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Income parliamentarians under attack again

PHILIPSBURG - State Secretary Raymond Knops is not done yet with attempts to address the high remuneration of members of parliament in St. Maarten. This appears from answers to questions from SP-MP Ronald van Raak that Knops sent to the Second...

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Dear Reader

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

Dr. Rhoda Arrindell's opinion piece on independence published today in our newsletter reminded us of that quote.

When we look around the Caribbean and see the effects of the situation in Venezuela having an impact on our islands, we are reminded of how fickle and fragile freedom is and how fast things can change.

Venezuela was once a booming country with a thriving economy that shared its wealth with other Caribbean countries via tourism and oil-sponsored programs. Now instead of tourists, the Caribbean islands, especially the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, are being overwhelmed with refugees fleeing the economic crisis-strickened country. How quickly the tide can turn against a whole country.

The same for Inselair. At one point the biggest airline in the Caribbean. It too grew and flew high with the Venezuelan economy. Now the demise of this airline company will forever be linked with Venezuela as the country's defaulting on payments to the once ambitious airline company inevitably led to its financial problems and eventual bankruptcy. A bankruptcy that was finally declared yesterday in a court in Curacao.

There are lessons to be learnt here. However, in order for us to continue to enjoy our freedom, we must forever be vigilant and cognizant of how quickly things can change. Curacao is currently facing a dramatic decline in its cash reserves. St. Maarten would do well to keep a sharp eye on these developments as well. A friend posted on Facebook the other day: "We are so brokes, we can't even pay attention."

With that we leave you with yet another quote inspired by Dr. Rhoda Arrindell piece on independence and freedom taken from W. Somerset Maugham: “ If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too .”

Unpaid advice to our members of Parliament: Pay attention ! Our freedom may be at stake.

In the meantime, do enjoy reading our newsletter.

PS: For a taste of the Caribbean, visit the latest addition to the list of restaurants in Simpson Bay: NICK'S CAFE. Open for Local Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Mondays to Saturday; but closed on Sundays. Visit Nick's Cafe Facebook Page online at


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### Feature News
Knops puts Van Raak at ease about parliament building

PHILIPSBURG - There is no proposal at the parliament in St. Maarten to use money earmarked for the reconstruction after Hurricane Irma for "a new expensive parliament, a futuristic project for a salt-crystal building of $145 million," State...

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The true value of our parliamentarians

By Hilbert Haar ~ It is not for the first time that the bloated remuneration of parliamentarians in St. Maarten has drawn the attention from politicians in the Netherlands. The issue is not new, because shortly after St. Maarten assumed the status...

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'In the context of future liquidity support'

Reports coming out of Holland indicate that the Dutch government is prepared to stop the liquidity support for the St. Maarten government if the members of Parliament do not give up their exorbitant salaries. The authorities in Holland are...

Read more Top Stories
Insel Air is down and out; declared bankrupt today

WILLEMSTAD - The Common Court of Justice declared Insel Air bankrupt on Tuesday morning. All efforts to save the troubled airline have failed. Even before the court declared the company bankrupt, it announced in a Facebook message that it had...

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INSELAIR - once the biggest airline in the Caribbean

Fate of Inselair's future in the hands of a judge ~ WILLEMSTAD/PHILIPSBURG - Tuesday, February 26, 2019, is the day for Inselair. Once the biggest airline in the Caribbean, it is certain that the judge in the bankruptcy protection case of...

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Our Edible Bouquets and Fruit Arrangements can be ordered online at Minimum order budget is $50 US Dollars + $15 delivery fee + 5% creditcard surcharge. We also accept Cash, Debitcard & Maestro.

Read more Sponsored Advertisements Judicial News
Court permits prosecution of Theo Heyliger in LARIMAR case

PHILIPSBURG - Communication's Officer of the of the Anti-Corruption Taskforce TBO, Roderick Gouverneur, informed that today the court has granted the Prosecutor's Office permission in order to prosecute Theo Heyliger in the...

