On 11 May, the Netherlands joined the US and Spain in betraying the people of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa.
‘We are being told by the West to simply accept our reality – the reality of occupation,’ Sahrawi journalist Nazha El Khalidi told Tribune in April. ‘Why don’t we have the same right to self-determination as the Ukrainians? This hypocrisy shows you the real face of Europe and Spain, who are more interested in our land and resources than in the people of Western Sahara.’
Before the invasion of Ukraine in February, US president Joe Biden warned Russia that, if it invaded, ‘they’ll pay a stiff price – immediately, near term, medium term, and long term.’
This is the same Joe Biden who decided last year to maintain the Donald Trump policy of recognising Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara.
Morocco has gained stiff benefits, near term, medium term and long term, from its 1975 invasion. These include profits from selling phosphate stolen from Sahrawi land and fish stolen from Sahrawi waters.
Under Trump, in December 2020, the US became the first Western country to accept the legitimacy of Morocco’s occupation. (Morocco invaded Western Sahara in 1975 and has illegally occupied 80 percent of its territory ever since.)
On 18 March, the Spanish government also accepted Morocco’s phony ‘autonomy’ plan for Western Sahara within Morocco. They were joined by the Netherlands on 11 May.
The plan brushes aside the UN-monitored referendum of the people of Western Sahara that Morocco agreed to in 1991 as part of its ceasefire deal with the Sahrawi national liberation movement, Polisario.