The above interactive diagram includes active links and is intended to help you visualize the connections and key roles and organisations involved in the ZEDE Project in Honduras.
It is interesting that the architect of many of the free market reforms in Russia was Babson Global Inc’s Shanker Singham is also one of the key architects of both Brexit and Enterprise Cities. A look at Singhams past speeches, in particular those in Moscow and the USA shed light on how long he has been lobbying and planning these monumental events. See https://competere.co.uk/speeches-and-conferences
…..A curious sequence of events
As the diagram above illustrates, Singhams’s statements about Enterprise Cities being a method of ‘eliminating crony capitalism’ require serious scrutiny.
More we all need put this statement into context with how it links to this very important chain of events Austria 2006, involving Benjamin Netanyahu, Dr Andrei Illarionov, Dr Barbara Kolm, Sebastian Gorka, Matthew Elliott and all key global libertarian individuals and think tanks. All of whom have their own motivations for Russia opening up totally to Libertarian Free Trade.
Dr Illarionov explained his serious concerns about the direction Russian politics was taking in this newspaper interview in 2007. Please take careful note of what he said here and compare it with what we are describing on this website. In particular, to what is being implemented by Shanker Singham, Dr Barbara Kolm and Erick Brimen’s Honduras, Britain and beyond:
When asked “You say that the West doesn’t understand what’s going on in Russia. What’s your view? What is going on?”, Dr Andrei llarionov (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former Chief Economic Advisor) responded:
“The emergence of a new political, economic, and ideological regime. In fact, it has already been more or less established. My term for it — which may not be the most precise term — is a “corporativist” state. It’s where power is concentrated in the hands of corporations whose members hold all the key positions in the political, economic, ideological, informational, financial, and other spheres of life.
The elimination of freedoms leads, among other things, to the elimination of institutions — the weakening, collapse, and ultimately the destruction of public and state institutions.
These people support each other; they’re members of the same organization; they’re beyond the reach of law and regulations; and they counterpoise themselves against the rest of society. Their ideology is the so-called “nash-ism” — separating “us” and “ours” from “them” and “the others.” For “us,” common laws are not applicable.”
This is a must watch video from Monaco resident, lawyer, and mining and resources magnateTitus Gebel, a major investor in the Roatán ZEDE.
German born Titus Gebel, is the opinionated, self-styled ‘King Gebel of Roatan’. He has his own particular views on how governments should look, which includes the authoritarian ‘removal of politics’ in what seems to perceive as his own state. This is a proposition to billionaires that he canvassed in an open letter inviting them to invest in Private Cities.
There are a number of things that strike you when looking at the organisations and people involved with the world’s first ZEDE Enterprise City.
The first thing you notice is that the vast majority are young white American males associated with libertarian think tanks and pressure groups.
The second thing that strikes you is that the same names keep popping up in a variety of roles and organisations – often with clear conflicts of interest. This is a cross-population of group-think and vested interests that typifies this project.
The third, and most alarming theme of ZEDE Roatan, is the exclusion of the local indigenous traditional landowners, who don’t even merit representation on the local ZEDE Roatan Committee and who have not been balloted on the adoption of the ZEDE Charter. Questions still remain unanswered about indigenous traditional landowner status and civil liberties within ZEDEs, especially worrying given the extreme poverty and low literacy rate amongst local Honduran and Garifuna populations.
“The former Minister of Economics, Fernando García, is a ZEDE expert; on behalf of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, he wrote a detailed study on the special development zones. But he too has more questions than answers. “The most important element of a democracy is the participation of its citizens, and for that you need free access to information,” says García. “But if there is no transparency, only cover-up, then one cannot speak of a real democracy.””
… if half of the small Caribbean island paradise of Roatan off the North coast of Honduras has been partitioned and the annexed land is leased for 50 years to a private US company, registered in Delaware in the United States to avoid tax and financial scrutiny.
… if this enclave is the site of the most daring social and economic experiment since China’s Cultural Revolution and with an economic model that aims to build on the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), such as Shenzhen City and Guangdong Province, that enabled China to rapidly expand as the World’s leading trading nation. A vision for an autonomous privatised nation-within-a-nation, a center for finance and trade, wrapped in a cloak of privacy with light-touch laws, minimal red tape and very little tax to pay.
… your government was selling your sovereignty to wealthy overseas investors who will become your neo-feudal overlords. These libertarian colonialists have the right to evict you from your own property using their own private police and military forces and an ‘outsourced’ judiciary system and ad-hoc penal code.
