The Canary Islands are African, but belong to Spain, to Owei Lakemfa
SUNDAY, September 19, 2021, like the Sundays spent in the Canary Islands, promised to be a calm and restful day. It was also a day of Christian worship. But beneath the land of La Palma on the islands, the rock had been pulverized and melted.
That afternoon, lava erupted into the air triggering volcanic eruptions that still rage. Lava flowed like a river from the Cumbre Vieja volcano and reached the sea in ten days.
It was an unhappy population who watched the volcanic eruptions in which many had lost everything they had, many houses destroyed and over 268 hectares of farmland with their bananas, grapes and avocados, sunk in lava.
At the start of the eruption, even as locals sat mourning their loss and wondering how they could begin to put the pieces of their lives back together, enthusiastic tourists flocked to take photos and selfies that were posted on the networks. social.
They were excited by the fountains of lava bursting into the sky and returning to earth before sinking in at least three directions, destroying everything in their path. Tourists had no empathy for the downcast residents.
The Spanish government also had little empathy; he saw the tragedy as a good opportunity to make money. The morning after the eruptions started, with people fleeing their homes and some residents being evacuated, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Maria Reyes Maroto Illera, sent a message to tourists and potential tourists that the The island was safe for tourists, especially to watch the eruption. live. For Maroto, the issue is not the evacuation of the inhabitants, the protection of lives or the general danger including for the environment and the climate posed by the eruption.
Rather to the economist: “The most important thing at the moment is to reassure the tourists who have been affected, and also those who could go to the island today or during the week. We provide information so that tourists can come to the island and witness something undoubtedly unprecedented for themselves.
This information will let tourists know that the island is open and also if their hotel has been affected so that they can stay elsewhere and enjoy their vacation. We can also make the most of it as an attraction so that many tourists who want to enjoy what nature has brought to La Palma can do so in the weeks and months to come.
It’s amazing, but true. The indifferent behavior and money-centric reaction of the Spanish minister is a reminder that Western ideology can be cold, hellish, and primarily interested in exploitation and profit.
What governs the being of the Spanish minister are the many sums of money that can be earned by selling the unfolding disaster as a perfect tourist package. Although a member of the Spanish Socialist Party, she is blind to the loss and grief of the victims of the volcano, her fellow Spanish citizens.
It is also not disturbed by the unfolding environmental catastrophe, including the fact that the eruption and lava would alter the geographic shape of La Palma and its surroundings. It is an eruption which recorded more than 22,000 tremors in one week!
Just to let you know that Maroto’s state of mind is institutional, his boss, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, visited this week. While pledging aid of 206 million euros ($ 239 million), he urged tourists from all over the world to come and witness the unfolding tragedy: “I would like to let tourists know that this is a safe place. , they can come and enjoy the island. ” Campaigning for people to “come and benefit” from a disaster? What is really left of our humanity?
It is the same state of mind that drove their ancestors to exterminate the indigenous African population and turn the islands into a white enclave. Once on a trip to Spain, the Iberian Airlines that took me from Lagos made a stopover in the Canary Islands, and I was like, wait a minute; we just left Lagos!
It was then that I realized that instead of being Spanish, the Canary Islands are actually West Africa! They are only 587 kilometers from Western Sahara and 992 kilometers from Mauritania, a country in West Africa, while Imperial Spain which claims the islands is 2,016.7 kilometers away!
In fact, the West African country of Cape Verde is further away than the Canary Islands! Where the islands are 587 kilometers from Western Sahara, Cape Verde is 1,358 kilometers away.
The Spaniards began their conquest of the Canaries in the early 1400s and systematically began to wipe out the local population. Their main objective was the extermination of the local male population while using the local females for interbreeding.
Only partial Canarian customs and traditions such as the whistle language (Silbo) still survive. The main Canarian language, Guanche from pre-colonial times, died out in the 17th century.
What the Spanish did in the Canaries to the native population by virtually exterminating them and seizing the land, is the same thing Britain did in Australia and white migrants, to the native Indian population in the United States. United.
This is what the whites have tried to do in Kenya, Algeria, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The method adopted is the same; White colonialists seize territory and attempt to exterminate the local population.
There are other African territories that the Spaniards have seized and continue to occupy. There are three who are Moroccan. These are Ceuta, just eight kilometers from Morocco, Penon de Valez de la Gomera, 75 kilometers away and Melilla, 10.5 kilometers from Morocco.
While clinging to Moroccan lands, the Spaniards try to bribe the Moroccans with the lands of other peoples. When the Spanish colonialists officially left Western Sahara on February 26, 1976, rather than allowing Sahrawi independence like the other colonies, they gave the country to Morocco as a propitiation.
So rather than challenge the Spaniards for their land, the Moroccans are trying to cling to Western Sahara. The two countries also continue to collaborate in this unholy project. For example, when Morocco “expelled” the Sahrawi patriot Aminatu Haida from her country on November 13, 2009, she was taken to the Canary Islands where the Spaniards tried to prevent her from leaving the islands.
There may be no hope that Africa will regain its territories, especially when the local population has been wiped out, but our memories must not be erased. As human beings, we must sympathize with the people of the Canary Islands in this time of mourning, but that does not mean that we must forget that these islands, even though they belong to Spain, are African.