27 March 2013

Man Goes to Court to Fight for More Than Traffic Citations

        Hawaiian Kingdom Blog

Weblog of the acting government of the Hawaiian Kingdom 
presently operating within the occupied State of the Hawaiian Islands


KITV News_Brown

Yesterday, Lopaka Brown, through his attorney Dexter Kaiama, esq., provided evidence and argument in District Court that the court is not lawfully constituted according to United States constitutional law and international law because there exists no treaty of annexation that would have incorporated the Hawaiian Islands into the United States of America. 

Without a treaty, U.S. law enacted by the Congress have no force and effect beyond U.S. territory, which nullifies the 1898 Joint Resolution of Annexation and the 1959 Statehood Act. The District Court derives its authority from the 1959 Statehood Act. The proper Court is a military commission established by the U.S. Pacific Command that administers Hawaiian Kingdom law and the laws of occupation.

Additional evidence provided to the court were two executive agreements entered into between Queen Lili‘uokalani and President Grover Cleveland that settled the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government. The first agreement, called the Lili‘uokalani assignment, binds the U.S. President, through the Pacific Command, to administer Hawaiian law and the laws of occupation. 

The second agreement, called the Agreement of restoration, binds the U.S. President to restore the government and thereafter the Queen to grant amnesty. Both agreements are treaties and under U.S. constitutional law are called sole-executive agreements. Sole-executive agreements are also binding upon successor Presidents for their faithful execution. See also War Crimes: The Role of the International Criminal Court during the Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

If the Court disregards the evidence, it would be committing a felony by denying Brown a fair trial according to Title 18, U.S.C., §2441. In 1996, Congress enacted the War Crimes Act that criminalized war crimes identified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions as felonies. Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that failure to provide a fair trial in an occupied territory is a war crime. 

See also War Crimes are Felonies under U.S. Federal Law. The War Crimes Act is enforceable “outside” of U.S. territory when the United States military is the occupant of an occupied State.

Former Netherlands Antilles PM joins the ancestors

Daily Herald

Miguel Pourier has passed away

WILLEMSTAD--Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles Miguel Pourier passed away on Sunday in Curaçao at the age of 74. He had been battling prostate cancer for some time.

Originally from Bonaire, the financial expert founded the political party "Partido Antia Restruktura" (PAR) that came out of a social movement backing the winning Option A to maintain the Antilles, in Curaçao's first constitutional referendum of 1993. All the existing parties had backed the losing Option B for the island to get an autonomous status.

Pourier, who had been interim prime minister for a short period once before in 1979, led PAR to victory in the 1994 elections. He served as Prime Minister from 1994 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2002.

The efforts to meaningfully restructure the so-called "Antilles of Five" (Aruba had already left the constellation in 1986) and remove certain obstacles to keeping the islands together failed, however. A second round of referenda was held, starting in St. Maarten in 2000, in which majorities in Curaçao and St. Maarten opted after all to become autonomous countries within the Dutch Kingdom, prompting the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles effective 10-10-10, with the three "small islands" Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba becoming special overseas public entities of The Netherlands.

Despite this disappointment, Pourier worked tirelessly on the enormous financial problems facing the Central and Curaçao governments during his terms in office. With support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he took severe austerity measures that were so strongly opposed that at one point he had to take a boat to work to circumvent a blockade.

He will be remembered as a man of integrity, a sober and courageous leader who was not afraid to take unpopular decisions. He felt left in the cold and abandoned active politics in 2002, when part of the budgetary support from The Hague agreed on with the execution of the IMF programme remained forthcoming because not all conditions had been met.

25 March 2013

Emancipation did not end with the abolition of chattel slavery

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Special Commemorative Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Statement on Behalf of 

The Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (GRULAC)

delivered by H.E. Ms. Dessima M. Williams


Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

25 March 2013

"...we cannot lose sight of the fact that in a number of regions, including the sub-region of the Caribbean and elsewhere, emancipation ushered in the era of colonialism which, in many respects, merely perpetuated a refined form of what had formerly prevailed. Thus, the anti-colonial struggle was born, in earnest, as a logical outgrowth of the emancipation struggle, and serves as a constant reminder that full emancipation did not end with the abolition of chattel slavery."