… if these ‘Charter Cities’ were linked in a global web of economic secrecy in a way that would make it virtually impossible for the European Union’s powerful new Tax Avoidance Directives to be enforced, whilst Honduras is at the same time receiving significant EU development funds:
…if companies like McKinsey are warning of very significant risks
“Still, these success stories have a flip side: ill-conceived or badly implemented SEZs can have a significant negative effect. A relative lack of regulation and oversight, for example, creates opportunities for illicit activities, including trade in counterfeit goods, money laundering, and trafficking in human beings, drugs, and weapons.”
The ZEDE model in Roatan has now been populated with private companies and organisations that will operate the jurisdiction. The image is that of a syndicate of interconnected libertarian billionaire investors, politicians, economists, think tanks and global business interests.
Two of these shown below at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas in 2013, Dr Barbara Kolm and Dr Richard Rahn are operating at the highest levels worldwide to ensure the project succeeds at any cost. In the case of Dr Rahn, and Dr Kolm, who is Vice President of the Austrian National Bank, it is curious that their fellow Americans and Austrians seem to be blissfully unaware of what they and the other extremely powerful individuals on this vast project are doing to disrupt democracy in a Central American country, infamous for cocaine and gun smuggling.
In fact there is a history of foreign exploitation and manipulation of this part of the world. Edward Bernays – famous for rebranding propaganda as ‘Public Relations’ and using ethically questionable techniques to sell people things they didnt need – managed to meddle in Latin American politics, and worked closely with the CIA . Bernays controversially used the work of his uncle, the infamous Austrian founder of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud to achieve his goals and gain great personal wealth in the process.
Indeed. from the Ronald Reagan government’s Nicaraguan Contras, back to the slave traders of the British and Austro-Hungarian House of Habsburg Empires’ there is history of foreign interference. Not forgetting also the well-documented post-war drug and gun smuggling that Nazi war criminals like Klaus Barbie carried out in Latin America, often in collaboration with the CIA and various European Governments.
Perhaps it is time that a lot more scrutiny was placed on the people and their hugely powerful backers who are intent on disrupting democracy?
Note: The World Taxpayers Associations (WTA) is huge umbrella which brings together most of the Far Right Libertarian organisations worldwide. Matthew Elliot, CEO of Brexit Vote Leave campaign who worked very closely with Shanker Singham at Legatum, is on the Board of Advisors. Matthew’s obliquitous wife Sarah Elliott of Republicans Overseas (UK), was a previous WTA Secretary-General and worked for Grover Norquist, who helped Matthew form the Taxpayers Alliance.
Peter Thiel – the American/German Silicon Valley billionaire ‘wunderkind’ who founded PayPal and the notorious Palantir organisation which provides the big-data backbone for election influencing digital campaigns via Facebook, where he is on the Board of Directors, and other Social Media channels. Thiel’s Seasteading Institute which applied the same Free Market theory to ocean-based dwellings and ultimately, marine Charter Cities. An early investor, Thiel has distanced himself from the ZEDE Roatán project in recent years.
Patri Friedman – anarcho-capitalist grandson of economist Milton Friedman (who incidentally, like Hayek, was an advisor and advocate of General Pinochet’s regime in Chile). Friedman was previously an executive at Google, and is the founder and general partner of finance organisations Pronomos Capital and Zarco. An ex Google engineer, Friedman started the Seasteading Institute with seed funding from Peter Thiel, and sits on the boards of multiple neocolonialst ventures including Titus Gebel’s Startup Societies Foundation.
Archduchess Gabriela von Habsburg – a member of the House of Habsburg family who colonised Central America during their , through the patronage of Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés (often referred to ‘Cortez The Killer’) and others. Habsburg is an artist and ‘diplomat for hire. Her Tabula Rasa Exhibiton included her sculpture called “The Monument to the Three Powers of the State”, referencing the executive, legislature and judiciary.
Middle-Eastfinanciers – linked to the wealthiest families and conglomerates in the UAE and Oman, including Jeff Singer, the former Chief Executive of the Dubai International Finance Centre Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Michael Reagan – Son of US President Ronald Reagan and US Republican strategist and political pundit.
Kakha Benduikze – now deceased, Benduikze made his fortune privatising Russian industries, and was the architect of the chaotic market reforms in Georgia.
Alejandro Chafuen – President and CEO of the Atlas Network between 1991 and 2018, who’s meeting with Dr Barbara Kolm at the IEA in London in 2006 may have been the moment this vast bold project, involving Brexit and ZEDEs was germinated.
Mark Klugmann – US Presidents Reagan & Bush speechwriter, advisor to Honduran PresidentPorfirio Lobo Sosa. Klugmann played a pivotal role in obtaining the constitutional change required to provide full eCity3 ‘micro-nation’ autonomy for the Honduran ZEDEs. Klugmann was previously an advisor to a Chilean Government Minister from Pinochet’s murderous regime.
