The Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson visited the Military Academy Marine Kazerne Suffisant today, Tuesday, July 6th, in Curaçao. Minister Richardson was welcomed by Mr. Frank Boots - Commander of the Navy in the Caribbean who doubles as the Director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard at the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Steven Baan - Commanding Officer of Barracks and Mr. Arno van der Meer - Head of Training and Education. A presentation was given of the educational structure cadets undergo to either prepare for a military career or the work force.
Both Aruba and Curaçao are outfitted with military bases and even their own militia. Considering Sint Maarten is the most prone to catastrophic experiences such as hurricanes, it is deemed eminent that Sint Maarten begin to take steps toward establishing its own military base, complete with an academy that prepares local men and woman to serve on this level of armed forces.
Minister Richardson stated, “For several years, I have been interested in seeing a military academy established on Sint Maarten, as I believe an institution where discipline is embodied in its structure, is vastly needed. I am hopeful that these opportunities will be equally afforded to young adults on Sint Maarten in the near future. I am also grateful that the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Honorable Silveria Jacobs is also a proponent of such an initiative. In the interim, possibilities are being explored for Sint Maarten youth to join the programs in Curaçao.”
The Juvenile Detention Center was another significant visit during the second day of Minister Richardson’s work visit. She was welcomed by the Director Ms. Charente Pinedo-Alberto and her support staff. Minister Richardson discussed matters related to the Miss. Lalie Youth Detention Center on Sint Maarten. There was much willingness for the start of a working relationship.
Minister Richardson also visited the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and Naval base and concluded the day with a visit to the Customs Department. She was greeted by the Interim Director – Mrs. Soraya Pols-Strick and her Management Team (Mr. Leslie Fredema, Mr. Randall Lourens, and Mr. Luthsel Lourens).