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Lisa's Box of Treasures Our jewel at VisitAruba.com - Lisa has many gems to share with you. She has a wealth of information about Aruba - and if she doesn't know, she will find out! :) So, enjoy and ask away!

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Old Thursday, March 17th, 2011, 09:15 PM
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LocaLisa LocaLisa is offline
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Default Betico Croes

A young ambitious schoolmaster/politician from the A.V.P. became the leader of a new political party - M.E.P. (Movimiento Electoral di Pueblo). This ambitious young politician emerged as the driving force for the next generation towards the realization of our new "Status Aparte" in the Dutch Kingdom. This was achieved in 1985 and made official as of 1st January 1986. Mr. Gilberto François Croes (better known as "Betico Croes") became the modern "liberator" of the Aruban cause, namely to become an independent partner within the Royal Dutch Kingdom.

Thirty Five years ago during a parliamentary session on 16th March 1976, it was agreed that March 18th would be Aruba's National Day - the day to celebrate Aruba's national anthem and flag and this was celebrated for the first time in 1976.

We have in record the very emotional speech of Betico Croes during the parliamentary session, island council, which had won the approval for us today to be celebrating our own identity in the world.

“Mr. President, with a heart filled with joy I'm standing here today to treat two important points in the agenda, one is the determination of our flag and at the same time of our official National Anthem. Although I'm dressed here as a commoner, but with full of respect I stand here today in the name of greatest party of Aruba, representing the desires of the people of Aruba, principally on the Island status.

Mr. President, for years our people started a fight to have a recognition and the realization of their freedom. For many years and in every occasion they haven't left this yearning to bring forth their wish with great amount of courage, because the people of Aruba want their freedom to conserve their own identity, their own culture. And, Mr. President, what else does not symbolize the identity of a nation and what else does not symbolize the culture of a nation. From the moment a human being is born it receives symbolism to reflect its uniqueness, its own being and as a collectivity of individuality, every nation also needs of symbolism to give them their identity.

In occasion like a celebration, a sporting day, and every official occasion where a country is represented, its flag is raised and its anthem sang or played. Aruba wants to be like one of those countries, considering the people of Aruba and their immense wish is for one day to enter the row along with other sovereign countries, and to begin with they need a flag and an anthem for when an official occasion they are recognized as such.”

And exactly 10 years later, in 1986, Aruba celebrated the achievement by Betico Croes of a dream that had been three generations in the making - Status Aparte - an autonomous status within the kingdom of the Netherlands.
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