… and also several serving and former Honduran Ministers, several with close links to organised crime and the narcotics trade, including the current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, who like his jailed brother , is under investigation by the USA for his links to the narcotics trade.
A form of bastardised ‘Nation-building’ that would only exist in a science fiction novel right?
A century after the US military intervention in La Ceiba and the return of territorial concessions
(Mark Lutter’s) .. essay chronicles decades of libertarian failure to get projects off the ground, which reads as a forceful indictment against the capacity of grass roots libertarians to become city-builders. As Lutter points out, startup societies have a unique knack of getting kicked out of the places where they are trying to build and have struggled to apply a Burning Man / Silicon Valley / libertarian ethos to real-world contexts in their city-building endeavors.
The original vision for Enterprise Cities was based on a model proposed by Paul Romer had an elegant simplicity. Each special administrative zone engaged with a developed nation and adopted the legal code of that nation, for example, Canada. Paul Romer’s TED Talk on Charter Cities was the catalyst for ZEDEs in Honduras. Having been involved in the project from the outset, Romer withdrew from the project when Mark Klugmann’s LEAP model was selected by the Honduran Government, defying Romer’s requirement for a Transparency Committee.
The following short film from FreedomFest 2013, Mark Klugmann explains his LEAP (Legal, Economic, Administrative and Political) Zones.
Honduras needed to implement a number of constitutional changes to allow the ZEDE in Roatán to proceed. This slide deck details the constitutional changes and also names the members of the Committee of Best Practices.
Slide 12 | Removal of requirement for a plebiscite for ZEDE approval on rural land Slide 17 | ZEDEs permission to create their own economic and employment laws Slide 18 | ZEDEs permission to operate autonomous laws and legal system Slide 19 | Appointment of Committee of Best Practices (CAMP) members by Honduran President Lobo Slide 20 | Ability for ZEDE to expand to incorporate more land
… if some of the wealthiest people on the planet, such as PeterThiel and Titus Gebel, were funding this social and economic experiment without the informed consent of the local population. These people, with radical ideas about the future, that have no alignment with your cultural or social values, feel empowered by wealth to use your life and home as part of a neo-libertarian experiment designed to break your current society and rebuild it to meet their dictatorial vision.
ZEDE Committee of Best Practices (CAMP)
Click here to read more aboutCommittee of Best Practices (CAMP) Founding Members details
CAMP Founding Members
Official establishment of ZEDE with Committee for the Adoption of Best Practices (CAMP) members directly appointed by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa ‘Pepe Lobo’:
…if the Honduran Government had handed the powers of a pseudo-Congress to the ZEDE Committee of Best Practices, in effect making them the unelected dictators within the new jurisdiction (and without a plebiscite).
The model for government and governance within the Roatán ZEDE is exceptionally lean, in line with libertarian ideals.
The Committee of Best Practices (CAMP) has oversight and control over all aspects of life in a ZEDE, for example, new residents in the ZEDE have to be proposed by the local ZEDE Roatán Committee and approved by CAMP. The local committee can propose new laws and regulation however it appears CAMP has the right of veto. Dr Tom W. Bell of the CATO Institute and ULEX, likens CAMP to the US Congress, the obvious difference being that the US Congress consists of elected officials rather than an international panel of vested interests appointed directly, in the case of Honduras, by a President with apparent links to organised crime. Undaunted, Chair of ZEDE CAMP, Dr Barbara Kolm is extremely clear on her view of that the singular role of government is the provision of the rule of law.
Under the oversight of CAMP, NeWay Capital LLC and Honduras Próspera have emerged as the investment vehicle and the development company. The CEO of both companies, Erick Brimen is a Babson College graduate who works closely with Babson Global Inc’s Shanker Singham as you may remember fromCase 1 – The Tabula Rasa – A Clean Slate. Interestingly both NeWay Capital and Próspera Honduras have almost identical Boards and Advisory Boards, rather peculiar given the different functions they perform.
