La Voce di Trieste

4th of July: the Independence Day and the Free Territory of Trieste

Analysis by Paolo G. Parovel

The Independence Day of this 4th of July 2016, was the celebration of the first 240 years of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, voted on the 2nd of July 1776 in Philadelphia by the representatives of the Thirteen Colonies which, by this revolutionary act, declared their freedom from the British Crown. It was the beginning of the American Revolution, which ended with in 1783 with the Treaty of Peace of Paris of 1783 that ratified the victory of the former Colonies that fought for freedom.

The Declaration of Independence of the United States marked a very meaningful turning point in both the history of democracy and in the political, economic, and strategic balances of the world, it does also have a connection with the Austrian history of the city and Free Port of Trieste, as well as with the independence, since 1947, of the Free Territory of Trieste as a sovereign State and international Free Port (LINK).

In the history of Democracy

In the history of Democracy, the Declaration of Independence of the United States realized a new synthesis of the universal principles, associating the philosophical and spiritual tradition to practical modernity:

«We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.»

After World War II, the fundamental principles of the Declaration of Independence of theUnited States of America inspired also the acts of the United Nations with which, in 1947, Trieste was given back its freedom after 27 years of nationalistic occupations (1918-1945), being now constitutes as a sovereign State with another Treaty of Peace signed in Paris, that with the defeated, nationalist Italy.

In world balances

As for world balances, the independence of the United States introduced a new political, economic, and strategic Power, strong and stable, which ever since played an international role of anchoring and big, safe shelter for democracy and individual freedom, far away from the liberticidal political storms of the Eurasian continent, and it was open to those who were persecuted.

This is and remains the essential moral and strategic, but also objectively irreplaceable role of the United States, and it goes beyond any possible critique to other aspects or developments of their domestic and international politics.

The Philadelphia of Europa

In the fighting Colonies, the celebration of the Independence Day began as early as in 1777; in particular, it started in Philadelphia, which from 1790 to 1800 was also the Capital City of the United States.

That big port city in the New World, founded in the name of fraternal love (φιλαδελφία) as a place for civil and religious freedom, was also the American city that looked the most like the free, multicultural Trieste created by the Habsburgs with the Imperial patents of the 18th Century concerning free navigation and trades, the Free Port, religious tolerance, and civil rights, which did quickly establish in the city a new population of active and adventurous immigrants.

To the point that a French hero of the American Revolution awarded by George Washington in person, Count Charles-Albert de Moré, aide-de-camp of Lafayette, in a letter addressed to his brother described the Austrian Trieste, where they would ultimately move for business, as «the Philadelphia of Europe, the typical pioneer city of our old continent, the port in which castaways find shelter and a new, promising life», and the Triestines as «true pioneers […] flocking from the most diverse of lands in order to make a different life for themselves».

This is also the reason why, after their independence, the United States opened in Trieste, as early as in 1797, their second Diplomatic mission in Europe after the one they had opened in Paris during the war, in 1778, managed by Benjamin Franklin.

The economic and cultural relations between Trieste and the United States intensified with an exponential growth of maritime traffics especially with New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, Savannah, Pensacola and Galveston, with freight and passenger lines of both the Lloyd Austriaco (Österreichischer Lloyd)then Lloyd Triestino, and of the “Austro-Americana” line, then “Unione Austriaca di Navigazione Austro Americana e dei Fratelli Cosulich” (Vereinigte Schiffahrtsgesellschaften der Austro-Americana und der Gebrüder Cosulich).

Through two World Wars and the Cold War

During the 1914-1918 World War, from 1917, Austrian Trieste had to be at war also against the United States, which had joined the Entente as an external member to prevent the victory of Germany, and not to destroy Austria-Hungary, to whom, in 1919, they tried to grant the right to self-determination that could have saved from Italian occupation Trieste, the Eastern-Adriatic coast and Southern Tyrol.

From 1919 to 1945 the United States played a decisive role to contrast and to overthrow Fascist and National-Socialist domination that had overwhelmed also Trieste, and after the liberation of the city, it was the United States to keep it within the western block, substituting with Anglo-American forces the Allied Forces of Yugoslavia, which left the Soviet block no later than some years later.

The United States were also important in determining the moral, economic, and political choice of the United Nations to give back to Trieste its freedom and international roles (LINK) by establishing, since 1947, the Free Territory of Trieste with an international Free Port, whose first Government of State was entrusted by the same Treaty of Peace to the Military Commands of the Governments of the United States and of the United Kingdom.

During the complex happenings of the Cold War, both Governments sub-entrusted since 1954 the temporary civil administration of the present-day Free Territory of Trieste to the Italian Government (not to the State of Italy). This is why they are still the primary holders of the international mandate established with the Treaty of Peace, and the Italian Government must answer to them about its sub-administration.

