Nos Ke Boneiru Bek (NKBB)) started as a one person initiative in 2010 in response to the constitutional changes and to fight against the violation of human rights. Since 2012, NKBB has been a foundation-based movement to protest against the Dutch government’s violation of Bonaireans democratic, self-determination and human-rights and its discriminatory process to place Bonaire on an unequal basis in the Dutch constitution. 

 

 James Finies

 

James Finies, the initiator of NKBB, is a born Bonairean with family roots going back to the Indians and the first slaves to arrive on the island. He has known poverty, growing up in a house without water, electricity and without a bed to sleep on or sanitary facilities. But, as with many families in those days (and still today), they made it work by growing vegetables, keeping goats and chickens and catching fish.

 

James was one of the first to attend higher education and went to study in the university on Curacao. Constantly homesick and not able to adjust to the system, he very soon returned to Bonaire to start working. James always loved soccer, his biggest passion, but was also very interested in righteousness and human rights.

 

When Bonaire decided for direct ties to the Netherlands, James became dissatisfied with the process and the undefined wording in the referendum and dominating statements from the Netherlands. 

 

As a father and a human being, he felt discriminated against in his basic rights as a Bonairean with his own identity, language, culture and government. In 2010, he lodged his first objection on behalf of his children and himself, based on the violation of his personal and human rights and sent it any official involved in the change process.

 

He also started to go deeper into the subject and researched what our rights as a small island fighting against one of the big developed countries are and what could be done.

 

 

The Netherlands - in violation of…

 

In James Finies opinion, the Netherlands are in violation of:

  • the right of nations to self-determination, a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a jus cogens rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms, stating that nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference ( 1941)

  • UN adopted Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which supports the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples in providing an inevitable legal linkage between self-determination and its goal of decolonization, it postulated a new international law-based right of freedom also in economic self-determination. Article 5 states: Immediate steps shall be taken in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or color, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.(1960)

  • United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 Article 73e of the United Nations Charter in Article 3" provides that "the inadequacy of political, economic, social and educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying the right to self-determination and independence. “(1960)

 

Protest

 

In November, 2014, James and a group of approximately 15 people started a protest in front of the Executive Council for 222 days to fight for a referendum to clarify the people’s wishes.

 

 

 

 

 

Clear Referendum

 

In the first of two referenda’s that took place in 2015, the population of Bonaire indicated with a large majority (over 65 percent) that they were not satisfied with the direct ties between the Netherlands and the island since 2010. More than 60% of the population voted.

 

The people have voiced their dissatisfaction about the Netherland’s priorities, new rules and regulations made by people who were sent to bring a Dutch system to the island, with no or little say by the people it concerns.

 

James, who has become a persona non grata concerning business on the island, is putting 100% of his energy into the goal of preserving Bonaire’s rights, speaking to the King, Governor, politicians, UN experts and others. 

 

 

UN Conference New York

 

During a June, 2016, visit to the UN during a week of solidarity to non-self-governing territories in NY, James and his consultant spoke with many experts, 9 countries and the chairman and vice chairman and they have been promised support in their process.

 

Since the constitutional changes in 2010, Bonaire has ceased to exist as a country (before it was part of the Netherlands Antilles) and has been 100% embedded within the Netherlands with unequal rights.

 

To be recognized as a non-self-governing territory by the UN, Bonaire has to be registered as a country, the status they have lost. This is vital to receive official aid from the UN, who can then start questioning the Netherlands in an official process, something NKBB is working on right now.

 

 

James’ effort is to give Bonaire, a small island, the chance to have a voice against a more developed, more powerful and more knowledgeable country. In his opinion Bonaire’s people have the right to be heard and have the right to self-govern, protect their identity, culture and history, something that becomes more difficult day by day and a duty of the Netherlands to provide without any strings attached.

 

As James stated, this movement is not meant against the Dutch, but if Bonaire does not start to fight for their most basic rights quickly , Bonaireans will be the minority on the island and there will be no way to protect their rights, visions and needs and Bonaire will lose its identity.

 

As of December, 2016, NKBB officially has the international support of COPPAL (The Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean). COPPAL is an international organization of political parties in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was created at the behest of the Institutional Revolutionary Party on 12 October 1979, and has 30 member countries. COPPAl is a forum of nationalist parties that prioritize sovereignty, while advancing a more just and egalitarian international order.

 

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