|Republic of Sint Cunera
Republiek van Sint Cunera
|Motto: The Light, The Ocean, The People
Het licht, de Oceaan, de Mensen
|Anthem: Hope to the People
Hoop aan de Mensen
File:Hino da Carta.ogg
Location of Sint Cunera (dark blue)
(and largest city)
|Recognised national languages|
|Ethnic groups (2017)|
|Government||Constitutional Presidential Republic|
|Legislature||Estates of Sint Cunera|
|-||Curaçao and Dependencies||November 20, 1815|
|-||Netherlands Antilles||15 December 1954|
|-||Independence||15 December 1959|
|-||Consitution Formed||5 April 1960|
353 sq mi
|-||2017 estimate||651,405 (31st in AIN)|
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
|-||Total||$11.87 billion (30th in AIN)|
|-||Per capita||$18,222 (27th in AIN)|
|HDI (2017)||0.807 (High) (26th in AIN in AIN)|
|Currency||Cunera Guilder (
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
|Date formats||dd-mm-yyyy, AD|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Calling code||+1 955|
Sint Cunera, officially the Republic of Sint Cunera (Dutch: Republiek van Sint Cunera) is an island country in the Caribbean between the islands of Puerto Rico and the French department of Guadaluope. It is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and consits of four main islands, namly Cunera Island, the largest and most populus island, Alberic Island, Lidwina Island and Rimbert Island. There are smaller, unihabited islands within the nation's control but only 4 are occupied.
With a population of 650,100, it is one of the largest nations in the Caribbean, and also one of the largest in terms of area. It also has one of the highest GDP's and HDI's in the region due to its industrialisation and development under the Dutch rule, which helped to accelerate it.
After first being sighted by the Spanish, it was then colonised by the Dutch West India Company in 1635. Then, after successive colonisation attempts by the Spanish, British and French, the island has been under Dutch rule from 1815 to 1959, when Sint Cunera became independent.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Foreign relations
- 6 Economy and infrastructure
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
The name 'Sint Cunera' comes from the name of patron saint of the Utrecht city Rhenen in the Netherlands, and patron saint against cattle and throat diseases. The first Dutch settlers of the island believed that the saint brought them good will on their voyage from the Netherlands, so decided to name the small new colony after them.
The island of Sint Cunera was first sighted by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the West Indies in 1543. But viewing from near Saba the island appeared mountainous, rocky and uninhabited. He had not, however, seen the Bay of Cunera, with its accessible coast and flat land suitable for a settlement. His sighting, however, meant that the Spanish deemed colonisation of the island a low priority. Columbus had also only viewed the North East coast but had not investigated the more even more accessible Western coasts near Sint Velsen.
Between the first sighting by Columbus and the colonisation, both the Spanish and the British had settlements on the island, but neither fully colonized it due to its relatively large size within the Caribbean.
There is evidence that native Caribs lived on the island beforehand, but in 1635, a year before the Netherlands claimed Sint Eustatius, the Dutch West India Company claimed the island for the Dutch area of Zeeland. The Dutch West India Company were expanding in the Caribbean at the time and found that the island would be a convenient colony between their settlement in New Amsterdam and Brazil. This position would also be fulfilled by the newly colonized Sint Maarten. They named the island and the first two towns, Sint Velsen and Cunera, after Dutch saints that they believed had brought them good fate on their expeditions.
After the colonisation of Sint Cunera, the Dutch also took control of the nearby Saba and Sint Eustatius. These three islands became economically integrated and were by far the most important areas in the Dutch Caribbean.
When the Dutch West India Company claimed the island they send out several explorations to map the island and identify the best agricultural land for the new plantations. This lead to the first commercial agricultural development on the islands and ultimately lead to the formation of the first towns, including the current day capital, Sint Velsen.
However, due to the Dutch West India Company expanding the commercial success of the island, the British and French became interested in it, along with the Spanish once again. This meant that in 1715, the Spanish attempted to colonise the island, and managed to access the western half of the Island, including the capital of Sint Velsen. This forced the Dutch into the second major settlement of Cunera. In 1716, the Spanish progressed eastwards and took control of the entire island, driving the Dutch forces to the nearby Dutch colonies of Sint Eustatius and Saba. The Dutch Navy then launched a counter colonisation in 1722, which was successful and by 1723 the island was wholly controlled by the Dutch once again.