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Member States (GRULAC) on this 2013 observance of the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade under the theme: "Forever Free - Celebrating Emancipation."

On this day each year this august body pays its respects to those who were forcibly taken from their homes and families against their will, and transported across the Atlantic Ocean under the most inhumane conditions known to humankind. The Atlantic Ocean became the final resting place of thousands of souls who perished along the way.

Those who survived this infamous horror known as the Middle Passage were landed in ports throughout Latin America and the Caribbean into an existence of forced labour and systemic cruelty which lasted for generations. Entire economies in much of what is now known as the "developed world" were literally built on the backs of this involuntary African labour, in large measure. May such an acknowledged crime against humanity never be repeated, in any form or manifestation, in any part of our globe.

Mr. President,

Emerging from this unparalleled tragedy in the history of our planet was the liberation of the many African men, women and children who had endured the torment, torture and attempted de-humanization, and who fought against considerable odds to gain their freedom. Those persons - and their descendants - are those who the great Jamaican thinker Bob Marley referred to as "the survivors."

Yet, the struggle for full and absolute emancipation remains a continuing endeavor, and reparation is necessary to fully heal humanity from the brutality of the period when chattel slavery was forced and perpetuated upon a particular segment of humankind.  


Mr. President,

Part of this emancipation, this freedom, was achieved first in Haiti in 1804. This set in motion the movement for freedom from bondage in other parts of the Caribbean and our wider Latin American region, as well as in North America, Europe, and beyond.  At this juncture, we cannot lose sight of the fact that in a number of regions, including the sub-region of the Caribbean and elsewhere, emancipation ushered in the era of colonialism which, in many respects, merely perpetuated a refined form of what had formerly prevailed. Thus, the anti-colonial struggle was born, in earnest, as a logical outgrowth of the emancipation struggle, and serves as a constant reminder that full emancipation did not end with the abolition of chattel slavery.  
Mr. President,

Latin America and the Caribbean takes note of  August 2012 Report of the Secretary-General of August 2012 outlining the implementation of the outreach programme and steps to enhance global awareness on the activities associated with this commemoration.  In this connection, we express our appreciation to the Department of Public Information for the organisation of the historical briefing held last year. We also recall the successful exhibit here at U.N. Headquarters in conjunction with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Yale University Press, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. and other institutions.

We further commend the organizers for the 2012 showing of the documentary film on post emancipation slavery, the broadcast of radio programmes on the slave trade, and the student video conference which made connections among young people whose societies were linked to the transatlantic slave trade, and some that were not.  We wish to also acknowledge with admiration the important work of UNESCO within its successful "Slave Route Project: resistance, freedom, heritage," and most recently, with the production of the educational film: "A Story Not to Be Forgotten." We thank you.

We are especially appreciative of the events organised last week around this year's commemoration including the panel discussion with eminent scholars, the global student video conference, the film screening of the movie "Lincoln," the presentation and book signing, the cultural and culinary evening, and the dynamic concert last Friday night.

At the national level, a number of initiatives have been undertaken by GRULAC member states in furtherance of dissemination of information on the slave trade and its gruesome historical legacy. In this connection, the work of El Salvador in the integration of the issue of slavery into the social studies curriculum of the education system is to be highly commended. 

The work of Jamaica is to be especially highlighted, in promoting awareness of the rich historical and cultural expressions, and through the various artistic, literary, scholarly and other programmes carried out by an array of governmental and civil society bodies.

The Group endorses the leadership role played by Jamaica and other GRULAC Member States, including my own country Grenada, and of CARICOM in close collaboration with the Member States of the African Group in relation to the development of the Permanent Memorial to and remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. In this connection, the Members States of Latin American and Caribbean encourage other Member States, international institutions, and other relevant parties within the international community to continue and further enhance their voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund established to facilitate the completion of this universal permanent memorial project.


