On November 4, 2018, the French imperialists organized a referendum on whether New Caledonia would become independent from France or not.
New Caledonia or Kanaky (its indigenous name) is a set of islands in the Pacific Ocean, stolen by French imperialism from African people in 1853.
It is situated 20,000 km away from France and 2,000 km from Australia, another African land stolen by British imperialism.
New Caledonia has been a land for settler colonialism. The French invaders who sailed to our land included all kinds of unwanted French citizens including convicted criminals and others on the lower realms of French society.
“In 1871, 7,000 members of the Paris Commune were exiled to New Caledonia after the defeat of this two-month takeover of Paris.
Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and others have written extensively on the Paris Commune as the precursor to a socialist government, however, the Paris Commune never denounced the enslavement of African people and colonial genocide being imposed on the majority of the world by European and U.S. imperialist powers.
“The commune demanded white workers’ rights at the expense of African and colonized peoples around the world”( The Burning Spear, August 2009).
Our history in Kanaky mirrored 600 years of our lives everywhere under hostile and parasitic white power: Genocide, daily pain, suffering and also resistance to get European imperialism off our backs.
Over a century of French mass murder of black people explains why we are today in New Caledonia at just 40 percent of the population.
The constant white theft of our land has reduced and forced the indigenous African population to survive on 10 percent of an exhausted and mountainous land, which is much harder to till.
New Caledonia nickel resources key to the maintenance of world capitalist economy
The modern parasitic economy of New Caledonia depends largely on nickel, a rare mineral sought after for its versatile industrial uses; just like the Congo’s coltan, Nickel is “irreplaceable.”
New Caledonia with a quarter of world reserves of nickel mineral is strategic in the daily lives under imperialist domination.
According to Asian Metal magazine:
“Nickel-containing products play an important role in our daily lives. Compared with other materials, nickel-containing products possess better corrosion resistance, greater toughness, more strength at high and low temperatures and a range of special magnetic and electronic properties.
“Therefore, most nickel production is used for alloying elements, coatings, batteries and some other uses such as kitchen wares, mobile phones, medical equipment, transport, buildings, power generation and jeweller.”
Nickel brings untold wealth to France and white people in the Pacific Islands and despite the small demography of 268,000 inhabitants, 20 percent of Africans live below the poverty line.
The minimum wage is 20 percent less than in France and the cost of living is 35 percent more expensive in Kanaky than in France.
A small packet of chocolate that costs €2 in Paris would cost €8 in Nouméa, the colonial-capital city of New Caledonia.
There are African neighborhoods where there is no waste collection just like in most African working class parts of African cities in Continental Africa.
Africans endure waiting for 15 or more years to get access to a social housing.
The Africans voted against colonial life and conditions imposed on us; we voted for the return of our land and unification with our brothers and sisters around the world!
It is clear for the African People’s Socialist Party that the referendum will become significant in the context of mobilization of the entire black world, fighting for own power over our own lives and land .
White settlers shaken by the growth of black national resistance in the Mid-eighties
Under Mitterrand and Chirac presidencies, between 1981 and 1988, we saw a rise of national independence struggle in New Caledonia, which was severely repressed by French imperialism.
In 1984, out of the old Independentist Front Organization, Jean Marie Tjibaou created a new organization called The Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS).
Éloi Machoro became its Minister of Internal Security and its leader of independentist armed forces in the FLNKS provisional government.
He would rapidly emerge as the radical face of black peoples’ struggle for self-determination.
He was an uncompromising, fierce fighter for the land return to black people and was known for his ability to organize road rock blocks to paralyze traffic in the country.
Mitterrand’s government killed Eloi Machoro on January 12, 1985 and Jean Marie Tjibaou died three years later in tragic circumstances.
Machoro died alongside his deputy Yeiwene Yeiwene (which was a breach of their security protocol) when they were laying ceremonial gifts in a cave where 19 Africans were murdered by Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale (GIGN), a French counter insurgency commando sent from France by the colonial socialist Michel Rocard’s government to free the gendarmes taken as “hostages where two French soldiers were killed” on May 5, 1988.
Who gunned down Tjibaou and his deputy? There is no doubt for us that the French government was behind these two murders.
These 19 Africans were left naked and face down for everyone in the black community to see. This barbarous, humiliating act has a long lasting demoralizing impact of them.
The Matignon agreement (June 1988) and Nouméa Accord ( May 1998) laid out the basis for reform of French colonialism that included access to local government by the African petty bourgeoisie and for the holding of this historical November referendum; there are two more dates that call for further referendum in 2020 and 2022.
This referendum is not the end of the colonial matter just yet
Final results showed that 56.4 percent chose to remain part of France while 43.6 percent voted to leave—a tighter result than some polls had predicted. Turnout was about 81 percent.
White colonizers in France and in New Caledonia celebrated over this manipulated process to victory.
They cheated all the way in the last 30 years, since the announcement of the referendum, to minimize our demography.
It is clear that Africans want independence—it is white people and their allies brought in by French imperialists to dilute the African population to a minority level—that allows white people to maintain power in this part of the African Nation.
The struggle is not over yet. African consciousness is growing everywhere and we must use it to fight together and win together.
The 1.5 billion strong African Nation population would be over 2 billion in 20 to 30 years.
We will never allow white domination over black domination in New Caledonia or elsewhere!
This is a call to brothers and sisters in New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Australia and throughout the Pacific Ocean to unite with the African Socialist International (ASI) and prepare for the final offense for the rise of international Black Power.
We are also calling to all black people fighting for Black Power around the world to put the struggle of our people in the New Caledonia on our agenda of African liberation.
We want to see these Comrades at the next ASI Congress in 2023 in South Africa.
White Colonial Parasitism Will Be Obliterated!
Machoro, Tjibaou and Yeweine Yeweine did not die in vain, ‘til we get all land back.