The island remained Dutch until 1745 until the French attempted to colonise the capital, but failed due to the Dutch's strong preparations to prevent further attacks from colonial powers. These failed, however, since, during the British’s expansion in the region in the late 18th century, the island was captured by the British in 1785.
During the British occupation, the Dutch still claimed the island and recognised it as part of their territory, but the British developed the island to their standards and ideals. This included changing the system of Government from the Estates of Sint Cunera to the Parliament of Sint Cunera, although this still had little powers due to the political structure of colonies.
When the Dutch West India Company dissolved in 1792 due to rising difficulty in trade, the Dutch Government made Sint Cunera part of the Curaçao and Dependencies colony of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, despite it still being occupied by the British.
Following the Anglo-Dutch treaties of 1814 and 1824, the island was returned to the Dutch in 1815 and has remained Dutch ever since. Following the de-occupation from the British, the Dutch Government invested heavily in infrastructure which had been ignored by the British. This included the road network, which was designed entirely to be right-hand-drive orientated. With the industrial revolution occurring in Europe at the time, Sint Cunera became more important than ever to supply the continent with refined products such sugar and tobacco. This rapid expansion of agriculture led to a boom in the economy, making it one of the most important nations in the Caribbean at the time. In 1863, when slavery was abolished, the economy was hit, causing a recession lasting over 5 years. This was due to plantation-based agriculture economy, which was adversely affected by the abolition. Many of the plantations closed and unemployment was at an all-time high.
In 1865, during a constitutional reform, members of Curaçao and Dependencies, including Sint Cunera were given more autonomy from the Netherlands, although it was still referred to as a colony of the Netherlands. This reform was pushed for by Sint Cunera during its economic difficulties. The economy, through plans brought forwards by the newly enhanced Estates of Sint Cunera, recovered with a different industrial focus.
Following the Dutch Constitution of 1922, the Constitution of Curaçao was enacted in 1936, which followed the basic principles of the new Dutch Constitution. The reference to Sint Cunera, and other members of Curaçao and Dependencies being a colonies was removed and further autonomy was granted, although Sint Cunera was still part of Curaçao and Dependencies.
During the Second World War, Sint Cunera was controlled by the Dutch Government in Exile in London and was protected from much of the activities of the war, and following the war, after Constitutional changes in the Netherlands, new autonomy was promised for the territories, with the newly created Netherland Antilles, Suriname and the Netherlands were all made to become equal under the wider Kingdom of the Netherlands. However, Sint Cunera, with the largest economies of all the Caribbean Netherland countries, decided via a referendum not continue being part of the Netherland Antilles, so left the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1959. This decision was prompted by an independence movement on the island with many believing that independence would benefit the island and its economy.
The current flag has been used since Independence and was designed during a national competition whereby citizens submitted ideas for the flag post independence. The current flag features two blue bands, representing the sky and sea, two yellow bands representing the sand and the sun and a single black band representing a unity of all people throughout time. There was a controversy at the time that one of the islands key features, of Mount Sint Gerlach, was not depicted on the chosen flag, despite its great cultural and spiritual connection with the islands' people.
Sint Cunera was a founding member of CARICOM in May 1974, and is also part of the Customs Union that the organisation provides. This also provides a free-movement market, similar to that of the EU's which exists in those member states. Supporters of Sint Cunera's membership to CARICOM say this freedom has been invaluable to the growing tourism sector, which provides a large percentage of the economy and also job along the coastline. Many residents on the island do say, however, that their own job and social prosperity has been harmed by tempoary workers arriving in Sint Cunera for the high season, which has lead to some politicans on the island advocating for the removal of Sint Cunera from the customs union of CARICOM.
Sint Cunera is also an associate member of Association of Caribbean States since 2000. The Estates of Sint Cunera did not approve of full membership to the organisation, since it felt that the CARICOM market was sufficient, without being 'burdened' with super-national trade deals.
Recently, the country has been investing in public services and diversifying the economy. Spending has increased on education, health and community services, in an effort to decrease infant and maternal mortality in rural areas, and increase the literacy rate to nearly 100%. The Government between 2006 and 2014 increased growth in the economy due to successful drives in increasing tourism to the island, which lead to huge increases in resort building and the associated permanent and temporary jobs.
