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Calling James Monroe

21 June 2009

One of the last European colonial possessions in the Americas took a huge leap into the modern world of nations this week when Kalaallisut, aka Grønland, became self-governing, except in finances, foreign affairs and defense. Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist heads a thirty-one member parliament in the new nation of 57,000 people. Head of state is Queen Margarthe II of Denmark, the once (and still) colonial overlord.

Similarly having a European monarch as head of state and no control over its finances, foreign affairs or defense (and serving as major military outposts for the United States, at the behest of the colonial power) is the Turks and Caicos Islands, which may lose (supposedly temporarily) its quasi-independent status as a “British Overseas Territory”:

… Premier Galmo Williams says the country is at a standstill,  as citizens await the release of the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into corruption.

The interim report, which has already been released, contains recommendations for the suspension of the TCI Constitution and the implementation of direct British rule. Those are expected to take effect when the final report is released at month end.

The “corruption” of which Prime Minister Williams speaks is  not that of the British parliament, nor of U.S. money laundering in the islands,   but that involving the former Prime Minister who made a killing in real estate (and boinked an American citizen).  Which is reason enough for the British to resume complete  control of the American quasi-nation.

Both Kalaallisut and the Turks and Caicos Islands — despite their European colonial ties, are typically American nations in that the larger American nations  are keenly interested in economic control.

From the BBC report on Kalaallisut, we read:

… US experts believe it will become easier to exploit the island’s mineral wealth as global warming melts the ice sheets.

Independence advocates hope the expected increase in revenues from minerals will help fund a final breakaway from Copenhagen.

The Turks and Caicos main industry is catering to Canadian tourists and  Canadian politicians have expressed serious interest in annexing the islands.  But, as Turks and Caicos writer Ben Roberts writes, there are other players with a major interest in the territory:

…as humanity progressed to a point of two savage world wars, we entered into the Cold War era. This was a war of deterrence, known for its posturing, saber-rattling, and muscle-flexing. Here once again the United States, and by extension Western Europe, got to maintain its military and security edge by looking to, and relying on, the Caribbean. This was in the form of US military bases in Puerto Rico, Chaguaramas in Trinidad, an important naval base in the Bahamas, the famous Guantanamo base in Cuba, and in Turks & Caicos a Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard base, all at the same time, in a World War II deal with their overseers, the British.

This military privilege, afforded the US in the Caribbean, most definitely translated into wealth for that country and its Western allies, because it extended their global reach and their ability to guarantee shipping and all the commerce connected with it. For those who might not know, the Turks & Caicos bases for the American military were an important asset to the US in the Cold War era. So much so that in the frantic race for dominance in outer space by America and the Soviet Union, astronaut John Glenn and his space capsule splashed down in the waters of those islands and was retrieved by his military and brought ashore on Grand Turk.

Now, one would think that with all of these privileges afforded America and the West … it would have allowed them a special place in the hearts and mind of these beneficiaries. Not a chance! As of right now the US and Europe, in the form of the OECD, are … making outrageous demands of Caribbean tax haven territories, including those they continue to benefit from to this day. What hypocrisy and ungratefulness!

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