Caribbean Project: Labadee, Hispanolia

Welcome to Royal Caribbean's Private Island Paradise, "Labadee, Hispanolia"
Welcome to Royal Caribbean’s Private Island Paradise, “Labadee, Hispanolia”


Reading over Steve Sailer’s column “Why Haiti Is So Hopeless,” I am struck by how little attention is paid to the relative absence of tourism as an explanation for Haiti’s dismal condition.

There is a tendency among mainstream commentators like Jared Diamond to search for the “root causes” of Haiti’s backwardness in slavery, geography, or elsewhere in the distant past.

In reality, the true causes have much more to do with recent developments in the nature of the Caribbean’s regional economy. Here are three graphs that explain everything from from Victor Bulmer-Thomas’ excellent book, The Economic History of the Caribbean Since the Napoleonic Wars:




In the early twentieth century, the Cayman Islands and Dutch Antilles specialized in the export of live turtles, sandals, and straw hats. Twenty years ago, Cuba was still a major exporter of sugar at the end of the Cold War.

Outside of Haiti, the rest of the Caribbean, much of Central America, Florida and other parts of the Gulf Coast have long since moved on to exploiting the region’s latest crop: the tourist industry which was made possible by the development of refrigeration, air conditioning, cheap air travel and the steady rise in average per capita income in Europe and North America after the Second World War.

In the first table, notice how “Services as Share of Total Exports” has risen from 9.3 percent to 41.5 percent in Hispanolia since 1960. That’s the economic impact of the 4.4 million foreigners who visited the Dominican Republic, not Haiti, in 2008. In 2010, services accounted for 67.5 percent of the Dominican Republic’s economy. Tourism peaked in Haiti in the 1970s and 1980s at 150,000 visitors.

There is one notable exception.

Since 1985, Royal Caribbean cruise ships have called at a self-styled “Private Island Paradise” known as “Labadee, Hispanolia,” which is neither an island or a port in the sovereign country of “Hispanolia,” but rather a private fenced off peninsula in Northern Haiti only 7 miles from the squalor in Cap-Haïtien.

Labadee has been described as a “secret paradise island.”[Could this paradise really be poor, desperate Haiti?, Christian Science Monitor, 1-25-2006]:

“It has mango and almond trees, soft white sand, turquoise waters, and a perfect breeze. It looks like a secret paradise island. It feels like a secret paradise island. But, actually, it’s Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere.

Every week, up to 7,000 camcorder-toting tourists, the vast majority of them Americans, come ashore here off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship for a day of sun, sailing, volleyball tournaments, and sliding on the “world’s largest” inflatable water slide.

“It’s the best kept secret in the world,” says Melody Hickey, from Columbus, Ohio. “Its amazing.” ….

Greta Urnisk from Pensacola, Fla., has been on 10 cruises to Labadee.

Walking around the now-familiar site in a yellow bathing suit and a yellow Royal Caribbean fanny pack, she admits she has never set a flip flop out of the gated area. “What in the world would I want to find out in the mountains?” she asks. ….”

Haitians, not geography or “the legacy of slavery,” are the only reason why the place that is known as Haiti isn’t booming with Labadees:

“In the short term, acting as a stopover from cruise ships was the most logical starting point, since it required no facilities on the ground aside from a few acres of fenced-in, secured sand. The many cruise ships sailing out of Florida could not visit Cuba due to the U.S. embargo, so Haiti was the nearest logical destination after stopping in the Bahamas. Only Haiti’s unstable political life had prevented it from cashing in on the booming cruise industry.” (Philippe Gerard, Haiti: The Tumultuous History – From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation, p.214)

In Saint-Domingue, Le Cap (modern Cap-Haïtien) was renowned as France’s wealthiest and most beautiful colonial city on account of its architecture. In 2014, a private security fence protects Royal Caribbean tourists in Labadee from taking in the view of the present inhabitants of the ‘Paris of the Antilles’

The ‘Detroit of the Antilles’ is now the preserve of UN aid workers.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. The money quote from Jared Diamond’s television presentation of Guns Germs and Steel was watching the black islander ask “why do you have so much cargo?”

