Free Tahiti!

It appears that French Polynesia wants to drop the "French" part. In the recent elections, the 72 year-old Gaston Flosse, a friend of Jacques Chirac.

The shock result, which coincides with political instability in France’s other South Pacific colony, New Caledonia, heralds a loosening of ties with Paris, analysts said.

"It’s a big shake-up for the French in the South Pacific, a significant turning point for their policy in the region," said Nic Maclellan, the Australian author of a book on France in the Pacific.

"This is a political earthquake. People are using the word bouleversement – the world turned upside down."

It is time for the people of Tahiti and New Caledonia to rise up against their imperialist, colonialist masters. Tahiti is a quagmire! No blood for coconuts! End the occupation of New Caledonia! Chirac is a war criminal for his brutal conquest of the Tahitian people!

NOTE TO THE FRENCH: C’est sarcasme, d’accord?

5 thoughts on “Free Tahiti!

  1. Well the New Caledonians already did rise up. The Kanak National Liberation Front was responsible for much terrorism in the 1980’s. There were also French Loyalist militias (with assistance from French Special Forces at times) that committed atrocities as well. All the furore about the French and the Greenpeace boat, but few have paid attention to this other black mark on French policy in the South Pacific. The tricky thing working against the Kanaks is that New Caledonia is 43% ethnic Frenchdue to the Caldoche population. These descendants of prisoners have an outback French culture similar to that of the Afrikaners and the same sort of right wing nationalism. French Polynesia meanwhile is only 13% ethnic French. With that being said there are a good number of ethnic polynesians and kanaks who prefer their respective territories to be under Paris rule. One solution might be to upgrade these from the status of overseas territory to overeas departments. Reunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guyana are all stable because they have the same status as any mainland French department. An analogy would be what Hawaii and Alaska are to the states. As long as centre-right government rules from Paris, don’t look for the autonomists views to be given much credence. New Caledonia was promised a referendum on independence in 2013 as a result of the Noumea Accords which were signed in the early 90’s. Time will tell, but the situations in these two territories are not identical.

  2. Just a note to your sarcastic part (“Chirac is a war criminal for his brutal conquest of the Tahitian people!”): Tahiti belongs to France for a longer period than Chirac is president…he therefore didn’t conquest anything at all…

    More seriously, this really isn’t an imperialistic situation: ok, the french army likes to have this base for obvious reasons, but overall France is paying a lot of money to keep these islands: Everything is subsidised to keep prices low in this remote location. Keeping these territories is very expensive for France. The population doesn’t realise how different their lives would be without us. I’m pretty sure this would look like Haïti if it wasn’t for us (corrupt dictator, narcotraffic, starvation…).

    If they get their independance, please don’t forget to check on the situation in ten years and see what has improved.

  3. Obviously, Vincent is correct. Yet similar arrangements have existed in the British Empire as well as areas that were (or still are) under U.S. control. Britain dismantled their empire when the cost of maintaining it started exceeding the benefits to their economy. Why, despite several referenda, has Puerto Rico decided to remain a part of the U.S.? Most Americans would be glad to stop supporting their economy but Puerto Rico (it seems) doesn’t want to give up their meal ticket.

    Compared to Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, and even Germany, America’s overseas possessions have been few. There have been no uprisings for independence that we have had to contend with. And when given the chance, the Northern Marianas even chose not to become independent. But this has not inoculated America against the charge of being imperialistic.

    France, on the other hand, has fought numerous wars (albeit unsuccessfully) to keep her empire together against indigenous people who did not want to be a part of France so the “imperialist” moniker has some basis in fact. Yet even if, in this modern age, the industrialized world has become more of a benefactor than an exploiter of these colonial remnants, your not going to get much sympathy from the locals, even if they are happy enough taking your money.

  4. The bulk of France’s modern days overseas land are departments. You cannot claim that is colonial unless you want to claim that Hawaii and Alaska are American colonies. The issue of territories is also varying. Mayotte asked to remain French after the neighboring Comors Islands declared their independence, and France had to stand up for the Mahorais, even against the UN . The issue of French Polynesia and New Caledonia are trickier. They do have representation in the French National Assembly, and for a long time a majority elected pro-Paris delegates, this changing now. Even still of course for France to acquire these lands, there was conquest and oppression (in the case of the French Carribbean slavery).

    As for the US not being imperialist, we were just as bad in our own hemisphere. If you look at our history of supporting right wing dictators who would give our fruit companies rights to open up shop in Central America and the Caribbean, it is shameful. We were very imperial in the neo-colonialist sense. We have militarily occupied Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and other states. Then our government was shocked when communist uprisings started against the fascist oligarchies Washington was in bed with creating civil wars which led to much emigration to the United States.

    When it comes to foreign policy and imperialism France and the United States have long been just different shades of the same shit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.