Like many of the Carribean islands, Sint Cunera has a tropical climate, with a dry season in the winter months and wetter weather during the summer months, howveer due to its equatorial location, a high temperature is maintainted throughout.
|Climate data for Sint Velsen|
|Average high °C (°F)||26.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||21.4
|Average low °C (°F)||17.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||39.4
|Avg. precipitation days||7||8||6||8||10||16||18||20||16||14||9||8||140|
|Source: Sint Cunera Meterological Society|
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Politics of the
Republic of Sint Cunera
Sint Cunera portal
Sint Cunera is a representative democracy or democratic republic, with three branches of power: executive, legislature, and judicial. The President of Sint Cunera heads the executive branch and executes laws passed by the estates, whereby due to the small size of the Government, they also sit, appoints the cabinet, and is commander in chief of the armed forces. The president and vice-president run for office on the same ticket and are elected by direct vote for 4-year terms, which are run with the elections of the estates. The President and Vice President both sit in the chamber, and so having a majority with their party is preferable, although is not guaranteed.
Judicial authority rests with the Supreme Court of Justice's 8 members. They are appointed by a council composed of the President, the leaders of all other parties in the [[Estates of Sint Cunera|estates] and the President of the Supreme Court. Most cases larger than petty crimes are heard, due to the small size of the judiciary. Only 4 other courts are located on the island.
Sint Cunera has a multi-party political system. Elections for both the President and Vice President, along with the remaining 23 members of the [[Estates of Sint Cunera|estates] occur every four years, on even years not divisible by 4. The next ones are scheduled for September 2018. The Department of Elections supervises the funding of elections and enforces the strict funding caps, and if needs are, refers cases and evidence to the Supreme Court of Justice.
Sint Cunera is divided into 8 parishes. Each parish has a small local government, responsible for very few services, but including refuse collection, primary education and community facilities.
|Name||Flag||Abbreviation||Capital||Population (2017)||% of Population Relative to Country's Total Population|
|Parishes of Sint Cunera|
|Zuiddorpe en Eilanden||ZUE||Zuiddorpe||43,346||6.65%|
|Sint Velsen||SIV||Sint Velsen||177,325||27.22%|
|Sint Nicolas||SIN||Sint Nicolas||49,372||7.58%|
|Sint Michiel||75px||SIM||Sint Michiel||61,935||9.51%|
The Legislature of Sint Cunera is a single house, 25 seat legislative house. There are only 3 parties in the House, The Cunera Labour Party (CLP), the United Cunerian Party (UCP) and the Green Cunera Coalition (GCC). The current majority is formed by a formal coalition between the UCP and the GCC, which has 16 seats in the house in total. CLP has the remaining 9 seats. The last elections were in 2014, with the next scheduled to be in September 2018. In the 2014 election, the UCP gained 5 seats and received a 20.3% vote share increase, while the CLP lost 3 seats and 12.2% share of their vote. the GCC also suffered, losing 2 seats and 7.5% of the vote. The President and Vice President were from the UCP, however, in order to gain a majority, the UCP formed a coalition with the GCC. This resulted in the elected Vice President resigning, to allow the leader of the GCC, Claude Wathey to take the position of Vice President. This is not part of the constitution, rather convention on the island.
|Of total||±||Of total||±|
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|United Cunerian Party||Green Cunera Coalition||Cunera Labour Party|
|Previous Estate Compostion (2010)||6||7||12||25|
|Current Estate Compostion (2014)||11||5||9||25|
|Latest voting share||45.6%||19.76%||34.64%||100%|
Sint Cunera has a close relationship with the United States and with the other states of the Inter-American system. Sint Cunera has very strong ties and relations with Puerto Rico, along with Saba, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands.
Sint Cunera was a founding member of CARICOM in May 1974, and is also part of the Customs Union that the organisation provides. This also provides a free-movement market, similar to that of the EU's which exists in those member states. Supporters of Sint Cunera's membership to CARICOM say this freedom has been invaluable to the growing tourism sector, which provides a large percentage of the economy and also job along the coastline. Many residents on the island do say, however, that their own job and social prosperity has been harmed by temporary workers arriving in Sint Cunera for the high season, which has lead to some politicians on the island advocating for the removal of Sint Cunera from the customs union of CARICOM.
Sint Cunera is also an associate member of Association of Caribbean States since 2000. The Estates of Sint Cunera did not approve of full membership to the organisation, since it felt that the CARICOM market was sufficient.
In July 2017, Sint Cunera applied for membership to the Alliance of Independent Nations, and voting started on 17th July 2017, and finishing 36 hours later with a vote of 11-0-1. The The Estates had already approved the application in a vote 23-2. There has been no referendum on the island over the matter.
