Rene Zwart has announced that he will stop the website “Koninkrijksrelaties.nu” immediately. The site has been an excellent source of background information about what is happening behind the scene. He reported about those issues that otherwise would have never seen the daylight. Although the site published in Dutch, it had many readers throughout the whole kingdom.
His decision to stop is understandable, but we will miss his dedication to people of the Caribbean Netherlands. Below is his last message to his audience:
It was intended to announce today, that, in the future, the editorial board of Koninkrijksrelaties.Nu (i) will be been voluntarily supervised by a journalistic ombudsman with an equally impressive and impeccable state of service whose task would be to ensure that the reporting on the site meets all the fundamentals of the profession: critical, but factually unbiased. I hoped, that other media in the Caribbean parts of the kingdom would follow suit. However, this will not materialize.
I regularly tackled authorities, politicians, and entrepreneurs with a sharp pen, so I should not complain if I get roasted in public once. I do not care what others, except my family and friends and business relations, think about me. However, it is a different issue, if I am the reason that one of my clients, gets discredited, rightly or wrongly. The Executive Council of Bonaire is publicly accused of wanting to bribe me by hiring me to help them in drafting press releases and editing documents. The reasoning behind this is, that, in return, I would abuse the website Koninkrijksrelaties.Nu to please them with positive messages.
The reproach that I am corrupt doesn’t worry me, although, of course, I do not share that view. What touches me is, that a discussion has emerged that is detrimental to not only the Executive Board, but to the whole of Bonaire. This is not worth the pleasure I’m experiencing when making Koninkrijksrelaties.Nu.
Therefore, – and now I should say ‘ after ample deliberations ‘- I decided to terminate Koninkrijksrelaties.Nu with immediate effect. I have just informed The Executive Council of Bonaire to fully understand if it wants to reconsider future cooperation with me.
In its short existence (since May 2018) Koninkrijksrelaties.Nu has accumulated a large group of readers: 65,000 unique visitors. From the responses, I conclude that the site is considered a fast and reliable source of news.
One person will complain that I stop: my partner. Because now we can return to having normal holidays without worrying about the news. What I am going to do with the sea of free time ahead of me? Perhaps, and that is not meant to be a threat, write a book on politics and media in the Caribbean…
Finally: Now that I am not a journalist anymore, I no longer need to be neutral. I wish Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten a political/administrative the Hague, that is willing to help to remove the unjustifiable differences between the Dutch and the Caribbean part of the kingdom.