The Haitian Diaspora Federation of The Netherlands and Subchapters

With Population of 17.13 million (2017), GDP of US$914 billion (2019), and per capita  US$55,041 (2018), The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country in Western Europe, along the North Sea coast. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with the Caribbean Netherlands Aruba, St Maarten, Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, they form the constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.  Amsterdam is the country’s most populous city and nominal capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed ‘the world’s legal capital. 

Noted history of The Netherlands includes 1) 800 BC Mesolithic Maglemosian-like tribes;  2) The Frankish Carolingian empire modeled itself after the Roman Empire and controlled much of Western Europe;  3) migration of Germanic tribes (Immigrants); 4) Migration Period Saxons the closely related Angles, Jutes and Frisii settled the coastal land, many moved on to England and came to be known as Anglo-Saxons (Immigrants), 5) The Holy Roman Empire ruled much of the Low Countries in the 10th and 11th century; 6) 1384 to 1581,The fleets of the County of Holland defeated the fleets of the Hanseatic League several times. Amsterdam grew and in the 15th century became the primary trading port in Europe for grain from the Baltic region Amsterdam distributed grain to the major cities of Belgium, Northern France and England; 7) On 4 November 1576, Spanish tercios seized Antwerp;  8) In 1581, the northern provinces adopted the Act of Abjuration;  9) 1624–1662 and 1664–1667, The Dutch settlement began in the Americas  with the founding of New Amsterdam on the southern part of Manhattan (North America) in 1614, Dutch colonies in along the many rivers in the fertile Guyana plains and Colony of Surinam (South America), and Cape Colony in 1652 (In South Africa),  Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), and Dejima (Japan); 10)With the armed support of revolutionary France, Dutch republicans proclaimed the Batavian Republic, modelled after the French Republic and rendering the Netherlands a unitary state on 19 January 1795; 11) in 1815, Frederick raised this United Netherlands to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself as King William I; 12) The Netherlands has been a constitutional monarchy since 1815; 13) In 2017, The Economist ranked the Netherlands as the 11th most democratic country in the world; 14) The monarch is the head of state, the executive power is formed by the Council of Ministers, the deliberative organ of the Dutch cabinet and the head of government is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has a developed economy and has been playing a special role in the European economy for many centuries. Since the 16th century, shipping, fishing, mechanized agriculture, trade, food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, electrical machinery, and banking have been leading sectors of the Dutch economy. The Netherlands has a high level of economic freedom. The Netherlands is one of the top countries in the Global Enabling Trade Report (2nd in 2016), and was ranked the fifth most competitive economy in the world by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development in 2017 n addition, the country was ranked the second most innovative nation in the world in the 2018 Global Innovation Index.The kingdom of Netherlands’s territories of Aruba, St Maarten, and Curaçao host a large number of Haitians. For geopolitical reasons, these islands’ sub-federations, except for Sint Marteen, are annexed to The Haitian Diaspora Federation of the Netherlands. 

Combined with employment and educational opportunities, the foregoing attributes attract Haitian migration to the Kingdom of Netherland.  Although Haitian expatriates in the Netherland  list a number of Haitians in Holland,  the exact number is not known. However, large concentrations of Haitian migrate to the kingdom territories of Aruba, St Maarten, and Curaçao.The island of St Martin is divided (60/40) and occupied by France — French St Martin — and the Kingdom of the Netherlands — English Sint Maarten. Thus, the St Martin subchapter shall include haitians in both France and Holland’s territories.

Statistics are scarce, but, like in France and territories, Haitian migration to the Kingdom of Netherlands and territories seems to face less challenges —  migration,  integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. However, less is a relative word.  That prompts observers to encourage  diaspora’s collective engagement.  In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard.  There is one Haitian Embassy in Amsterdam and one consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands, but their involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid  There is no reported Haitian-owned business, Haitian church or nor Haitian nonprofit organization, Thus, linkage is difficult but achievable.

In summary, there are some underutilized resources available in the Haitian community of Netherlands and territories   However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal  outcome and criticisms to overcome.  Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.