The Estates authorises a combined military force of 4,400 active duty personnel. Actual active duty strength is approximately 3,200. Approximately 50% of those are used for non-military activities such as security providers for government-owned non-military facilities, highway toll stations, prisons, forestry work, state enterprises, and private businesses. The commander in chief of the military is the President. There is no air force branch of the military, although the island does host a Carolina air-force base, which was built as part of a deal which saw Carolina invest in infrastructure services, post-independence.
The Sint Cunera National Police force contains 2,900 agents. The police are not part of the Cunerian armed forces but share some overlapping security functions, especially in regards to airports and securing Government buildings
Economy and infrastructure
Tourism in a country is vital to the nation's economy, bringing in around 30% of the countries GDP and around a million tourists visiting each year, meaning for each citizen there are around 1.6 visitors for every citizen, just from flight arrivals. Around 50% of tourists arrive from the United States of America and Carolina, while the rest arrive from Europe. Tourist hotspots include resorts to the east of Sint Velsen, the Duivendans peninsula and the islands to the west of the country, namely Alberic Island, Lidwina Island and Rimbert Island. Cunera is also a popular destination, for those wishing to experience the authentic experience of the island.
Ships, and their passengers are also vital to the economy, with day trips taken on the island contributing to the local economies of many towns, with passengers taking part in activities such as scuba diving and rock-climbing.
|Country of origin||Estimated Tourist Arrivals (2017)||Percentage (%)|
|USA inc. Puerto Rico||489,375||43.50|
|Netherlands, inc. Saba, Sint Maarten, ABC Islands||84,375||7.50|
The island is served by two main airports, Sint Cunera International Airport, which features direct flights to Europe, including to destinations such as Amsterdam, London and Barcelona. It also hosts flights from European travel airlines such as TUI and Thomas Cook, as the island and its resorts are popular with holiday-goers. The airport also hosts North and South American Airlines, and has direct flights to Miami and Atlanta in Carolina, along with Los Angles in the US, among other locations. Regional flights usually use Cunera Regional Aiport, on the east of the island. Winair has direct flights to other nearby islands, such as Sint Maartin, Saba and Saint-Barthélemy, along with flights to mainland airports with other airlines. Sint Cunera has no official national airline, although the airline of Cunair has its base on the island and is widely regarded as the national airline. There are no railway lines on the island and buses are the main form of public transport. Local Busses run around all the main towns including Sint Velsen and Cunera, and island-wide shuttle services are also provided which use the island's main ring road. Although it is officially classed as a motorway, the A1 is a controlled access, single or dual carriageway which circumnavigates the island, with a spur to Sint Cunera International Airport, which is dual or triple carriageway due to the high levels of tourist coaches and hire cars. Ferries are common and are the only way to access the smaller islands to the North West of Sint Velsen. There are also ferry services to Cunera to Sint Velsen, along with services to Saba and Sint Eustatius. Water Taxies are also common between the smaller islands, due to the high density of tourist resorts and facilities on these islands.
Water & Energy supply
| Largest cities or towns in Sint Cunera|
Statistics Department of the Governement of Sint Cunera
|1||Sint Velsen||Sint Velsen Parish||137,325|
|5||Leest||Sint Velsen Parish||19,321|
|7||Mosik||Sint Velsen Parish||12,442|
|8||Zuiddorpe||Zuiddorpe en eilanden Parish||11,856|
|9||Lengal||Zuiddorpe en eilanden Parish||9,648|
|10||Weende||Zuiddorpe en eilanden Parish||4,647|
In the 2016 census, the population of the island nation was 650,103.
Births and deaths
|Year||Live births (per 1000)||Deaths (per 1000)||Natural increase (per 1000)|
|Population pyramid 2017|
Around 55% of the Population of Sint Cunera has immigrational ancestry no further back that 2 generations. Currently, around 32%, according to the 2016 census are first-generation immigrants.
|Country of birth||Estimated population (2016)||Percentage (%)|
|Netherlands, inc. Saba, Sint Maarten, ABC Islands||47,097||7.23|
|USA inc. Puerto Rico||39,214||6.02|
|British Virgin Islands||9,445||1.45|
|US Virgin Islands||9,185||1.41|
The Caribbean International Academy was founded in 2003 on the island of St. Maarten, and in 2005, opened schools in Cunera and Sint Velsen and are now the most favourable, and largest private schools on the island. Education is funded by the Government for ages 6 to 16, with optional years from 3-6 and from 16-18 being partially funded, resulting in low uptake of these sections off education by the majority of the poorer population on the island. However, the literacy rate on the island has risen in the past few decades, due to investment in rural schools and education, including the opening of 13 new schools, 10 new primary schools (Ages 6 to 11) and 3 high schools (Ages 12 to 16), in rural and poorer communities.