Mr. President,

In conclusion, GRULAC Member States join with the wider international community in commemorating this important day which observes the struggle and subsequent achievements of the people who were emancipated from the scourge of physical slavery. It is, indeed, a day of celebration. But it is also a day for us to take stock, and to deepen our resolve to tackle the contemporary challenges of inequality, poverty, colonialism and more - all of which have their antecedents in the mindset which held "one race superior, and another inferior". This concept must be thoroughly "discredited and abandoned" even in its most contemporary forms. 

Freedom won must be constantly protected.  

Please count on Latin America and the Caribbean in this noble pursuit.

Thank you.

Virgin Islands Joins United Nations Global Island Partnership

Government of the British Virgin Islands

Last month the Virgin Islands (VI) officially joined the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA) in a move that is expected to strengthen Government’s efforts to preserve the natural environment and accelerate the sustainable development of the Territory.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering, made the announcement  at the GLISPA 2013 Steering Committee Meeting in Washington, DC.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Honourable Pickering said, “GLISPA is a United Nations (UN) recognised partnership and a platform for islands to cooperate on conserving their biodiversity and to promote sustainable development.”

He added, “There is a great deal that we can learn from our GLISPA partners and much that we can offer in terms of the work we have done here in the Territory in the area of environmental management.”

Speaking on the benefits of GLISPA, the Deputy Premier said, “Around the world islands are doing innovative things to grow sustainably. We can benefit from the UN’s experience with Small Island Developing States and the experience of our island partners in GLISPA who are successfully meeting the challenges faced by islands as they grow.”

“In the Pacific for example, Hawaii is doing a number of interesting things as it pertains to green growth, while Seychelles in the Indian Ocean has made substantial progress in managing its marine protected areas and building local awareness on biodiversity and promoting sustainable fisheries. We will be engaging them in the future on best practices in these areas,” he expounded.

The meeting brought together officials from a number of United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments to discuss GLISPA’s strategic plan for 2013. The 2013 strategic plan will focus on strengthening the link between sustainable development and conservation under the theme blue/green growth; and preparing for the United Nations Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa in 2014.

In the margins of the meeting Honourable Pickering, held individual meetings with representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). He also met with Hawaii and Seychelles officials.

Honourable Pickering capped off his visit with a presentation on the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) at a High Level Briefing organised by GLISPA.

The Deputy Premier was joined by Senior Political and Public Affairs Officer at the BVI London Office, Mr. Benito Wheatley.

GLISPA was formed in 2006 to help islands address the conservation and sustainability of their natural resources in support of their people, cultures and livelihoods. It is recognised by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as a partnership to advance the implementation of the CBD 2010 biodiversity target, to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, and the programmes of work on island biodiversity and protected areas.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour envisions sound stewardship of our human and natural resources by implementing a legal framework that fosters environmentally-friendly best management practices.

24 March 2013

Virgin Islands strengthens ties with Middle East

Government of the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has renewed links with investors and businesses from the Middle East, and has reaffirmed the positive advantages of doing business with the BVI, following two conferences and a series of meetings in Dubai last week.

A small BVI delegation attended the Hedge Funds World Conference at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ (STEP) ‘Opportunities for the Flow of New Wealth Conference’.

Delegation member, Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) Ms. Elise Donovan, told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “The BVI has become an attractive option to investors from the Gulf States looking to acquire BVI company structures for a multiplicity of investing and other cross-border transactions.”

She continued, “BVI trusts and fiduciary services and funds and investment business are popular in the Middle East for wealth management, investing, structuring ownership and control, and for planning for the succession of assets.”

In explaining why, Ms. Donovan said, “BVI’s structures are easy-to-use, flexible, widely-accepted and cost-competitive compared to other products being offered in the region.”