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Judge extends pre-trial detention for MP Theo Heyliger

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The pre-trial detention of Member of Parliament and leader of the United Democrats, Theo Heyliger has been extended to eight days. Mr. Heyliger, who was arrested on Tuesday morning at his home in Guana Bay by members of ...

Read more - Insurance Corner
Insurance Insights

Read the answers to questions on key topics regarding the insurance business in our Insurance Corner where you can improve your insight in insurances.

Read more Opinions
Independence and the Price of Freedom

By Dr. Rhoda Arrindell ~ Just the other day, I asked some folks in a gathering if they were happy with the way things are taking place on our island, and, like me, they are not happy. When I asked if what they intended to do about it, the response...

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True colors

By Hilbert Haar ~ This morning the political life of Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson hangs in the balance. There are two motions of no confidence on the table and the meeting where these...

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An interesting move

By Hilbert Haar ~ Not for the first time, the Progress Committee - the club that monitors how St. Maarten is doing with the execution of Plans of Approach for the police force and the prison - has sounded the alarm over the situation at both the...

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A party for the happy few

By Hilbert Haar ~ St. Maarten's parliamentarians do not have a strong record when it comes to appreciating the contents of critical reports about the functioning of the government or about the dire straits the country finds itself in after...

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A Carnival News
SCDF, Captain Dino Rib Shack hosting Kaiso/Roadmarch

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) in collaboration with Captain's Rib Shack Local Food and BBQ, will host a Kaiso/Road March Karaoke Competition as one of the many pre-Carnival 2019/Carnival 50...

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Carnival booth holders urged to adhere to March 1 deadline

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Selected booth holders for Carnival 2019 were reminded on Sunday that the full payment for the booths they've been allotted is due on or before March 1, 2019. The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF)...

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For 2019, Carnival's Golden Jubilee here in St. Maarten, Coca-Cola has come up with a "WIN-WIN-WIN" innovation in which the consumer instantly gets rewarded. As part of the Coca-Cola worldwide Sustainability program, CC1 St. Maarten will reward...

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Beres Hammond and Popcaan to headline One Love Reggae

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is hosting five international level concerts for Carnival 2019. Of the five, the foundation admits that the One Love Reggae Concert holds a special place in the...

Read more Nature News
St. Maarten's Coral Reefs Are Dying Due to Disease

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - After the Nature Foundation St Maarten recently established the presence of 'Tissue Loss Disease' on several local coral reefs, the Foundation was able to establish through further investigation that in many locations...

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Nature Foundation Records Harmful Algal Bloom in Lagoon

COLE BAY, Sint Maarten - The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation over the past week has been monitoring the spread and extent of a Harmful Algal Bloom currently ongoing in the Cole Bay Corner section of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

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Get Free Native Plants for Your Backyard at Amuseum...

ST. MARTIN (FRENCH QUARTER) -Anyone looking to add some green to their yard or neighborhood can get free plants at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. The free plant stand is located just in front of the Amuseum and is stocked...

Read more Government News
Response to Van Raak and Bosman on Prison

PHILIPSBURG:---The recent publication of an article regarding the current state of the detention facility in which they referenced two Members of Parliament in the Netherlands requires clarification. It is unfortunate but expected, as this seems...

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TEATT Inspectorate steps up controls

PHILIPSBURG - Five fuel stations on St. Maarten were controlled to ensure proper calibration of fuel pumps by the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication TEATT as part of a routine control last week. ...

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Housing Development Foundation receives partial payment...

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) -The Government of Sint Maarten, through the Ministry of VROMI, has made some headway into clearing up some of the outstanding subsidy money due to the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF). On Friday,...

Read more Local News
Priority remains the rebuilding of schools and homes

MARIGOT-The Collectivite of French St. Maarten is forging ahead with the reconstruction project. Vice President responsible of Urban Development Steven Patrick in comments on Monday said that even though it may seem that nothing is being done...