The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC), founded in 1978, was previously located on Montserrat. Because of the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano in 1995, AUC moved its campus to Sint Cunera later that year, although Sint Maarten had previously been chosen but was later reversed due to the smaller population. A permanent campus was completed in 1998 in Cunera.
Sint Cunera operates under a two-tier healthcare system. That is, there is the existence of both private and public facilities.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for leading the health sector, and also run the hospitals in the country, of which there are 7 public hospitals and 2 private hospitals, with the largest in Cunera, attached to the medical school at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC),. It is also a major trauma centre - the only on the island and is home to the Cunera Air Ambulance, which also serves other nearby islands, such as Saba
However, the smaller doctor surgeries and pharmacies on the island are not run by the Ministry of Health, but the Ministry is required to play a key role in ensuring that they are properly run, by setting policies, goals and targets for parishes and their services based on an assessment of real health needs. This is the main role of the Ministry of Health, in relation to local affairs. The Ministry also funds the hospitals, surgeries and pharmacies, via general taxation, and Sint Cunera is one of the few nations to offer free prescriptions to all citizens.
Private healthcare, is, however, very expensive due to heavy taxes on the sector, which partly help to fund the public services.
English is the dominant language on the island, and Spanish is also widly spoken due to high levels of migration from South America in order to supply the growing Tourism industry. Dutch, despite the long connection to The Netherlands, is not spoken widly - mainly just among the legal profession, as the constituion and most legal bills are bilungual - written in Dutch and English.
The island's cuisine is a unique blend of West African, European (mainly British and Dutch) and East Indian cuisine; this creates dynamic meal dishes such as Stew chicken, rice and peas, fish broth or fish water, and soups packed full with fresh locally produced vegetables. Typical essential foodstuffs are potatoes, onions, celery, thyme, coconut milk, the very hot scotch bonnet peppers, flour and cornmeal. All mainstream meat and poultry are eaten in Sint Cunera; meat and seafood are normally stewed and browned to create a rich gravy sometimes served over ground provisions or rice. These bakes can be served with different sides, such as saltfish which is either sautéed or lightly fried along with red, green peppers, onions, and seasoned well. This is the most common way for bake to be prepared, though it can also be served with meats such as stewed chicken or beef.
One popular Sint Cunerian dessert is the pastry called turnover. The pastry is made with sweetened coconut that is boiled with spices, some sugar, and whatever is satisfying. It is boiled until cooked to a light or dark brown colour; then the mixture is separated into various size portions placed on a rolled out piece of dough. The dough size may vary too depending on how much is desired, and lastly, it is baked in the oven until the colour of the turnover is nicely browned.
Popular team sports in Sint Cunera include baseball, cricket, and soccer. Recreational fishing, golf, and water sports (including diving, kayaking, snorkelling, and yachting) are popular amongst tourists.
The Sint Cunera Soccer Association was founded in 1979. The organisation is a member of FIFA, but also became an associate member of CONCACAF in 2001, and a full member in 2012. The national football team debuted in 1979, and plays its home games at the Cunera Sports Complex, which has a 6,500-spectator capacity. After an initial period of popularity during the 1990s, including an appearance at the 1993 Caribbean Cup, interest in football declined, with the national team playing its last official match in 2005. However, Sint Cunera is scheduled to return to international competition in June 2016, in the 2017 Caribbean Cup qualification tournament.
The Sint Cunera Cricket Association is a member of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA), which is, in turn, a member of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). With rare exceptions, the national cricket team plays only against other LICA members, though Sint Cunerians may go on to play for the Leeward Islands team at regional level and for the West Indies team internationally. The primary venue for cricket is the Sint Velsen Cricket Park.
Prior to cricket becoming popular, baseball was preferred. No national team existed, although Sint Cunerians were eligible to play for the Netherlands Antilles baseball team before its dissolution. Several Sint Cunerians have passed through the American baseball system, playing at college level or in the minor leagues.