The IFC head referenced Conyers Dill & Pearman as an example, stating the company was recognised for its BVI office’s involvement in the Mostorod Oil Refinery Project, named ‘Project Finance Deal of the Year’ by the International Financial Law Review’s (IFLR) Middle East Awards.

Conyers Dill & Pearman acted for Citadel Capital, a listed Egyptian private equity firm, on the US$3.7 billion financing for the redevelopment of an oil refinery near Cairo. The deal was the largest-ever financing project in Africa and among the largest inward-investments into Egypt; resulting in the firm’s IFLR award.

Commenting on the present BVI-Middle East relationship, Ms. Donovan said, “We were given a very warm welcome on our return to the United Arab Emirates and it is clear that many investors from across the region recognise the advantages of using BVI structures and services for conducting international business.”

She added, “Our aim is to strengthen and deepen the relationship the BVI has with the Middle East so that we can work more closely together in the future.”

The BVI delegation also included Deputy Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mr. Brodrick Penn, Chair of the Financial Services Business Development Committee Mrs. Lorna Smith, OBE, and Chief Operating Officer of the BVI IFC Ms. Maritza Mercer.

The BVI International Finance Centre’s mission is to further enhance and promote the Territory’s reputation so that the BVI is recognised as a globally integrated and responsible financial services jurisdiction.

22 March 2013

Britain faces UN tribunal over Chagos Islands marine

The Guardian

Ruling by permanent court of arbitration in The Hague may challenge UK's unilateral declaration of marine protected area

