Greenlanders to Trump: Greenland is not for sale

By Mikael Hertig, M. of Pol. Sci.

August 16 2019.



Danes and Greenlanders:  “This is absurd”



Portrait of Donald Trump

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)


Donald Trump is visiting Denmark primo September. Several US papers refers – among others Wall Street Journal   – that Trump is going to negotiate how Unites States can buy Greenland. In 1920, USA bought The Virgin Islands of Denmark. In 1946, POSAD presented the idea of buying Greenland from the Danish Government. At this time, Greenland was still a Danish colony. Today, Aquut has asked Danes and Greenlanders: They cannot take Trump’s idea seriously. It is far to absurd. Nevertheless, the governments in Nuuk and Copenhagen have to take Trump seriously.







Map of Greenland in northern circumpolar

Map of Greenland Greenland is shielding North America to Russian missiles?

Human rights or raw power?

Greenland was a Danish Colony until 1953. The central powers during WW2 declared the fundamental concept of United Nations. Banning colonialism was a basic concept as an aspect of setting op human rights as the answer to fascism and nazism. After WW2, US forced to give up Greenland as a colony. Today, Greenland has Self Rule and is considered Overseas Territory  Greenland is moving in a proces towards being an Independent state with full jurisdiction over it’s own territory. Seen in this perspective, the idea of US buying a country seems extremely absurd.


Former Danish Prime Minister: “This must be a joke”

August 16, Lars Loekke Rasmussen tweeted:

“It must be an April Fool’s Day joke … but totally out of sesson!

Photo of former Prime Minister Lars Ramsussen 2018

Lars Loekke Rasmussen was Danish Prime Minister until 2019 (c) LLR

A Greenlanders reaction:


Photo Juaakka Lyberth

Juaakka Lyberth

Juaakka Lyberth, Greenlander: “Greenland is not for sale and will never be”.

“It is not a foreign thought for Americans to buy lands. Several US states bordering Mexico were purchased by the United States, just as the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. Denmark has also sold the West Indies to the United States. During and after World War II, the United States promoted Greenland. But the people at home were against. That is why the Youth associations in Nuuk made the flagpole in front of Holm’s house and hoisted Dannebrog (Denmarks Flag) – it was July 1945 – in the words: Greenland will forever be associated with Denmark. That is why the Danish flag is raised every Sunday – today – on that flagpole. But the US got its Thule Air Base, Blue West One, and Narsarsuaq base, as well as a few other places shown. But Greenland is not for sale and will never be!”


The colonial aspect

It is almost a common aspect of colonialism that control of the territory is more important than the human beings living there. Thus, Trumps return from human ideas of human rights to colonialism seems obvious.  Greenland’s geographic position has during long time been seen as central. The flight routes over the North Pole was central during WW2; as tensions between Russia and USA has been revoked and because of the new opportunities for sailing from Alaska to Russia or by the Northwest Passage through the Baffin Bay and Davis Strait to Victoria Island opens new issues. The control of sail routes.




In the governments offices in Nuuk and Copenhagen people will be forced to reflect on Trump’s worldview and values’ universe. It seems so strange and absurd; however his return to colonialism seems astonishing. This may have several reasons. The postcolonial Denmark is still suffering from remnants of “White man’s burden”. It is so embedded in Danish minds to have some sort of connection to Greenland.


First political reaction: “This is far out”

MP Michael Aastrup Jensen, deputee spokesman for Danish Liberal Party “Venstre”:

The Danish Government will have to react very bluntly  to Trump. This is far out. It should be told immediately and before the coming meeting between Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister Kim Kielsen, Government of Greenland with trump in the beginning of September

Photo Michael Aastrup Jensen Danish MP

Michael Aastrup Jensen


Most surprising: “Trump is insaint”

A spokesman of the Danish Right Wing national conservative and ethnofobic party DF (“Danish Peoples Party) maybe is the most surprising. His name is Soeren Espersen. It is so surprising because DF until now has been  the strongest Danish Trump supporter. Being defending Israël towards Palaestine, phanatic antimuslim, the impression has been that if someone should find a Danish politician supporting Trump it would be Soeren Espersen. August 16 he spoke i DR, Danish Radio:

Here we have the definitive proof that Trump is crazy

Photo of MP Soeren Espersen

Søren Espersen, Dansk Folkeparti.


It is difficult to take Trump seriously

The conclusion is that is so challenging to take Trump seriously. It is a sort of negative amazement. Denmark is so dependant of good relations to Unites States of America and its president. Being a small state in EU with geopolitical interests in the Arctic Denmark has to balance precisely between European and geopolitical and strategic North Atlantic interests. Trumps behavior challenges this, and seen from a Danish perspective it is very difficult to cope with.

Among diplomats, this should have been anticipated in Washington. However, it is told that Trump should stay put: He insists of this “Real Estate Agent’s” approach to international affairs.

Why doesn’t he buy France og Germany?



Mikael Hertig








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