International Advisory Boards
Click here for links to read more about NeWay Capital & Próspera Honduras LLC International Advisory Board Members
Having read through the information we have provided in Case 1 – The Tabula Rasa about Babson Global Inc, we now put that into context with the information covered in this section we find ourselves asking questions about the logical and ethical structure of the entire ZED project. Looking at even just one section of the organisational chart there appears to be no other conclusions other than that there is:
Clear and fundamental conflicts of interest and people in multiple roles
Serious concerns about lack of international oversight into what is effectively nation- building
Substantially more focus on making huge profits for investors than benefiting the indigenous peoples
No clear plan for failsafe environmental protection
Total lack of meaningful representation for the indigenous peoples
Erosion of fundamental human rights
Questions regarding how International Law will apply
Serious concerns about how Freedom of Speech for independent journalists and campaigners will be affected
The current composition of CAMP is unknown
Serious concerns about the removal of transparency commission
Serious concerns about how ZEDEs will be used totally bypass the EU’s Tax Avoidance Directive
Involvment of Honduran official that are or have been under US Federal investigation for involvement in the narcotics trade
Serious questions about the entire risk and communication strategies
Final National Lawyers Guild ZEDE Report
“Instead of fulfilling its obligations to care for its citizens, Honduras is relinquishing those duties to international investors who are focused on increasing profits, not providing for economic and personal security. The international community must monitor for a potential human rights disaster created when the Honduran government privatizes the state functions that serve as its core organizing principles and obligations.”
This TV presentation conflicts with Brimen’s speech to the Crawfish Rock inhabitants a few days later where, surrounded by armed guards, he threatens locals with expropriation. His armed guards then engage in a scuffle with local municipal police.
This directive, sent to Roatán residents by Próspera ZEDE, ordering all Roatán residents to apply for paid ZEDE citizenships on their own land is the cause of the unrest.
Despite reassurances that local Hondurans will be employed wherever possible, there are currently no indications that long term training programs and resources will be sufficient to raise skill levels high enough for this new cutting edge hypercapitalist society. The only commitment is that 90% of day-labour will be Honduran.
The ZEDE Roatan Charter enables the leaseholder of the ZEDE, in this case, Próspera Honduras LLC, to create their own civil and commercial laws. Justice in ZEDEs is based on a system being called ‘baseball arbitration’ whereby each party appoints an arbiter, then the arbiters select a third arbiter to work as an adjudicator.
ULEX, a team of legal professionals headed up by the CATO Institute’s charismatic Professor Tom Bell, is developing the legislative code and also the tool used to initiate ‘baseball arbitration’. An ‘independent’ arbitration service, Próspera Arbitration Center (PAC), has been established with an international panel of arbiters to adjudicate on legal disputes. Juries and the right of appeal, do not exist in ZEDEs.
It is important to recognise, as stated in the video above, that this system is designed so that the losing party in any dispute pays. Working-class people of the ZEDE are in effect being frozen-out of legal representation due to the cost, and complexity of employing these highly skilled international resources. This is an extremely important fact when you are a subsistence farmer or fisherman fighting the might of the ZEDE organisation to retain your traditional indigenous landowner rights.
The modular functionality of ULEX effectively allows businesses, organisations or individuals to ‘cherry-pick’ sections of law from almost any country and incorporate these into the’organic’ legal framework of any ZEDE to suit their particular purposes. Whilst this may appear to be an easy legal tool, there are risks involved in terms of lack of holistic continuity in contrast to a system which has evolved over time with appropriate scrutiny and change control. It may also be more open to abuse and could diminish the rights of the indigenous population even further.
Professor Tom Bell…..judge the ULEX law system for yourself
This ULEX vision is now a reality, and the ULEX system has been selected as the legal framework for ZEDEs, with Roatan earmarked as the testbed for this experiment. In the following video, Professor Tom Bell explains from timestamp 4:00 the progress of ULEX and his roles with multiple organisations. The latest version of the ULEX opensource legislation, mandated by the ZEDE Common-Law code, can be found on GitHub https://github.com/proftomwbell/Ulex/tree/master/versions/1.2.
A PAC Standing Competence and Ethics Committee (SCEC) has been established, with responsibilities including, “Receiving and adjudicating complaints filed by members of the public concerning the conduct of Artibers and Senior Arbiters in active service”. The SCEC is comprised entirely of PAC arbiters with one notable exception – Nick Dranias, who is the General Legal Counsel both Honduras Próspera LLC and NeWay Capital LLC.
This conflicted PAC structure has been approved by Dr Kolm’s Committee of Best Practices and is a cause for great concern for the local residents being forcibly incorporated into the ZEDE.
“What is the legal status of Roatán Próspera and how can it guarantee continuity?
There is little to write about this committee as there seems to be no transparency.
The Three Displacements of the Garifuna – Slavery, Exile & Neocolonialism
We highlight the tragic impact of the Tabula Rasa and Enterprise Cities on the indigenous Garifuna people on the island of Roatán, Honduras.
These people and their supporters are being forced from their land so that an Enterprise City can be built on their unspoiled island, and in some cases being assassinated or ‘disappeared’, for daring to reject the Tabula Rasa vision.