Chagos archipelago
Part of the Chagos archipelago. The UN tribunal could challenge Britain's declaration of a marine protected area and lead to the return of the Indian Ocean islands' exiled inhabitants. Photograph: Corbis
Britain's colonial-era decision to sever an Indian Ocean archipelago fromMauritius and turn it into a US military base will have to be justified before an international tribunal – a process that could lead to the return of the islands' exiled inhabitants.
The unexpected ruling this month by the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague that it can hear the case is a challenge to the UK's unilateral declaration in 2009 of a marine protected area around the Chagos Islands.
Decisions by the tribunal, which arbitrates in disputes over the United Nations law of the sea, are binding on the UK. At the preliminary hearing the UK's attempt to challenge the court's jurisdiction was defeated. Britain is now obliged to explain highly sensitive political decisions dating back to 1965.
The legal battle, begun more than two years ago, raises fundamental questions about who has sovereignty over the Indian Ocean territory. Mauritian government officials believe it could lead to the unravelling of Britain's disputed claim and the eventual return of the islanders.
The Mauritian prime minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, has also alleged that the decision to establish a 545,000 sq mile marine reserve was carried out in defiance of assurances given to him at the time by the then UK prime minister, Gordon Brown.
Talking to the Guardian in London, Ramgoolam said: "We welcome the fact that the UN tribunal will have the whole case before it when it next meets. Never before have [the UK] had to explain why they detached theChagos Islands from Mauritius."
chagos_mapCredit: Guardian graphics
In 1965, three years before Mauritius was given its independence, the UK decided to separate the Chagos Islands from the rest of its then Indian Ocean colony. The Mauritian government claims this was in breach of UN general assembly resolution 1514, passed in 1960, which specifically banned the breakup of colonies prior to independence.
The Chagos archipelago was subsequently declared to be part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Biot) from which, in 1971, most of the 1,500 islanders were deported. The largest island, Diego Garcia, was then leased to the US as a strategic airbase. The lease is due to be renegotiated by December 2014.
"I was taken completely by surprise when the UK high commissioner came to see me [in 2009 to announce creation of the marine reserve]," the Mauritian leader explained.
"I said I was about to go and meet the [British] prime minister in Trinidad. I was on very good terms with Gordon Brown. I told [Brown] you must put a halt to the marine protected area.
"Gordon Brown said he would put a hold on the whole thing. He gave formal instructions to David Miliband [then foreign secretary] not to go ahead with it. But David Miliband ignored it. He wanted to show he was doing something for the environment."
A spokesman for David Miliband denied there had been any internal differences within the UK government. The spokesman said: "The marine protected area has been a great step forward and went through all proper government processes."
Mauritius does not recognise the 545,000 sq mile marine protection area (MPA) that Miliband set up around the islands before Labour lost power in 2009. According to Ramgoolam, the government was not properly consulted and Mauritians were denied the right to exploit waters they have fished for decades.
His government has said it fears that the marine zone effectively prevents any future resettlement by Chagossians because it does not allow any fishing in the zone. Fishing on around the island would be the only realistic means of living there.
"By creating the protected marine area, Britain did not take into account Mauritius's rights and those of the Chagossians it evicted from Chagos," said Ramgoolam.
Concern is also growing in Mauritius that the MPA, which is a biodiversity hotspot of global importance, is a "sham". It is patrolled for around six months of the year by a 35-year-old ocean-going tug which takes two days to cross the protected area.
However, an exemption in the MPA allows people from the US nuclear base on Diego Garcia to continue fishing. In 2010, more than 28 tonnes of fish was caught for use by personnel on the base.
"Mauritius is not opposed to a marine protected area. On the contrary, we support conservation. We are very happy to work against illegal fishing," said Ramgoolam.Further doubts about the real intentions of the Foreign office were raised by a 2010 WikiLeaks cable in which Colin Roberts, the FCO's director of overseas territories, told the US state department that there would be no "Man Fridays" left on the islands following the establishment of the MPA and that establishing the park would, "in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents". He added: "We do not regret the removal of the population." Some conservationists claim they were misled by the UK government. "I now regret my support of the marine sanctuary", said TV conservationist Ben Fogle.
The US-based Pew conservation group was instrumental in setting up the marine protected area, convincing many other British international conservation groups to support its "no take policy". Since then, many have supported the principle of the native Chagossians being given the right to return but most still support the MPA as it stands.
The European court of human right's decision last December that it had no jurisdiction to examine the Chagossians' claims that they been deprived of their right to return to the islands was widely seen as blocking off the main legal avenue for redress. The court ruled that because the islanders had received compensation in the 1980s, they had effectively renounced their rights.
But the legal confrontation at the permanent court of arbitration raises more fundamental issues of national sovereignty and transforms the issue into an inter-state dispute that resembles Anglo-Argentinian rows over the Falklands.
It is being fought within the arcane legal territory of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Uunclos), an area where the UK could be at disadvantage.
While Mauritius and the Seychelles have put in mutually agreed claims for large tracts of the nearby seabed, the UK does not appear to have put in any counter proposals to the UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf.
The Foreign Office said it was "disappointed" with the tribunal's decision. "It seems out of sync with other, similar cases and may slow the process down," it said. "However, this is only a procedural decision. It does not address the substance of the issues at hand – neither the arbitral tribunal's jurisdiction nor Mauritius's claim. We have no doubt about our sovereignty of Biot, and are confident that Mauritius' claims are without merit."
On the question of the marine reserve, the Foreign Office added: "The no-take MPA around the British Indian Ocean Territory (Biot) is the largest no-take MPA in the world. The MPA provides refuge and breeding sites for migratory and reef fish, marine mammals, birds, turtles, corals and other marine life. The MPA will help reduce regional loss of biodiversity and, it is hoped, in replenishing fish stocks in the Indian Ocean.
"The decision to create the MPA followed a full international consultation process, and careful consideration of the many issues involved."

21 March 2013

Bermuda MP wants parliamentary discussion on UK relations

MP Walton Brown also addressed human rights, 
secondary and tertiary education, and electoral 
reform in his first address in the Bermuda Parliament.  

Maiden Speech in Parliament

Hansard–15 February 2013

Mr. Walton Brown: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. 

The final point I will make, Mr. Speaker, relates to what I see as the most glaring omission—the most glaring omission—in the Throne Speech. And that has to do with an area of politics, an area of decision-making that gets at the very heart of how we make decisions and where the authority to make decisions lies. 

