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Sovereignty for the Cabindan Nation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terra Cabinda   
Friday, 09 March 2012 22:14

Sovereignty for the Cabindan Nation

Many famous thinkers of the social contract drew different conclusions about the nature of political authority and from among them we would like to quote John Locke (1632 - 1704), considered the father of liberalism, who advocated the “natural rights” used in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America , which now echoes in several important documents such as the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 which states that “the recognition of the inherent dignity of all members of the human family and their equal and inalienable rights is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.  It would also be appropriate to mention Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778), who advocated collective sovereignty in the name of “general will” that is, all power is in the people, the primary, sole and exclusive source of sovereignty, and is to manifest itself through the expressed general will.

There is no doubt that the general will of a nation is always right, unalterable and pure, and therefore always aims at the common good of all integral parts of society as opposed to the individual will that may be deceitful and egocentric.

After 1789 political institutions began to be structured on the basis of the general will, which actually reflects the will of the majority of the people or the nation. In the same year the National Assembly of France adopted the Declaration of the Human Rights and of the Citizen which states in Article 6: “The law is an expression of the general will”.

We recall that even in mediaeval society the king had limited powers as their primary source was said to be founded in God, in the order of nature, backed by the consent of the governed, limited by law and by moral imperatives: <rex eris, si recte facies; si recte non facies non eris>, from Latin, which in English means: <you will be king if you do right; if you do not do right you will not be>. His powers were also limited by the autonomy of social groups (corporations) and municipalities (mediaeval towns) that had acquired a certain autonomy within the feudal system, with inherent rights recognized by their master in a letter.

It is clear that although the king exercised the supreme suzerainty, the king's power did not nullify the powers of subordinate suzerainty. Based on these limitations the mediaeval jurist Henry Bracton (1210 - 1268) enunciated in the thirteenth century the principle of “rule of law” which advocates that the law makes the king. Therefore, it is up to the king to give back to the law what the law gave him, namely, dominion and power.

It is the nation (people) which is entitled to exercise sovereignty or delegate it voluntarily without any coercion or alien imposition, and to recover it according to law. Since 1963 the Cabindan nation has been expressing, in an open and organized manner, its general desire to regain the sovereignty delegated to Portugal, and since 1974 it has rejected the Angolan occupation led by the forces of the MPLA.

No people should be governed by others to whom they did not assign the right to do so in their behalf, and even when this right is assigned those who exercise it also have the obligation to relinquish it when required.

<The United Nations General Assembly in adopting and proclaiming on December 10, 1948 the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations, in order that every individual and every organ of society, keeping in mind this Declaration, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms, and by adopting progressive measures of national and international character, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction>.

It is understood that the United Nations (UN) assumed here the solemn responsibility to be the guarantor of the implementation of these principles, before all the nations of the world, big and small, weak and strong, developed and developing, colonized and under foreign occupation or victims of internal discrimination by the instituted powers,  and to guarantee them regardless of colour.

The Cabindan Nation was internationally recognized by the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and has now been reduced to almost complete neglect by the UN.

Cabindan refugees worldwide are abandoned to their fate, particularly on the territories of the neighbouring Republic of Congo Kinshasa and Brazzaville, without the assistance of the UNHCR which received them as Cabindan refugees in these territories and now requires them to return as Angolans under the framework of a tripartite programme convenient to Angola without any minimum guarantees of the rights of the Cabindan Nation.  Since the occupation of the territory by the forces of MPLA, the Angolan ruling party, Cabinda has been experiencing repression worse than any ever suffered under Portuguese rule.

However, during Portuguese rule in Cabinda the Cabindan issue was the subject of separate hearings and discussions within the UN Committee for Decolonization and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU), separately from the question of Angola.

We do not believe that modern societies agree that the world has taken a step backwards, only, on the issue of Cabindan sovereignty as it assists in interventions by the United Nations and the world's most industrialized countries in other countries or territories for the restoration of human dignity and the natural rights of various nations, which we applaud, as has happened with East Timor, Kosovo, Southern Sudan and most recently in Libya, and is also seen in the current coordinated pressure on the military regime of Myanmar and in Syria.

However, never mention the Cabindan Nation, downtrodden by the regime of the MPLA (Angola) under the silent and complacent gaze of the superpowers that should demand an end to the barbarity, witnessed by the corporations of those superpowers.

Does not Cabinda qualify as a member of the human family or is the MPLA (Angola) above all international standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – is this what justifies the silence?

The union of peoples or nations even in the most enlightened of situations should be freely granted and unforced; negotiated and never imposed. This is fundamental wherever dignity and human rights are taken into account.

No people or nation has the right to inflict as much harm or humiliation, or to orchestrate the extinction of another nation with impunity, in the way it is now seen in Cabinda. Why are the UN and the developed world silent about Cabinda?

The differences between nations should be the stimulus needed to achieve balanced multilateral solutions which benefit the nations involved and humanity in general, and not to endorse unilateral and inappropriate positions.

The commitment of the United Nations and the superpowers to human dignity and the natural rights of mankind should oblige them to take an unequivocal stance, without looking at who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. For what is good for other nations is also good for Cabinda, and vice versa.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:30


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The Liberal Forum for the Emancipation of Cabinda is a not-for-profit organization and relies on membership fees, grants and donations from philanthropic and peace loving peoples and organizations, who understand the yoke of our people that we represent to sustain its work and activities. Your donation would be a welcome contribution to enable us to continue assisting the just and peaceful aspirations of the people of Cabinda, and promote their human rights and rights for self-determination; find non-violent solution to the conflict of Cabinda that affect the people of Cabinda and bring peace and security for all in the territory.