St. Maarten has introduced its cultural ID-card. It’s a glaring contrast, because this initiative of Leopold James is obviously of a totally different character. The cultural ID-card is designed as a true badge of honor, a token of belonging and not as an instrument to discriminate.

Bosman ought to read up on his history and stick his initiative where it belongs. If we want a St. Maarten passport, we’ll take that decision in Philipsburg. For now the Dutch red book will have to do.

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