There was no comment, really, about the relationship between the Bermuda Government and the United Kingdom Government. We heard some earlier comments about the relationship between the Bermuda Government and the Governor, who represents the UK Government in Bermuda, with respect to the police service.

But there is a more fundamental issue, Mr. Speaker, because last December the United Kingdom Government formally established a panel of Ministers of all the Overseas Territories, a panel that the Overseas Territory Minister will himself chair. And if you read their mandate, Mr. Speaker, their mandate is to cover virtually every aspect and every area of governance for the Overseas Territories. So what you will see is—what I think I have seen and what I think has been the case since 1999—a gradual devolution of power back to the United Kingdom. 

The principle for arguing this point first came in 2003 when Lord Triesman (the Overseas Territories Minister at the time) argued that the line of demarcation between domestic affairs and international affairs was becoming increasingly blurred and, therefore, the UK may involve themselves in areas that the Overseas Territory might consider to be its exclusive domain under the Constitution—that has now been cast aside—that separation of power. 

And so what I would like to hear from the Government is what its position is with respect to its relationship with the United Kingdom. The British Prime Minister has already said he wants to take on what he calls “the tax havens.” Many consider Bermuda to be a tax haven, 

Mr. Speaker. It may well be that there are occasions when the interests of the UK are not necessarily aligned with the interests of Bermuda. And sometimes it is just plain misinformation that creates challenges for us. The most explicit example of misinformation that created a real challenge for Bermuda, Mr. Speaker, was in 2006 when the Home Office misinformed the European Union that Bermuda citizens, Overseas Territory citizens, did not have the right of abode in the UK. It was because of that misinformation, Mr. Speaker, that we were all subject to a visa regime of the Schengen group of countries in the European Union.

So as we move forward, Mr. Speaker, as this Government seeks to set out its course for our country, and as we seek to be the critical evaluators of what Government does, I ask for this Government to give real consideration to the future relationship that we might have with the UK under this new Ministerial Council, what it means, and if they could come back to us through Parliament and to the people, at some point in the not too-distant future, to outline how that relationship—in their view—is going to evolve.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

20 March 2013

“Chavez didn’t die; he multiplied.”

Chavez: Washington Nemesis, Latin American Hero

You could almost hear the sigh of relief coming out of Washington at the news of Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5.

President Obama issued a brief statement that failed even to offer condolences, forcing a senior State Department official to patch over the evident callousness and breach of diplomacy by offering his personal condolences the following day. 
Within moments of Chavez’s death, commercial media and mouthpieces for the U.S. government were verbally dancing on his grave and predicting the imminent demise of Chavismo—Chavez’s political legacy in Venezuela and abroad.

19 March 2013

French political interference in Kanaky Self-Determination

N-Calédonie: Marine Le Pen appelle ceux qui "rejettent l'indépendance" à s'unir

N-Calédonie: Marine Le Pen appelle ceux qui "rejettent l'indépendance" à s'unir
NOUMEA, 15 mars 2013 (AFP) - Marine Le Pen, la présidente du Front National, a exhorté vendredi à Nouméa les opposants à l'indépendance de la Nouvelle-Calédonie à se regrouper, en vue du référendum d'autodétermination entre 2014 et 2018. 

"Il y a des élections qui vont être fondamentales pour l'avenir de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et il est temps de s'y atteler", a déclaré à la presse Marine Le Pen. 

"Il faut tout tenter pour éviter la fragmentation de ceux qui rejettent l'indépendance. Je suis venue porter une réflexion sur le sujet, pour rencontrer les politiques locaux et voir s'il est possible d'envisager quelque chose pour la Nouvelle-Calédonie française", a-t-elle ajouté. 

Depuis l'accord de Nouméa (1998), un processus de décolonisation est en cours en Nouvelle-Calédonie, précédant un référendum d'autodétermination qui doit être organisé au cours de la mandature 2014/2018. 

