As to what Americans feel about SXM……..I can tell you that there was a time when Americans (myself included ) felt safe on the island and thought our investment was secure.
Sadly those days are gone. I still don’t feel that the local criminals are a threat to my safety as we have random street crime in the US too. The real problem is the way the LOCAL government is running the island. I personally know people who have lost their property because the government failed to protect the property owners rights that we take for granted in the States.
I also know people who were targeted for punishment because someone in power wanted what they had and took it. When an American enters the SXM justice system they have already lost and now they get raped by the shameful excuse for Lawyers that prey on the victims on this island knowing that no real justice can prevail in a corrupt environment.
I know many more landed Europeans who are moving away because they fear their own government and it’s wide spread corruption will defraud them of their hard earned livelihood.
But the worst of all is when a US based group did everything they needed to do to develop what would have been a great business for locals and international visitors alike they were extorted by the previous sitting government for blatant open bribe payments to continue development of the property into a globally recognized brand. They saw that there was no end to the bribery after PAYING more than $500,000 in US cash (I saw two of the transactions personally) they knew they had been lied to about getting the permits to develop their business. If this business would have been established things would have been very different for SXM as this global brand would have marketed SXM as a premier destination for high value, big spending, international wealth.
Instead the corrupt few you elected raped your future and set back the island development and real estate value for decades.