Global Politics & Cultures (formerly Independent Thought & Freedom)
Episode 86

58: Jean Marie Richard | Diego Garcia, Middle East Wars, Mauritius and the Anglo-American Empire

Kirk Meighoo published on

Are small states doomed in a world of huge powers?
With war being threatened between the US and Iran, the tiny island of Diego Garcia plays a crucial role.
Yet this island is being illegally occupied by Britain, who in turn is leasing it to the United States.
The rightful owners of Diego Garcia is another small state, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

This exposes international politics as games of power rather than of respect for law, democracy or human rights, which the US and the UK are claiming to defend by illegally occupying Diego Garcia. It is deeply ironic.

I am personally tied to this issue as well. I am also from a small state, and i am also married to a Mauritian, which has given me personal, professional, political and media ties there as well.

As this issue is becoming more and more globally important, I am pleased to speak with Jean Marie Richard, Mauritian business and media consultant with expertise in geostrategical defense, trained in France and US, politically involved in Mauritius, who will explain this issue a bit more to us, and it many surprising ramifications.

We discuss:

- the history of Diego Garcia before its population was forcefully expelled by the US and UK
- the stark differences (even opposite approaches) the British used in decolonisation in Trinidad, Guyana and Mauritius to deal with the ethno-political issues of representation of Africans and Indians
- the forced depopulation of Diego Garcia
- Mauritius's surprisingly successful symbolic fight against this injustice in the United Nations and other international fora
- the International Court of Justice's ruling against the UK, which Britain has refused to recognise
- how Operation Desert Storm and the threatened attack on Iran is could only happen from the protected position of Diego Garcia, which is out of the current range of targeted countries
- the centrality of Diego Garcia to the American Empire in protecting and policing oil and gas routes from the Persian Gulf as well
- Is Diego Garcia just an unforunate but necessary casuality of the US's "fight for global freedom and democracy"? Does Mauritius have any choice in the matter?
- What exactly does Mauritius want by reclaiming Diego Garcia?
- How Mauritius has allowed India to use the neighbouring Agalega islands for its own Indian Ocean military facilities, in response to China's New Silk Road expansion
- the possibility of a South Indian Ocean Conference, and the further involvement of the Indian Ocean territories in geopolitical positioning by the US, UK, France, India, and China
- How Mauritius has successfully used its multi-ethnic population as economic and diplomatic assets to build development
- How the UN censured the UK for its illegal occupation of Diego Garcia, and questions were raised about the legitimacy of its seat on the UN Security Council because of its ignoring of the advisory opinion

and much more

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