Les élections territoriales de 2014, cruciales pour l'avenir politique du Caillou, aiguisent les ambitions, notamment au sein de la droite non-indépendantiste, qui se déchire. 

"Je suis convaincue que les élus, qui sont attachés à la France, vont se rendre compte qu'ils ont une mission qui les dépasse et qu'ils ne joueront pas indéfiniment avec le feu", a déclaré Marine Le Pen. 

Elle a proposé de créer "une structure électorale de rassemblement", avec une charte comportant "trois ou quatre points incontournables dont le principe de la Nouvelle-Calédonie française". 

La présidente du FN a également prôné l'organisation "le plus rapidement possible" du référendum d'autodétermination dont l'issue (contre l'indépendance:ndlr) ne fait, selon elle, "aucun doute". 

Marine Le Pen, à Nouméa jusqu'au 20 mars, a indiqué qu'elle consacrerait aussi son séjour à la "restructuration" de l'antenne locale de son parti. 

En perte de vitesse depuis 2009, le FN n'a aucun élu territorial et est quasiment absent du débat politique calédonien. Au premier tour de la présidentielle, Marine Le Pen avait toutefois obtenu 11,66% des suffrages.

17 March 2013

Chavez: Lest We Forget

In early December 2001, I was searching through my files looking for a column topic. At the time I was writing on foreign policy for the San Francisco Examiner, one of the town’s two dailies. A back page clip I had filed and forgotten caught my attention: on November 7 the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, and the U.S. State Department had convened a two-day meeting on U.S. policy toward Venezuela. My first thought was, “Uh, oh.” 

I knew something about those kinds of meetings. There was one in 1953 just before the CIA and British intelligence engineered the coup in Iran that put the despicable Shah into power. Same thing for the 1963 coup in South Vietnam and the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende in Chile.
Chavez had reaped the ire of the Bush administration when, during a speech condemning the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he questioned whether bombing Afghanistan in retaliation was a good idea. Chavez called it “fighting terrorism with terrorism”—not a savvy choice of words, but in retrospect, spot on. The invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent Iraq War have visited widespread terror on the populations of both countries and proved utterly disastrous for the United States.  Upwards of a million Iraqis died as a direct and indirect effect of the war, and 5 million were turned into refugees. And the bloodshed is far from over. Much the same—albeit on a smaller scale—is happening to the Afghans.
Would that we had paid Chavez some attention. 


Chavez: Washington Nemesis, 

Latin American Hero

You could almost hear the sigh of relief coming out of Washington at the news of Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5.

President Obama issued a brief statement that failed even to offer condolences, forcing a senior State Department official to patch over the evident callousness and breach of diplomacy by offering his personal condolences the following day. 
Within moments of Chavez’s death, commercial media and mouthpieces for the U.S. government were verbally dancing on his grave and predicting the imminent demise of Chavismo—Chavez’s political legacy in Venezuela and abroad.

15 March 2013

This isn't self-determination. It's a Ruritanian colonial relic

Seumas Milne

The vote for British rule in the Falklands referendum dodges the point. It's time for a negotiated settlement with Argentina.
by thetiredprop.worldpress.com 
by kids.britannica.com
Whenever there's a 99.8% yes vote in a referendum, it's a pretty safe bet that something dodgy's going on. And despite David Cameron's insistence that the North Korean-style ballot in the Falkland Islands - or Malvinas as they're known in Argentina - should be treated with "reverence", that rule of thumb clearly fits the bill in this case.

Which is not to suggest that the ballot boxes were stuffed. No doubt 1,514 island residents really did vote in favour of continued British rule. The only surprise was that three islanders dared to spoil the rousing choruses of Land of Hope and Glory by voting against.

It's that the poll was a foregone conclusion and designed to miss the entire point of Britain's dispute with Argentina over the islands - which began 180 years ago when one of Lord Palmerston's gunboats seized them and expelled the Argentine administration.

