PHILIPSBURG--National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) William Marlin is concerned that the Dutch government, via the ENNIA loans being made available, may be secretly hatching a plan to eventually take over the prime Mullet Bay property in St. Maarten.
He shared his concerns during a meeting of Parliament’s Central Committee on the ENNIA situation on Wednesday.
“As the business people that they [the Dutch – Ed.] are, it would not surprise me that in the end, Mullet Bay may be secretly discussed because … if we push St. Maarten in a position where they can’t pay, then they can say, ‘Okay, we forgive you of part of the debt or a chunk of the debt and Mullet Bay is ours. We will take Mullet Bay and we will develop Mullet Bay and the Dutch will have a nice little Riviera right here in St. Maarten that was lying undeveloped and untouched for the past 28 years now since Hurricane Luis passed through here and Mullet Bay was declared closed,” Marlin said during the meeting.
“We heard about the golden key that was going to open Mullet Bay. We heard about all kinds of proposals with Mullet Bay. I have been in discussions where plans were laid out for Mullet Bay, but were never realised and … we can see the reason why, but I have that concern that that can be one of the things that the Dutch government may be looking at.”
Marlin said Mullet Bay is what he believes is the most prime piece of property in the Eastern Caribbean, hence why the Dutch might want to get their hands on it. “My concern is that Mullet Bay is the most precious property in the Eastern Caribbean … I am sure every island will tell you well this bay is better and this looks nicer and better, but the package Mullet Bay is number one in the Caribbean; and for those of us who were around back then in the ‘70s, The Miami Herald used to run a full-page ad every Saturday on why [people should] come to St. Maarten, because Mullet Bay is in St. Maarten; and why go to Mullet Bay, because Mullet Bay is in St. Maarten ...”
He alluded to a meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) that he had attended in Cuba while he was Prime Minister, and also in attendance at that meeting were the prime ministers of the Netherlands, as well as of Curaçao and Aruba. Marlin said after the main meeting, he learnt that the Netherlands prime minister had taken a chartered flight with a complete delegation of Dutch business people to discuss opportunities with Cuba, as the latter had been opening to the rest of the world. No one from the Dutch Caribbean was included in those discussions.
“It would not pass me that this is another business opportunity [obtaining Mullet Bay] that they [the Dutch] may see and very well hold up the flag to bail us out, but in the back, they are holding the little sword that will cut down Mullet Bay from under us and then we see our little Riviera drift off to Europe right under our eyes,” Marlin said.