Oil Developers Want Ownership of the Island of La Gonave: Is Haiti FOR SALE??

September 26, 2010
By `

A summary of the “La Gonave Master Plan”:
The developer, Global Renewable Energy, claims to be focused on “alternative energy projects,” and has already pitched the plan to “buy” the island of La Gonave to the Haitian government, yet a public disclosure of the status of any agreements is unknown outside of the principles involved.

The developers’ first priority is to build a “crude oil refinery”, “petroleum product tank farm”, “food processing plant”, and “industrial port” in the planned “industrial city”, but they are promoting their project (Ironic at all to call it the “La Gonave Master Plan?”) as an “island paradise and business mecca”, that will be a “home for international business and the destination for world travelers.” Why develop La Gonave? Because “Developers within the energy sector will be more likely to assume the risks due to the large profit margins that may be realized by them.” GRE minimizes the environmental impact that an oil refinery on La Gonave will have, saying:

“The oil refinery is created from mini-refineries. This type of refinery has much less impact on its surroundings. The refinery will be located within the industrial city and visually isolated from the rest of the island by the Jatropha Plantation. Additionally, the refinery and industrial city are located on La Gonave’s most western tip thus minimizing any impact on La Gonave. The prevailing wind direction is from the east. This prevailing wind direction will carry the minimal emissions out to sea to the west thus not negatively impacting La Gonave or the rest of Haiti

When the project is complete in the 20 year span visualized by GRE, Haitians who remain on the island, will be 60% employed (“a large trainable workforce”) by the project’s proposed businesses (mostly the “industrial plantation”). Haitians might well ask, what of the 40% not employed? Also, what of the fact that local island residents will be hindered from traveling freely from/to the island because the only way to get there will be via a private executive airport or the large industrial dock for cruise ships?

The majority of the island (a 65,000 acre project) will be taken up by an “industrial plantation.” Haitians should be concerned that the Republic of Haiti’s government will only be designated as a “shareholder” in the proposed agreement. Who will be the civic authorities in this “island paradise”? It should be unacceptable that this “master” plan proposes a sort of Vatican City of the Caribbean with no official government oversight.

WATCH VIDEO FOR La Gonave-The VISION

Will Haitians want a cadre of international business executives placidly profiting from the natural resources of Haiti and running the island of La Gonave like a “business?” Hopefully not.

The master plan has no seeming plan to reimburse the people they will be displacing from their lands. In Haiti, there have been protests held in opposition to projects similar to this proposed plan, since they displace and disenfranchise the peasants by taking away their land. One example is this protest that was held in 2007 on World Food Day by peasant groups, who presented a petition against Jatropha plantations to the Haitian Parliament. The developers and the Haitian government (if this plan gets approval) can expect the same response. Haitian popular organizations will exercise their democratic rights and want a say in what happens to Haitian lands.

Haitians should put forth a competing idea or propose amendments that benefit the Haitian people. The plan might for instance, give a share of the profits from industries on the island to social services or the government could institute a minimum salary or dividend (like in Brazil or Alaska); or fund proper health-care facilities, schools, social services; or require that the locals form the governing body of the island; or that proper jatropha farming or other alternate energy form do not disturb the ecosystem of the island; or that a ferry system to/from the island be financed and run from a public fund.

5 Responses to “ Oil Developers Want Ownership of the Island of La Gonave: Is Haiti FOR SALE?? ”

  1. Haitian Moses on September 26, 2010 at

    It is not a good idea to protest against a plan to create jobs for the Haitian people. Basically, when you hear things like that, it is a leftist movement which will not be able to do anything else to satify the need of the poor down there, It is time to be more realistic. The people are suffuring and the politicians are wasting large amount of funds to fight each other through fake elections.

    These millions could be put together to create many jobs to the nation. Imstead, they espend them in paying services to make posters but anything else.

    So, encourage the investors to start right now to create jobs.

  2. Chantal Leslie on September 27, 2010 at

    MOSES IS AN IDIOT.

    HAITI ATTRACTS ALL OF THE FLAKES WHO SEE US AS A BUNCH OF IDIOTS.

    RESEARCH THIS GROUP – AND I MEAN REALLY RESEARCH IT – BEYOND THE PRETTY PRESENTATIONS – AND YOU WILL FIND A GROUP OF FAILED FLAKES WHO NOW HOPE TO EXPLOIT HAITI AFTER THE GET LA GONAVE.

    THEY WILL USE THIS TO SELL THEMSELVES.

    IF THEY ARE UNSUCCESSFUL, THEY WILL STILLE HAVE TITLE AND WE ARE CHEATED ONCE AGAIN.

  3. jean on September 27, 2010 at

    I would shar that opinion on searching not calling ourselves idiotsyes we are desperate for jobs,yes we all would like to see a better Haiti. the questions reamaining are:
    1- what is the last country over this planet that this organisation have fulfilled their promisses? to what extent?

    2-how many dammges have they done the environment of thos last places?

    3- can Haiti really resist the toxic power of an oil refinary plant,knowing how contaminated our water and rivers already are?

    4- would creating lakes help minimising for real the impact of carbone dioxyde and reduce the level poisonoeus streams that already have?

    5-since when Haiti was so important to that organisation? i have read in their last offer to the goverment that if the haitiangoverment would tarry long over taking a decision that they would come to DR. DR that has already rejected same and similar offers for their beatifull island called SAONA WHICH TODAY HAS BECOME THE MOST ATRACTIVE SIGHT FOR VISITORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.
    do Haitian really care about the nature? would not a national reservation park make Lagonave a better place?
    from the other hand,the creation of jobs for imediately 20000 thousand locals sounds atractive, plus building of the mega port, ports and al those urban areas stated. I can dream of returning tomorrow to Haiti if, all of these were said to really help out an already devasted country.However,as we are all observing from afar on the news and the internet,the onlything that is happening iin Hait for the past 10 months has been corporate group taking advvantage of a system they seem well to want to keep the same.MAy God help our decision taker men and open their eyes on what is really good for the nation. above all to always think of mother nature that we all haitians owe an apology for such great dammage that we have done to her.May God help us cause he is the only one that knows and is omnipresent,omnipotent and omniscientist.Haitian need jos,but haitian also need to respect the mother nature. i would give a big applause to any NGO that would start a campain in the country side by suplying the local with stoves and set sevarl fuel thanks in the most remoted area allowing them access to fuelsuplies so they can start cooking with propane in stead of carbon or pieces of wood. that has been done in DR today,look at their mountains now and tell me wahat u see.at least this step would help us getting our natur back. not even the president whom father is known to have studied agronomy seems to think about the importants of stopping right now the way that hatian are becoming depredators,even the birs are not flying anymore over our mountains that used to be so green and beatifull.

  4. jean on September 27, 2010 at

    question:
    is it true that the commission of $3000000000 us lost is related to Lagonave Island sold?

  5. MICHAEL COLLINS on September 27, 2010 at

    No, the $300,000,000 commission is involved with another concept in which Elizabeth Delatour dealt with a major American company.

    The La Gonave group is a bunch of flakes who have spent a few dollars to draw up a fancy presentation, but nothing tangible to back it up. Let them deposit a couple of million American dollars as a Good Faith deposit and you will see them disappear from the game.

    There is no need to pay anyone a commission/bribe to have a refinery in Haiti.