    Before exploring other topics, Diamond (Jewish) explicitly rejects race as a possible explanation.

    Every month or so there are new genetics papers that show that multiregional evolution was reality and that Out of Africa was a cultural Marxist fraud. Africans not only do not have Neanderthal DNA, they have a signature of a yet unnamed archaic hominid in their genes that non-African humans do not. Some are guessing homo heidelbergensis or homo erectus.

    I recall Bill Clinton pontificating on the publication of the human genome that it proves we are 99.9% similar, more like 95-96%. But truth matters little to the anti-whites.

  2. Watched the movie “The Comedians” last night. It was based on Graham Greene’s novel about Haiti. I understand Papa Doc didn’t much like it. See it if you can, an interesting flic.

  3. That’s enough to credit the idea of separate subspecies. Especially the Neanderthal mix. The Neanderthal will rapidly be written back in a human breed by all the books.

    Although, there is strong DNA evidence that a very small group of intrepids set out from Djibouti and landed in Aden.

    However it’s equally clear that this little bunch cross bred with Neanderthals and created us. Good job by the researches at the Keiser Wilhelm/Planck institute.

  4. More ‘broken record’ playing: Tourism-based and tax-haven-based societies, as well as multiracial societies, are unnatural, even if they do ‘create immense wealth’ (for some). Tourist industry and ethno-tribal SEPARATION are opposites. From the kinist-separatist point of view, tourism does not really profit but only impoverishes.

  5. re: Diamond, Somebody left this nice comment at Amazon under Guns, Germs and Steel.

    1. The unrivalled extent of the Eurasian landmass allowed the proliferation of many different civilisations, between which information could be exchanged allowing far greater cross-fertilization of cultures.

    Wrong! However unified the Eurasian land-mass may look to a cartographer, it is intractably divided by formidable topographical features. Europe is isolated from Central Asia by the Alps, the Urals, the Caucasus, the Russian Steppes, the Taiga and the Anatolian plateau. East Asia is divided from Central Asia by the Thar desert the Himalayas the Gobi desert and the Tian Shan mountains.

    No significant cultural exchanges took place between these regions until the 15th century, by which time sub-Saharan Africa and America lagged far behind Europe and China in terms of technology and higher cultural attainment. Sub-Saharan Africa lies as close to the Fertile Crescent, regarded as the cradle of civilisation, as Western Europe and far closer than China.

    2. A diverse abundance of potential food crops is necessary in order for settled agricultural communities to flourish.

    Wrong! The Inca created a complex civilisation based on the cultivation of two food crops, the potato and maize. Large agricultural communities, like Cahokia in North America, flourished on the exploitation of maize. Western European agriculture was overwhelmingly based on wheat production, China’s on rice.

    3.The European biome contained a greater variety of domesticable crops than Africa and America and these crops were more nutritious.

    Wrong! America had indigenous food crops which were more nutritious than European staples. Beans, corn, squashes and peanuts are superior to wheat and, if grown in rotation, create a self-replenishing agricultural cycle. Far from having no viable indigenous staples, Africa had okra, rice, sorghum, millet, the bambara ground nut, black-eyed peas, watermelons and numerous gourds and tubers, as well as immensely useful plants such as the oil palm and the tamarisk. African slaves actually introduced rice cultivation to the United States. The standard refrence on this subject is, “Lost Crops of Africa”.

    4. Eurasia had more domesticable large mammals than Sub-Saharan Africa or the Americas.

    Wrong! Africa has indigenous breeds of sheep, goats and cattle which were spread from the Sudan to the Cape by 200AD. The South Americans domesticated the llama. The North Americans, like the Aboriginals of Australia, almost hunted their domesticable mammals to extinction. Why didn’t Europeans hunt horses, cows and sheep to extinction?

    5. Only urban civilisations can develop the levels of technological skill and social organisztion required for military conquest.

