Edito (English version) : population of Saint-Martin, to my readers and friends …

Par F.L 30 Oct 2015 17:28

Edito (English version) :  population of Saint-Martin, to my readers and friends …

After a necessary few days to analyze an exceptional situation, I wish today to express my appreciation and gratitude for the Prefect Anne Laubies’ excellent crisis management following the recent events that took place here in Saint-Martin.

This gratitude also goes out to the Commander of the Gendarmerie who worked with great flexibility and understanding on a crisis basis with the government services. The great responsibility that these government services carried out during these hours of protest lives up to a will to understand our territorial differences. It is important to understand the meaning and scope of all this.

As you know, I am not prone to giving this type of opinion and support, but we need to remember how poorly other prefects had managed these types of explosive circumstances in the past and how disastrous some of the consequences turned out to be. People strongly expressed their anger, not only to protest against the P.L.U. project but also to show how fed up they are with both the economic and social conditions as well as security and education. The national framework that is being used to understand situations is often light years removed from reality. Listening to the grievances would have been enough to make this very clear. The crisis that has been prevented would have wiped out all possibilities of reaching a mutually beneficial solution, as it is a very complex issue.

Also, congratulations to the team, and above all the skills of the UD Group and Daniel Gibbs, its leader, for the management of the PLU issue. While still not in synch with the ideas of the Union pour la Démocratie, I recognize that their work takes a long-term approach while taking into account – as much as can be – people’s differences without riding on the waves of intolerance and division. I really want to stress this point. The fact of the matter is that the UD Group has always declared the PLU project as unsuitable for Saint-Martin.

I would also like to explain what I said regarding how the work performed by some people was “claimed” by “others” (October 22, 2015 article). I am not accustomed to expressing ideas on politics, and all what I say should not be taken at face value. This is due to my love of Saint-Martin. For our fellow citizens, I only want to shed light on how thoughtless some people can be during crises that get out of hand. This is unacceptable and dangerous, in my opinion.

Finally, the Collectivité managed rather well this “critical” situation and acted brilliantly as a mediator. The goal consisted of convincing the “Collectif Saint-Martin Wake Up” group that the COM (Collectivité of Saint-Martin) was listening, while making the group accountable by signing an agreement to lift roadblocks. Let’s stress the fact that this situation is quite unique. This trial of strength has broader scope than we can imagine. The misunderstanding between our Collectivité and the Community councils became finally exposed. These Community councils were one of the issues raised by most political parties during the 2012 territorial election campaign as their role was to ensure that proximity management policy is locally considered and implemented.

This sensitive event made obvious the presence of a proud and determined people with a strong soul, and a loud, energetic voice. Unfortunately I might not be able to understand everything when it comes to this exceptional place, even though I have been trying to do so. However, I know that the learning experience that Saint-Martin gives to every inhabitant, including myself, is precious. Leaving aside any demagogueries, we know how much humility, empathy and tolerance are needed to be able to discern right from wrong, how much passion, courage and conviction are needed to not sink into despair, how much time is needed to immerse oneself deeply into the extraordinary space of this exceptional island that many of our fellow citizens envy.

My position is quite clear. We should not get involved in useless talks as they would only serve those who want to destroy, divide and conquer. We have less than two years to choose on whose side we’ll be able to find again meaning to our convictions, desires, and needs; two years to understand who does what, for whom, and how. What you observe is also a reflection of reality if you take the time to decipher the reality of this territory. It is not my intention to influence your choice. I am not Daniel Gibbs’ spokesperson, I am not even a member of his party, I am only expressing my opinion, without hypocrisy, as it is.

While sometimes caustic, often misunderstood, I have never been influenced by people who were trying to use me. Moreover, it would be far from being true for anybody, to believe, even for a moment, that I support one or another idea, or one or another person. Those who know me well know that I am a free spirit, an unpredictable man because I am open-minded and seek to understand things. I can support an idea and make it my hobbyhorse but fight it later on, if, in the meantime, I had the opportunity to freely discuss ideas with people.

True, I like to play, I scratch the surface and I learn from people’s efforts and thoughts. My convictions, that many of you share, are values that do actually exist, for better or worse. They do not ensure a bright future, nor do they represent the absolute light. However, we all are constantly learning. All efforts must be deciphered and used in order for our thoughts, actions, and ideas to be more accurate.

I am convinced that all of us together have grown a little more this week, even though many of you might not yet have perceived it. Let’s end with a sentence that I like to use every time self- evaluation is necessary: “If you love yourself, love your neighbor a little and we might be able to change all together.”

Florent Letuvée

Par F.L 30 Oct 2015 17:28

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