Fear and Loathing in Honduras
The indigenous people of Roatan are rightly outraged. The following documentary by respected film-maker and journalist, Gerry Hadden, investigated the situation in Honduras in 2015 when the eviction process had begun to prepare for the Libertarian syndicate’s takeover.
Click here for links to read about human rights in Honduras and the struggle of the Garifuna
…you live in the most dangerous country in the world that is not in a war zone. You fear your government, and the ZEDE syndicate taking over your homeland as much as you fear the narcotics gangs.
…your homeland will be used as a living laboratory for a global economic experiment where laws and regulations are effectively abandoned in order to provide unprecedent return on investment for foreign interests, led by the self-styled ‘King of Roatan’, uber-libertarian Titus Gebel.
…Instead of a democratically elected Government you now live under the rule of a technical secretary who is in effect a colonial private company governor.
…worse, you discover the ZEDE syndicate implementing this dystopian corpse of colonialism is being directed by Shanker Singham at Babson Global Inc. He is doing this with the full support of US Agencies, mega-rich global investors, members of European royalty, and members of a network of 450+ think tanks associated with the global libertarian Atlas Network (referred to in this piece: by Greenpeace as ‘The Kochtopus‘).
…if these libertarian neocolonial conquistadors sole aim is to eventually force all of you out of their stolen paradise, and eventually expand, swallow and exploit the most precious parts of your country and its resources.
…if a member of the CAMP best practices committee, former CIA economist, and organiser of the annual libertarian Freedom Fest in Las Vegas – Mark Skousen – had taken a group of wealthy investors on their 2019 Global Summit Cruise to showcase your island which they plan to exploit.
…if unproven experimental right-wing think tank theory is implemented without consent or any trace of ethical, social or environmental safeguarding or public representation?
ZEDEs: Neocolonialism and land grabbing
This harrowing short film details the threats the Garifuna and local residents of Roatán face as they fight to retain their land and sovereignty:
Richard Rahn, ZEDE CAMP Committee Member made the following statement:
“Is skin color a good predictor of income and other success among Americans? Take a look at the enclosed table, and you will notice that the highest per capita income among the large ethnic groups in the United States is from those of Asian Indian origin. Some Asian…”
Honduras is sadly no stranger to discrimination, corruption, murders and disappearances under successive narco-governments going back decades. But even Hondurans were shocked at the assassination on March 3rd 2016 of one of the most popular campaigners for the rights of the indigenous peoples – Berta Cáceres’s name was on Honduran military hitlist, says former soldier.
Berta’s tragic murder is one of hundreds that occur every year which remain largely unreported in the West, as are targeted abductions like the the case of the five Garifuna land defenders below.
Roatan ZEDE, Honduras: The Conquest of Paradise
Columbus (representing the House of Habsburg and the Holy Roman Emperor) first made landfall in Central America in 1502. First arriving at the islands in the Bay of Fonseca, where Roatan is located 40 miles off the coast, and then moving to the mainland which he named ‘Honduras’. At 88km long, and just 7km wide, Roatan is currently an unspoilt treasure.
With a population of just 9 million, Honduras boasts the highest number of murders per capita for a country not at war. Not surprisingly, Honduras also has the highest number of private security staff, with estimates that private security outnumbers the police force by at least 10:1. Corruption, the narcotics trade and gang-warfare have brought the economy to its knees and wreak havoc on the daily existence of everyday Hondurans. Adding to the stress, a crippling two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line. Poverty and crime, coupled with low literacy rates, are defining factors in limiting economic growth.
Economics and security are no longer problems that the Honduran Government think they can resolve without international support and a clean-slate strategy. The strategy they have selected is to implement a series of ZEDEs with the hope that adjoining properties will over time become part of an expanding zone of peace, order and prosperity.
Welcome to Roatan ZEDE Special Jurisdiction, where for a small annual fee, and by signing a contract of co-existence (see below), the global rich can obtain residency and benefit from a deregulated, low-tax Libertarian lifestyle, with exotic dwellings designed by Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid, who describes architecture as a means of ‘social control’.
In this new ZEDE experiment the indigenous people on Roatan how have to re-apply and pay to live on the their own land. These applications have to be approved at the discretion of the ZEDE syndicate.
Under the current rules, a public referendum is required in areas of high-density population before a Charter can be approved for a new ZEDE. This rule does not apply to areas of low-density population like Roatan, which is often referred to as ‘unoccupied’ by parties involved in developing the ZEDE.
Despite having the second largest coral reef in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, tourism grows slowly on the island of Roatan. Abundant mangrove forests, which protect the coastline from storm surges, provide the perfect habitat for mosquitos (which carry Dengue fever and malaria) and a raft of other biting insects which may deter many visitors. Drug traffickers, such as the now incarcerated Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, regularly use these islands informal cargo ports and hideaways.
The position of the La Via Campesina in Honduras:
“the fire sale of our national sovereignty, with the creation of Economic Development Zones (ZEDE), has led to the large-scale displacement of rural families”
The podcast below between two of the most prominent libertarians is referring to the management of the Roatan ZEDE project, raises questions about the ethical standpoint of key influencers. Not least as Patri Friedman (grandson of economist Milton Friedman) is on the advisory board of ULEX who are creating the radically new legal framework. Patri, is also the founder of Pronomos Venture Capital, which boasts Peter Thiel (of Palantir/Facebook/PayPal) as an investor.
Funding a Charter City: A Venture Capital Perspective with Patri Friedman and Dr Mark Lutter
“Dr Mark Lutter: Sure. How do you think about early-stage valuation for charter city companies?
