Whoever led the United States, for many decades, the attitude of the authorities towards Hawaiians was close to colonial.
The country which calls itself the cradle of democracy has illegally controlled the Hawaiian Islands for over a century. It all started with the overthrow of the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893, and 5 years later the United States occupied the islands.
The echo of the annexation is still felt here, writes The Guardian. So, since October last year, when the authorities allowed to visit the archipelago, over 650 thousand tourists flew here. A new option is now also available to arrivals – vaccination against COVID-19. In fact, tourists get the life-saving vaccine before the islanders.
Joe Biden, it may seem, has found a way out of this situation. His administration is working to federally recognize Hawaii’s Aboriginal governments. That is, they will be equated with the tribes of the American Indians. The idea has been widely praised as a way to protect the rights of Hawaiians, but not everything is so simple.
Federal recognition is the last “nail in the coffin of Hawaii’s sovereignty”, The Guardian emphasizes. Not surprisingly, most native Hawaiians strongly oppose this. One poll showed that more than 95% of respondents oppose the prospect of the US government recognizing the new government of indigenous Hawaiians.
“You cannot give me back what I have never given up. <…> Take what you want to give us and throw them into the trash can. We don’t want that. We are sovereign”, – said Tisha-Marie Kekumu-Beatty from Kahului City on the Maui Islands.
It is noteworthy that even Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii, did not seek to resolve the age-old crisis with the occupied islands, although his administration did not spare criticism of Russia over the return of Crimea.
The US Department of the Interior later ruled that the indigenous population of Hawaii could apply for self-government. True, the new government of the indigenous people of Hawaii will not receive any land, territorial jurisdiction, or even the right to transfer land to trust.
They can only get the island of Kahoolave, which the US Navy has used as a training ground for 50 years. The island, with an area of 116.5 square kilometers, is still crammed with unexploded ordnance.
At the same time, federal recognition would mean the official transfer under US control of more than 8,000 square kilometers of territories that were stolen from the Kingdom of Hawaii and the indigenous inhabitants of the archipelago. The Democratic-controlled Congress appears willing to legitimize the occupation by hypocritically calling the process of reconciliation.
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“The thief returns to the scene of the crime, asks for forgiveness, but refuses to return the stolen”, – states The Guardian.