With an area of 69 sq. miles,  population of 105,264 (2017), GDP: $2.58 billion USD (2011), and per capita of $37,500 (2017), Aruba is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea, located about 620 miles  west of the main part of the Lesser Antilles and 18 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean. Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten; the citizens of these countries are all Dutch nationals. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.

Noted Aruba history includes 1) Arawak Caquetío Amerindians migrated from South America about 1000 AD;  2) Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda claimed the island for Spain in 1499; 3) The Netherlands seized Aruba from Spain in 1636 in the course of the Thirty Years’ War; 4) During the Napoleonic Wars the British Empire took control of the island, occupying it between 1806 and 1816; 5) island is ceded back to Dutch as per the terms of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814; 6) The first oil refinery in Aruba was built in 1928 by Royal Dutch Shell; 7) In 1940, during World War II, the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany, but the oil facilities in Aruba came under the administration of the Dutch government-in-exile in London; 8) in August 1947, Aruba presented its first Staatsreglement (constitution) for Aruba’s status aparte as an autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, prompted by the efforts of Henny Eman, a noted Aruban politician;  9) By 1954, the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established, providing a framework for relations between Aruba and the rest of the Kingdom. 

Today, Aruba, a noted country of Immigrants,  is a prosperous island whose economy is fueled by Tourism, financial, hospitality, business, petroleum refinery and bunkering —Valero Coastal Oil — service industries, and remittances.  Like most of the Islands, Aruba heavily relies on import of its commodities, including food.  This, of course, is a fertile ground for Haiti export.   

Employment opportunities added, the foregoing attributes also make Aruba a fertile ground for Haitian Migration. Little statistics are available,  but  In the early 2000’s, the Joshua project reports that 1,100 Haitians live in Aruba. With family reunification and Haiti’s forced migration the past 20 years, especially after the 2010 earthquake, the number is reported to be upward 20,000. However, the exact number is not known, underlying a census.  

Although reported to be less, like most in most countries, the integration of people of Haitian descent in Aruba remains fluid until today, a daunting situation marred by prejudice, and a lack of cohesive immigration policies to regulate the status of many who entered the country “illegally” decades ago. As a result the face constant challenges — migration,  integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. Observers fault the failure of  the Haitian  diaspora’s collective engagement. However, iIn a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve as a springboard.  As a beginning to the solution, Haitian Government recently opened Consulate offices in Oranjestad Aruba, but its involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid.  There are No reported Haitian diaspora-owned  businesses, Church or Nonprofit organizations. Thus, linkage is difficult but achievable.

In summary, there are some resources available in the Haitian community of Aruba.  However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal  outcome and criticisms to overcome.  Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.

With an Area of 171.43 sq. miles, With an a population of 161,014 (2017), Area of 171.43 sq. miles, GDP of $5.6 billion (2012) and per capita of $15,000 (2004), Curacao is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km north of the Venezuelan coast. Together with Aruba and Bonaire it forms the ABC islands. Collectively, Curaçao and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean.  Curaçao, as well as the rest of the ABC islands and also Trinidad and Tobago, lies on the continental shelf of South America. It is a thin island with a generally hilly topography; the highest point is the Mount Christoffelberg, The coastlines bays, inlets and hot springs offer an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal, or seawater used in hydrotherapy and mesotherapy, making this island one of many balneoclimateric areas in the region. Off the south-east coast lies the small, flat island of Klein Curaçao. A constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

Curacao has limited natural resources, poor soil, inadequate water supplies, and budgetary problems, complicated by weak revenue and spending outcomes, limited transparency, inefficient public administration, a long-lasting absence of the central bank president, weaknesses in financial supervision, and cases of corruption, tax fraud, and money laundering. 