Also, during the dissolutive crisis of Yugoslavia (1990-95), it was the United States to try preventing armed conflicts, and then to limit and end them (while Germany, Italy and Russia did fuel these for their own advantage), as well as to obtain, in 1992, that the United Nations recognized independent Slovenia and Croatia, thus stabilizing also their borders with the Free Territory.

The international roles of the present-day Free Territory of Trieste

At the end of the Cold War, and after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, all international tensions that, from 1947, kept the present-day Free Territory of Trieste in the first phase of provisional Government, entrusted to the Governments of the United States and of the United Kingdom, and still sub-entrusted to the Italian Government, have ended.

This means that right now the economic and strategic roles of the Free Territory of Trieste as international Free Port and international financial center (a “Mediterranean Singapore”) can be finally exercised for the sake of the economic freedoms of the International Community, without separatist or territorial disputes.

For instance, the Free Territory is already legally independent since 1947 by virtue of international instruments in force, its borders with Italy are unchanged and those with Slovenia are defined since 1992.

Also, there are additional international instruments that allow the extension of the Free Port of Trieste to areas of the nearby Slovenian port of Koper and to the Croatian ports of Rijeka and of Ploče to favor the economic-political stabilization of the area of former Yugoslavia (LINK) and to the Danube-Balkan region (LINK).

The only obstacle left

Only one obstacle is left to prevents all of this: the illegal and parasitic behaviors of the administering Italian Government, which took advantage of the problems of the Cold War and of the Yugoslav crisis to act sovereign, simulating that the Free Territory entrusted to its responsibility was, instead, a province of the State of Italy.

With this illegal simulation of sovereignty, the Italian Government paralyzes the rights and international roles of the Free Territory of Trieste (LINK) treating it as a colony and forcing on it the same vexations that theThirteen American Colonies denounces in their Declaration of Independence.

The provisional Italian Government and its Commissar with functions of Governor of the Free Territory of Trieste do in facts act like tyrants, because they do arrogantly breach the obligations established with their international mandate of temporary civil administration (LINK), in particular:

– refuse to issue the needed laws for the correct Administration of the Free Port (LINK) and of the Free Territory;

– deprive the citizens of all civil, political, and economic rights that were established for them by the International Statutes of the Free Territory of Trieste (LINK);

– deny to the citizens the right to elect the legitimate institutions of the Free Territory and to be represented in them;

– deactivated the international representation of the Free Territory of Trieste to exclude it from international organizations and relations with other States;

– do illegally force on the Free Territory the laws and enormous taxes of the State of Italy, they collect them by force, and the payments are included in Italian State budgets instead of in the separate balances of the Free Territory;

– by doing so, they do clearly breach also the fundamental principle of democratic principle that legitimates taxation: no taxation without representation;

– exploit the economic resources of the Free Territory (industries, State Properties, Stock Exchange, Free Port areas, etc.) to close them, sell them or to move them to Italy;

– in order to commit this and other vexations, they maintain in Trieste a multitude of civil and military officers of the State of Italy, thus violating also the mandatory neutrality and demilitarization of the Free Territory;

– in particular, they impose judges who, in the name of the State of Italy, issue judgments in which they do falsely deny the legal existence of the Free Territory of Trieste, offend and threaten with unfair fines and imprisonment the citizens who affirm this status, but at the same time they do acquit or do not investigate those who violate it;

– do not answer to the thousand of peaceful petitions against their abuses, or they answer to some with false arguments and in offensive or intimidating ways;

– censor, hide or falsify on the main media and on the Internet all information concerning the real legal status of the Free Territory, the violations listed above, and their serious, negative consequences.

With such unbearable, tyrannical vexations, the provisional Italian Government does also violate the rights of all other States on the international Free Port, and it has drained all resources of the Free Territory of Trieste driving it in conditions of extreme political and economic marginalization, destroying its enterprises and forcing on the citizens poverty and unemployment that keep worsening.

Defending independence

Just like the American Colonies towards the British people in 1776, the people of Trieste have no hatred towards the Italian people, but it must defend itself against the unfair vexations of its Government by the appropriate means. This is why the people of Trieste started to defend their rights (LINK) and reactivated the provisional international representation of the Free Territory, requesting it be accredited before the United Nations (LINK).

This is why it appears right, legitimate and honorable asking that the Government and the People of the United State take again, urgently, into consideration the question of the violated rights to freedom and independence of the Free Territory of Trieste, evaluating them also in relations to the principles and reasons of their own Declaration of Independence and of the historic friendship consolidated, through more than two centuries, between Trieste and the United States of America.

Parade of the Trieste United States Troops – TRUST (1947-1954)

© 4 luglio 2016

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Copyright © 2012 La Voce di Trieste. Tutti i diritti riservati
Testata giornalistica registrata presso il Tribunale di Trieste - n.1232, 18.1.2011
Pubblicato dall'Associazione Culturale ALI "Associazione Libera Informazione" TRIESTE C.F. 90130590327 - P.I. 01198220327
Direttore Responsabile: Paolo G. Parovel
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