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BTP host meeting with PSS and United Postal Union

PHILIPSBURG - On February 22nd 2019, Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) and the vice-chair of the Supervisory Board of BTP conducted a meeting with the United Postal Union of the Americas, Portugal and Spain (UPAEP). UPAEP is an ...

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SMMC treats MPC students to free eye exams

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) treated 45 students from Milton Peters College (MPC) to free eye care exams during the past weeks. Officials of MPC approached SMMC with the request for free eye care exams for 45 MPC...

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USM receives positive evaluation in Business

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The University of St. Martin (USM) received a positive evaluation of its accredited programme in Business last Friday, when Dr. Reginald Clarke of the Business and Technology Education Council (United Kingdom) made...

Read more Police News
Boardwalk Armed Robbery leaves two with minor injuries

PHILIPSBURG - The Special Unit Robbery Detectives are presently investigating the armed robbery of a couple which took place on the Boardwalk on Friday February 22 nd at approximately 10.30 p.m. According to the report the couple identified with...

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Police detain two in attempted armed robbery investigation

DAWN BEACH - The Special Robbery Unit Detectives are investigating an attempted armed robbery of a male victim which took place on February 25 th at approximately 10.00 p.m. on the Oyster Bay road close to Princess Heights.

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Minister De Weever comments on school violence and bullying

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Nearly one-in-three boys and girls have been bullied at least once at school over the last month, and a similar proportion have been affected by physical violence, according to a United Nations Educational, Scientific ...

Read more Regatta News
Grand Opening of Regatta Village marks start of countdown

SIMPSON BAY - Boats are arriving, teams gathering, serious sailing and race tactics discussed and evening plans for serious fun prepared as the countdown to the start of the 39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta continues with the Grand Opening of...

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STB opens booth at Regatta Village serving as info mecca

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) - The Regatta Village for the 39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has officially opened and is currently welcoming sailors and visitors all over the world. The Grand Opening of the Regatta Village sets the precedent...

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Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard is ready for Regatta 39th

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is a great event known for its world class sailing and parties. The organization works with a great number of authorities to ensure the safety on the water and on shore. One of the...

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DCOMM airs TV special on the Regatta, Posted on Gov Site

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - On Tuesday, February 26th, the Department of Communication (DCOMM) will air a special on Cable TV 115 at 6:30pm of one of St. Maarten's main Tourism activities and attractions-the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The...

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Legendary Performance of The Jacksons at Heineken Regatta

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for world-class racing and attracting some of the world's top musical acts for their legendary parties. This year is no different. Motown royalty, The Jacksons - Jackie,...

Read more Dutch Caribbean News
Divi Divi Air reacts to InselAir's social media publication

WILLEMSTAD - In a reaction to InselAir’s publication on social media, the local airline Divi Divi Airs says that they have taken note that InselAir has made a publication in which they have announced to have ceased their operations.

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Cargo ship Midnight Stone with humanitarian aid turned back

WILLEMSTAD - Venezuelan authorities turned back the cargo ship Midnight Stone filled with humanitarian aid, goods and foods when it sailed from Curacao via Bonaire to Venezuela this past weekend. Another cargo ship is said to be in the port of...

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Demonstrators must resume work; government wins court case

WILLEMSTAD - All civil servants who were on strike last week must return to work immediately. This is according to a ruling of the Court of First Instance. The unions had to call their members via radio, television or social media to resume work ...

Read more Finance News
Adjusting ATM machines to prevent risk of destruction

WILLEMSTAD - The Curacao Banking Association, CBA, is going to make adjustments to ATM machines to prevent the risk of destruction for the purpose of stealing cash. This is according to chairman Leo Rigaud.

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CBCS Executive Directors took the oath before the Governor

PHILIPSBURG - On February 20, 2019, Mrs. Leila Matroos-Lasten and Mr. José Jardim were sworn in as Executive Directors of the Centrale Bank (CBCS) as they took the oath of office before the Governor of Sint Maarten, Drs. Eugene Holiday.