    Wrong! The two greatest conquerors in history, Atilla the Hun and Ghengis Khan came from nomadic tribal civilisations. Rome was overthrown by nomads. The Indus valley civilisation was destroyed by Indo-European barbarians.

    6. The transmission of European diseases helped European nations conquer non-European nations.

    Wrong! The European nations had achieved such technological superiority to non-European nations by the colonial epoch, that there could be no serious question of a non-European army successfully resisting an attack by a European army. Europeans conquered huge swathes of territory with tiny armies (Pizzaro). Epidemic disease only became a factor post-conquest. In Africa, India and South America native diseases like malaria were just as deadly to Europeans as European diseases were to the indigenous peoples.

    7. China lacked the type of convoluted coastline necessary for dissidents to hide out in.

    Bizzare! Is Jared Diamond trying to claim that dissidents can only hide on convoluted coastlines? This is about as strange as his assumption that only large bodies of water constitute an effective barrier to trade and travel. China abounds in intractable wastes and remote mountain ranges where bandits and outlaws fled the authority of central government, the most obvious region being the famous water margin.

    8. Urban populations are less intelligent than non-urban populations.

    Western European civilisation sets a premium on education. Abstract reasoning skills are rewarded by better employment prospects, which in turn create enhanced relationship opportunities, meaning that intelligent people are encouraged to procreate with other intelligent people, unlike in Papua New Guinea, where the physical prowess is far more important than deductive logic.

    Europe and China developed the worlds greatest civilisations in regions which were no bigger than the regions inhabited by any other cultures, which enjoyed no great advantages in terms of agricultural potential, which had no special abundance of handy food crops and which had particular disadvantages in terms of climate. Diamond’s theory sounds so incontestable because he has edited out substantial volumes of contradictory information with the skill and shamelessness of a Stalin era Commissar.

  6. Very good comment, Lew. But give a little more credit to the germ theory. Smallpox cleared the way for white settlement in the Northeast.

  7. Hey Lew, well played my man.

    The main evidence of European superiority is that the Jews themselves crave to live among us and dip into our gene pool. The desire for blondes and redheads is no accident. It’s biology paying tribute to aesthetics.

  8. Those three graphs don’t “explain everything.” The most apt comparison, the Dominican Republic’s economy consists of a great deal more than the tourism sector. Exports amounted to some $12 billion in 2012, which was slightly more than 20% of nominal GDP, so even if tourism accounted for this entire 20% it would be a significant factor but hardly the whole story. Of course, tourism doesn’t account for the entirety of DR’s exports. Bulmer-Thomas’ data puts it at 40%, or about 8% of the whole economy. So while tourism has certainly been important, there has been a lot more going on in the story of DR’s economic growth.


    In the first table, notice how “Services as Share of Total Exports” has risen from 9.3 percent to 41.5 percent in Hispanolia since 1960. That’s the economic impact of the 4.4 million foreigners who visited the Dominican Republic, not Haiti, in 2008. In 2010, services accounted for 67.5 percent of the Dominican Republic’s economy.

    The bolded statement doesn’t add anything to your argument. I wouldn’t mention it but you added a link to it so you obviously thought it significant. The point is actually immaterial, but since it’s characteristic among people in your political wing to disparage services as some sort of sham economic activity (for instance, providers of financial services are reviled as “banksters”) rather than real economic activity which produces tangible material goods, allow me to point out that the services sector accounts for over 70% of the economies of universally acknowledged industrial giants like Japan and Germany.

  9. Dominican republic… It’s a well known sex tourism destination. I think Limbaugh was caught down there with Viagra he didn’t have a prescription for.

    Services indeed.

  10. One of my friends was talked into going on a free winter vacation to the Dominican Republic. He hated the place, would never go again. Undistracted by the beaches and tourist attractions, he looked at the inhabitants, took an interest in the farming, etc.

  11. It must be one of the more tolerant, less dangerous places in Latin America. Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch speaking pacifist Mennonite colonies are still thriving in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, as they are especially in Costa Rica, central Paraguay and Mexico.

Comments are closed.