What other result could conceivably be expected if the future of the islands is put in the hands of the tiny British settler population, most of whom weren't born there but are subsidised to the tune of £44,856 a head to keep them in the Rhodesian retro style to which they are accustomed?

By giving the colonists a veto on any change in the islands' status, the British government is trying to pre-empt the issue at the heart of the conflict. But it won't be recognised by Argentina or Latin America, or Africa, or the UN - which regards this relic of empire as a problem of decolonisation - or the US, which is neutral on the dispute. All call for negotiations on sovereignty, which Britain rejects.
But surely the islanders have the right to self-determination, it's argued, even if they're 300 miles from Argentina and the other side of the world from Britain. They certainly have a right to have their interests and way of life protected, and to self-government.
by coha.org
But the right of self-determination depends on who is deciding the future of what territory - and since the dispute is about whether the islands are part of Argentina or not, it's also about who should exercise that right.

Self-determination requires a recognised and viably independent people, which is why the UN has rejected its application to the islands. Clearly the residents of, say, the Wallops in Hampshire, with a similar-sized population to the Falklands-Malvinas, can't exercise such a right. Nor can forced colonisation of other people's lands legitimate self-determination - otherwise Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank would have the right to decide the future of Palestinian territory.

In fact, British governments only developed a taste for self-determination after they had been forced to abandon the bulk of their empire and saw a way to hold on to colonised enclaves of dependent populations in places like Gibraltar and Northern Ireland.

But it's always been a pick and mix affair: there were no self-determination ballots for the people of Hong Kong or the Chagos Islands, expelled by Britain four decades ago to make way for an American air base in Diego Garcia. There are different rules, it seems, for white people.

Even so, successive British administrations were quite prepared to negotiate with Argentina over the Falklands-Malvinas - including the islands' sovereignty - from the mid-1960s until 1982. But since the Falklands war, its legacy has entrenched an unsustainable £75m-a-year Ruritanian absurdity in the south Atlantic.

The junta's defeat helped free Argentina from a vicious western-backed dictatorship.

But military success was a disaster for Britain, rescuing Margaret Thatcher from the depths of unpopularity to unleash devastating neoliberal shock therapy, and rehabilitating overseas military adventures (complete with little-reported war crimes, such as the killing of Argentinian prisoners).

The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges famously dismissed the war as a "fight between two bald men over a comb". A generation on, the discovery of potentially large oil and gas deposits around the islands, development of fisheries and growing importance of the Antarctic sea lanes have changed the picture.

Received political wisdom has long been that after the 1982 war, in which more than 900 people were killed, no British politician could afford even to hint at compromise on the Falklands. But Argentina's hand is stronger than might appear. To exploit the islands' hydrocarbon deposits on a significant scale would depend on access to the Argentinian mainland - as would serious development of the islands' economy.

Britain's refusal to negotiate with a democratic Argentina - when it was happy to talk to the country's dictators - has no significant international support: least of all in Latin America, which has been booming for a decade, while Britain's and Europe's economies are on their backs.

The options for compromise have been canvassed for many years, including joint sovereignty, co-administration and leaseback. A negotiated settlement is in the interests of Britain, Argentina - and the islanders. The sooner time is called on the emperor's new clothes saga of the Falklands, the better for all of us.

14 March 2013

Thousands join anti-nuclear rally in French Polynesia

Radio New Zealand International

An estimated 3,000 people have joined an anti-nuclear rally in the French Polynesian capital, Papeete, organised by the ruling pro-independence party.

This followed two marches from the east and west of the city, which met up outside the territorial assembly.

The crew of Japan’s Peace Boat, named after the NGO by the same name, also joined the event, which according to correspondents had fewer participants than expected.

France carried out more than 180 nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific, the last one in 1996.
The assembly’s president, Jacqui Drollet, says although the tests are over, nuclear waste has been left behind which will be there for thousands of years to come.

In 2010, France acknowledged for the first time that its tests weren’t clean.

It passed a compensation law for test victims, but to date practically all claims have been rejected.