Read more BES-Islands News
Two-day Training Held for Candidates Island Council

Kralendijk- In the run-up to the March 20, 2019 elections, a two-day training was held for candidate members of political parties on Bonaire. The Public Entity Bonaire organized the training in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior...

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'SanD's Guaranteed Fund' Wants to Boost Commercial Project

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- Local entrepreneur Antoinette Schmidt hopes to realize a considerable commercial project near the FDR Airport. Schmidt hopes to generate the necessary funding for the realization of the project through a so-called...

Read more Weather
Weather Forecast: Tuesday to Thursday

DATE ISSUED: Monday, February 25, 2019 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Tuesday evening (18:00 LST) February 26, 2019 ...A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR ST. MAARTEN UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE... Tonight through Tuesday evening: Partly...

Read more Business News
BZSE Attorneys at Law/Tax lawyers expands with new attorney

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - BZSE, the largest law firm in St. Maarten, expanded its team of Attorneys with a new member. Jeroen Vlasblom was admitted to the bar of St. Maarten on February 22 nd, 2019. BZSE already had 9 attorneys in St. Maarten and ...

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A.M. Best Upgrades NAGICO's Issuer Credit Rating

NAGICO's leadership in catastrophe claims management affirmed as voted #1 insurance company for the 12th year in a row in St. Maarten Philipsburg, Sint Maarten - February 7, 2019 - NAGICO Insurances, a diversified insurance group serving 21...

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NAGICO launches the Hurricane Xtra Policy

PHILIPSBURG -- NAGICO Insurances unveiled a new insurance product called the NAGICO Hurricane Xtra Policy. It's designed as a supplemental coverage to insure uncovered expenses that may arise following a hurricane as ...

Read more Billboard Notices
Peace and Conflict Resolution through Community Mobilization

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Peace and conflict Prevention/Resolution are the main focus in February for Rotarians during the course of the Rotary yea...

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Lasana Sekou’s new poetry book published

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Hurricane "travails experienced by the St. Martin community" is how poems in Lasana Sekou's new book, Hurricane Protocol, are described in the Italian literary journal Il Tolomeo.

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Review LuminAID Packlite Max, a Solar Powered Phone Charger

ST. JOHN'S ESTATE - The Wizards, specializing in computer repairs and onsite services, is now the official reseller for an environmentally-friendly product that has a very unusual feature: A solar powered LED lantern that is a phone charger as...

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Detention Theo Heyliger extended for 8 days. Is that really necessary?
I don't know - Regional News
Opposition party wins general election in BVI

CMC - The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) led by Andrew A Fahie, won the general elections in the BVI after gaining eight of the 13 seats in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly, according to the preliminary figures released here.

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French investors explore opportunities for medivac services

A group of investors from Europe and the French Caribbean have been exploring the possibility of providing medical evacuation services as well as private jet services to the English speaking Caribbean.

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Guyana private sector group warns of political uncertainty

CMC - The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) is warning that the ongoing political situation in Guyana could result in further decline in economic activity and "does not bode well for investors' confidence".

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Guyana private sector group warns of political uncertainty

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Barbados PM wants greater movement towards CSME

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Buying medicine online unreliable and dangerous

It is easy to buy medicines, including addictive ones, via internet but consumers should be aware there are often no quality controls on what they are getting, the Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond said on Tuesday. The organisation...

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ABN Amro algorithm identifies signs of human trafficking

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Dutch seize 90,000 bottles of vodka destined for North Korea

Some 90,000 bottles of vodka found in a container on a Chinese freight ship were destined for North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and his army chiefs, the AD said on Tuesday. The find was made last Thursday and on Friday the Dutch foreign affairs...

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Council was right to ban beard and cut claimant's welfare

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SXM Daily News - 25 Feb 2019
SXM Daily News Feb 25, 2019

SXM Daily News Feb 25, 2019

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