Close the U.S. Military Basis on Diego Garcia!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 08 June 2018, www.thecommunists.net
1. The Chagos Islands, an archipelago of 60 small islands in the Indian Ocean, are subjugated to colonial occupation since the end of the 18th century. First under French and later under British rule, its biggest island – Diego Garcia – has become home of one of the most important US naval and military bases in the Asia Pacific region. This island has been crucial for U.S. imperialism as a base of operation for various important military campaigns (e.g. the attack on Afghanistan in 2001 or on Iraq in 2003).
2. In order to allow the imperialist powers unlimited control over the islands, the native population was forcibly removed by the U.S. and Britain between 1968 and 1973. Expelled through intimidation or simply deported, many of the original Chagossians live today in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Their right to return, a key demand of the organizations representing Chagossians, has been denied by the imperialist powers until today.
3. Since decades progressive organizations in Mauritius like LALIT are campaigning for three, closely intertwined demands:
* Decolonization of the Chagos Islands which have been illegally split off from Mauritius by Britain at Independence in 1968;
* Closure of the US military base on one of the islands, Diego Garcia;
* The right of return of all Chagossians with proper reparations.
4. As a result of popular pressure and international support, the United Nations General Assembly voted in 2017, with a large majority, in favour of referring the territorial dispute between Mauritius and the UK to the International Court of Justice in order to clarify the legal status of the Chagos Islands archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
5. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unreservedly supports the three demands of the anti-colonial movement in Mauritius – close down the imperialist military basis on Diego Garcia, return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius and for the right to return for the Chagossians with proper reparations. We call organizations of the workers and popular movements around the world to fully support these legitimate demands of the Mauritian and Chagossian people.
6. The RCIT warns against any illusions in the United Nations or its International Court of Justice. The UN is nothing but an assembly of big and small gangsters. It is composed of representatives of the ruling class of the capitalist states with five imperialist Great Powers – the U.S., UK, France, China and Russia – wielding veto powers. Likewise, it would be wrong to view the UN’s International Court of Justice as an authentic organ of justice. While the ICJ regularly conducts trial against (alleged or real) war criminals from poor countries, it never puts on trial the big war criminals from the Great Powers or Israel – those who are responsible for slaughtering the people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria or Yemen! Furthermore, even if the ICJ would decide against the UK, the latter would not be bound to the decision since, as a permanent members of the UN Security Council, it is able to veto enforcement of cases!
7. It is the duty of all workers and popular organizations in Africa, in South Asia and, in particular, in the Western imperialist metropolises themselves to mobilize for an immediate and unconditional end of the colonial occupation of the Chagos Islands.
8. Our unreserved support for the anti-colonial demands of the working people of Mauritius is an inseparable part of the RCIT’s anti-imperialist and socialist program. The agonizing results of capitalist exploitation and imperialist oppression in Mauritius as well as in the whole of Africa can only be abolished if workers and poor peasant governments take power in order to overthrow capitalism and to open the road towards socialism.
9. Imperialism is a global system and, hence, can only be defeated on an international scale. The RCIT calls socialists in Mauritius and other countries to join us in our efforts to build a Revolutionary World Party fighting for the socialist liberation of the international working class and oppressed people.
International Secretariat of the RCIT
The RCIT has sections and activists in Zambia, Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Tunisia, Israel / Occupied Palestine, Brazil, Mexico, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Britain, Germany, and Austria. Furthermore, the RCIT has fraternal relations with the Alkebulan School of Black Studies (Kenya), the Pacesetters Movement (Nigeria), the Pan-Afrikan Consciousness Renaissance (Nigeria), the Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia) and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey).
We refer readers to the new RCIT Manifesto:
RCIT: Manifesto for the Revolutionary Liberation of Black Africa. Economic Freedom and Political Power for the Workers and Oppressed through Socialist Revolution! Adopted by the 2nd Congress of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) in Lusaka (Zambia), November 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/manifesto-for-the-revolutionary-liberation-of-black-africa/
For other documents on the class struggle in Africa see: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/
Link to LALIT Mauritius: http://www.lalitmauritius.org/