Curacao’s history includes 1) inhabited by indigenous Indios Curaçaos; 2) discovered  Alonso de Ojeda in 1499; 3) The Spaniards enslaved most of the Arawak for forced labour but paid little attention to the island itself; 4) In 1634, the fleet of Dutch West India Company under Admiral Johann van Walbeeck invaded the island and  Dutch colonists started to occupy the island;  5) From 1662 the Dutch West India Company made Curaçao a centre for the Atlantic slave trade, often bringing slaves from West Africa here for sale elsewhere in the Caribbean and on the mainland of South America; 6)  Sephardic Jews with ancestors from the Iberian Peninsula settled with the Dutch and in then-Dutch Brazil and have had a significant influence on the culture and economy of the island; 7 ) unsuccessful 1672-78, Franco-Dutch War of Count Jean II d’Estrées;  In 1795, a major slave revolt took place under the leaders Tula Rigaud, Louis Mercier, Bastian Karpata, and Pedro Wakao. Up to 4,000 slaves on the northwest section of the island revolted, After a month, the slave owners suppressed the revolt;  8) During the 18th and 19th centuries, the British attacked the island several times, most notably in 1800, 1804, and the period from 1807 to 1815; 9) stable Dutch rule returned in 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic wars, when the island was incorporated into the colony of Curaçao and Dependencies; 10) In the early 19th century, Portuguese and Lebanese migrated to Curaçao, attracted by the business opportunities;   11) the Dutch abolished slavery in 1863, bringing a change in the economy with the shift to wage labor;  12) in 1914,  economic fortunes of the island were dramatically altered with the discovery of  oil was discovered in the Venezuelan Maracaibo Basin town of Mene Grande, which ensured a constant supply of crude oil to the refineries in Aruba and Curaçao; 13) In 1929 Curaçao was attacked by Venezuelan rebel commander Rafael Simón Urbina, who kidnapped the governor Leonardus Albertus Fruytier

As a result of this incident the Dutch increased their military presence on the island; 14) in 1954 Curaçao was joined with the other Dutch colonies in the Caribbean into the Netherlands Antilles; 15) outbreak of rioting in 1969; 16}  A non-binding referendum on this plan took place in Curaçao on 15 May 2009, in which 52% of the voters supported these plans The dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles came into effect on 10 October 2010;  17) Curaçao became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the Kingdom retaining responsibility for defence and foreign policy. The kingdom is also to oversee the island’s finances under a debt-relief arrangement agreed between the two. 18) Although Curaçao is autonomous, the Netherlands has interfered when necessary to ensure that parliamentary elections were held and to assist in finalizing an accurate budget; 19) In July 2017, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath stated that he wants the island to take full responsibility, but asked for more cooperation and assistance from the Netherlands with suggestions for more innovative approaches to help Curaçao succe. 

Curacao’s economy is fueled by Tourism, petroleum refining and bunkering, offshore finance.  Although its GDP grew only slightly during the past decade, Curacao enjoys a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared to other countries in the region. Like most of the Islands, Curacao heavily relies on import of its commodities, including food. This is a fertile ground for Haiti export.   

Combined with Employment opportunities, the foregoing attributes also make curacao a fertile ground for Haitian Migration. Haitian migration to Curacao started in the 1960’s with  the tourism boom. With family reunification and Haiti’s forced migration the past 50 years, especially after the 2010 earthquake, the number is reported to be upward 20,000. However, the exact number is not known, underlying the need for a census.  

 Although reported to be less, like most in most countries, the integration of people of Haitian descent in Curacao remains fluid until today, a daunting situation marred by prejudice, and a lack of cohesive immigration policies to regulate the status of many who entered the country “illegally” decades ago. As a result they constant challenges — migration,  integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. Observers fault the failure of  the Haitian  diaspora’s collective engagement. 

However, iIn a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve as a springboard. The  , Haitian Government recently opened  the Consulate of Haiti in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, but its involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid.  There are No reported Haitian diaspora-owned  businesses, Church or Nonprofit organizations. Thus, linkage is difficult but achievable. 

In summary, there are some resources available in the Haitian community of Curacao and its motherland.  However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal  outcome and criticisms to overcome.  Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for results-oriented collective engagement.

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