In a statement to Report’s US bureau, Rhoda Arrindell, a human rights activist, educator, and writer from Sint Maarten, who has long suffered from French colonialism, said that France’s use of their people as pawns is unacceptable.

Arrindell stated that all decisions concerning her people are made in Paris, and their independence has been taken away.

“Sint Maarten is a tropical island located in the northeastern Caribbean, divided between the Netherlands and France. As a defender of my people’s independence, I have been active for many years. We have gathered as a collective and are trying to defend our country’s rights abroad. The people living on the island are somewhat assimilated because they are under strong pressure from the French government,” she explained.

Despite the island’s diversified economy, Arrindell emphasized that as a Caribbean people, they live under the yoke of Europeans.

“All decisions about us are made in Paris. The education system, the quality and content of our education, the judicial system, the healthcare system, the military, and other areas are governed by Paris’ decisions,” she added.

The human rights activist sought help from Azerbaijan for her people’s independence. “Colonialism is injustice. The fact is that Sint Maarten is a colony. The fake colonial rule established in both parts of the island is not in the interest of the people of Sint Maarten, regardless of what politicians say. The use of our people as pawns is unacceptable,” she stressed.