Patri Friedman: I mean, we’re just making it up. Like most early-stage valuation?
Dr Mark Lutter: We’re all taking cues from you. So, we hope you’re right.”
Charter Cities Podcast Episode 7: Funding a Charter City: A Venture Capital Perspective with Patri Friedman & Dr Mark Lutter, 19 June 2020
The following Twitter exchanges between the campaign organisation for the rights of the Garifuna (Ofraneh) and Patri and his Pronomos Capital company, raises further questions about Patri’s and Pronomos’ motives.
Hayek and Displaced People
When it comes to working-class people F.A. Hayek voiced little regard for social concerns and human rights. This elitist thinking is as much a dominant theme in the economics and philosophy of modern-day libertarians. Hayek’s support of General Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile is well documented for example, in 1944 Hayek proposed a form of ‘class-cleansing’ in Gibraltar. Hayek had recommended using market forces as the vehicle for displacing the working-class people of Gibraltar to Spain, at which was under the military dictatorship of General Franco and would result in workers having to commute across the border every day. However, this was rejected by the British Government at that time.
Honduras’ Garifuna Communities Resist Eviction & Theft Of Land
Along the Atlantic coast of Honduras, Afro-Caribbean Garifuna communities are being forced from their land, as proposals for the creation of mega-tourism projects and corporate-run cities, commonly referred to as “model cities,” gain momentum internationally.
Lands to Die For?
We have described above how the Garifuna are being treated, but to fully appreciate how bad this really is, we need to understand the historical context.
“Despite the French surrender, the Garifuna themselves did not surrender to the British. From July 1796 until March 11, 1797, the Garifuna were divided on the basis of skin color. Over 5000 of the Garifuna with darker skin were captured and exiled to the nearby island of Baliceaux. The British allowed their captives to perish due to malnutrition and disease. On March 11, 1797 the surviving Garifuna were sent by ship to the island of Roatán in Honduras. Over 2800 Garínagu had died under the British genocide on Baliceaux. Approximately 2200 started the voyage, an additional 200 perished en route on the 31 day voyage to Roatan.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garifuna
Having suffered at the hands of empire once, is it possible that the Garifuna have a binary option to be disenfranchised and pay each year for temporary residency in their own lands or choose self-exile by voting with their feet?
The voice of the Garifuna is barely being heard outside of their native land. The inhumanity and injustice they are being subjected by the Libertarian ZEDE Syndicate, under the direction the Vice President of the Austrian National Bank Dr Barbara Kolm, is not being adressed.
Until this changes the Syndicate will continue to exploit and oppress others, not just in Honduras, but also in Great Britain where the legal system, and citizens’ rights are now being torn apart , and also in all future ZEDE regions.
We at Baker Street Herald want to change this so that the International Community can support the Garifuna and all victims of the land grabbing libertarian syndicate.
You can help starting with sharing this website with as many people as possible, and by the raising concerns of the Garifuna and Ofraneh so that their human rights are fully recognised and protected.
Support Ofraneh – Sign the Petition
Click here to sign petition on Change.org
NO! TO THE ZEDE-MODEL CITY IN THE BAHIA ISLANDS
Non compliance with ILO Convention 169, denying us our right as an English-speaking island people to prior, free and informed consultation, it is questionable, worrying and disappointing as well as our right to have an opinion about our future, is vetoed.
Within the ZEDE a Honduran has to pay $236 a year for residency. Each resident must purchase personal liability, medical insurance and pay 1% tax on a rapidly increasing land value. For the Garifuna, some of the most impoverished people in Central America who are mostly subsistence farmers or fishermen, the knowledge that a CATO Institute apparatchik has been appointed as the Eviction Arbiter for Próspera Arbitration Center gives no comfort. The scene is set for market forces to be used for the “Third Displacement of the Garifuna”.
For the latest updates on Twitter please follow @ofraneh
We need your help, signing and sharing this petition to achieve the repeal of the ZEDE Law, since we don’t aspire to become theoretical experiences of supposed libertarian investors. As a democratic established country we will continue to live in democracy as a form of government, where the best decisions will prevail. Especially in one of the areas of greatest national wealth such as the North Coast and therefore other areas of the country that are in the sights to become ZEDE or model cities.
@ofraneh Petition filed by Mesa for the Defense of the Territory of the Bay Islands No to the intervention of neo-reactionary libertarians and their neo-colonial attempts. NO! TO THE ZEDE-MODEL CITY IN THE BAHIA ISLANDS – Sign the petition!
The National Congress approved the ZEDE Law, Legislative Decree 236, 24th January 2013, taking refuge under this Organic law PROSPERA ZEDE (HONDURAS PROSPERA LLC, Roatan-Prospera). The application of this law in our island territory will have cultural, social, environmental, economical and political negative impacts. The figure of land expropriation explained in detail in articles 25, 26 and 28 under the supposed figure of public use and at fair value to expand the ZEDE territory, for it’s eventual delivery to foreign investors, is unacceptable. Becoming one of the most surrendering Decrees in the history of our country to foreign capital, violating our constitutional law (especially article 107), international agreements and others.
This is the land that was legally handed over to the Garifuna in 1864 by the British Empire.
This is the first part of a homeland that is being systematically stolen by libertarian neo-colonialists in order to launch an inhumane global experiment starting with a ‘clean slate’.
This has been enabled by the same right wing extremists that have also stolen the European citizenship of 72 million people through the illegality of Brexit.
This is not acceptable
Stop the Tabula Rasa
Stop the ZEDE Syndicate