Polynesia - most affected by French neocolonialism, wants independence -ANALYSIS

Polynesia - most affected by French neocolonialism, wants independence -ANALYSIS
# 05 June 2024 12:05 (UTC +04:00)

Regions located in different parts of the world still suffer from France's neo-colonial policy. Macron's government continues to control 13 overseas territories in South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, thousands of kilometers away from France's natural borders.

Today, France is practically the only European metropolis that has scattered its "colonial fragments" worldwide.

French Polynesia is one of those 13 regions that suffer from France's neo-colonial policy. The region is located in Oceania - in the south of the Pacific Ocean, in a strategically important place. Starting from the 40s of the 19th century, France took control of the islands and turned them into a colony.

In 1885, the captured territories were united under "French territories in Oceania". In 1958, the colony received the status of a French overseas territory. Starting from March 1977, the post of governor in French Polynesia was replaced by the post of high commissioner. The region has received autonomy only in 1996.

French Polynesia, consisting of 5 archipelagos and a total of 130 islands, is a real tourist center due to its beautiful and unique nature. Tourism accounts for 50% of the region's GDP. In addition, the archipelago is rich in pearl sales, cobalt and phosphate deposits.

As it can be seen, the economic potential of the region is huge and France is exploiting these lands. As a result, the rights of indigenous peoples are violated, 80% of the island's economy is controlled by large French corporations.

As in other French colonies, France is conducting a policy of assimilation in Polynesia too. Although 78% of the island's inhabitants are native Polynesians, local languages ​​are being forgotten, and residents are gradually switching to French. The main reason is that local languages ​​are taught only in primary schools. Knowledge of the French language and white French is preferred during the assignment of duties. 70% of the inhabitants of the islands now speak French via this administrative pressure. This may lead to the gradual transition of local languages ​​into the category of dead languages ​​in the future.

On the other hand, the healthcare situation on the island is also dire. During the coronavirus pandemic, the death of 700 out of 295 thousand residents was due to France not providing substantial medical support to the region.
The main factor severely impacting human health in French Polynesia is associated with the nuclear tests conducted by France. Since 1966, a total of 193 nuclear tests have been carried out in the nuclear test site located in the Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls, which belong to French Polynesia. As a result, the incidence of cancer among both men and women in French Polynesia is at its highest level.

Parallely, unemployment among Indigenous youth and discrimination on a national level make life difficult for the local inhabitants in these territories. Unemployment levels in French Polynesia are 2 to 3 times higher compared to the central part of France. Between 2017 and 2020, 7 percent of the population left French Polynesia, with the majority being young people aged 18 to 25.

Baku Initiative Group (BIG), active in the fight against colonialism and its new manifestations in the 21st century, also supports the indigenous peoples of French Polynesia.

The participation of the heads and secretaries of the Commission of the Parliament of French Polynesia (Mā'ohi Nui - in the local language) of the "Tavini" party, which has been fighting for the independence of French Polynesia for many years, freed from French slavery, is a manifestation of this support.

The speech of Victor Maamaatuaiahutapu, Secretary General of the "Tavini Huiraatira" Party at the conference, about the isolation of his country and people due to the policy of France, proves once again that it is important for the voice of the inhabitants of French Polynesia to be heard all over the world against the background of the passivity of the UN and other international organizations.

Despite all its efforts, France will not be able to prevent the Polynesians' freedom struggle. The freedom struggle that started in New Caledonia has already spread to French Polynesia, French Guiana, and other regions.

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