Does the Island La Navase Belong to Haiti or United States?

The island of Haiti has been at the mercy of U.S. interests since the mid-1800s. In a greedy move, it appropriated the island of La Navase, just off the coast of Hispaniola. This action violated Haiti's 1801 Constitution that declares La Navase as one of its possessions.


The takeover of La Navase occurred in 1857 after U.S. Congress enacted Guano Islands Act in 1856. Because La Navase contains large deposits of guano over most of its terrain, any U.S. citizen could take possession of it. Guano, at that time, was a highly-prized fertilizer made from bird droppings.

United States Involvement in Haiti - Photo Album

The island is uninhabitable due to lack of fresh water and a hostile coastline that makes anchoring a boat there a near impossibility. The Guano Act stipulated if an island was uninhabitable and contained guano, it was acceptable to seize it and create a U.S. protectorate. Once guano was no longer valuable, the U.S. erected a lighthouse during the 1915 Occupation and tasked the U.S. Coastguard to patrol its shores.

Haiti has pressured the U.S. for the return of La Navase. By 1999, in opposition to Haiti's continuing demands, the U.S. turned it into a wildlife refuge, operated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). FWS is a poor steward of La Navase, allowing biopiracy of marine life by pharmaceutical companies. Only U.S. scientists recognize Haitian fishermen's practices to conserve marine life. They believe La Navase should be returned to Haiti so they can acquire knowledge about marine-species preservation.

US Occupation of Haiti in 1915 - Photo Album

Reply to this article  (5)

Read more: United States, constitution, La Navase, Water, Guano, Fertilizer, Newsletter Articles, Haiti

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All Comments (5)

Neg Miserne says...

Which constitution are talking about.

J.J. Desaline's constitution Yes, but the mulatre's contitution

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Neg Miserne says...

Of course it belong to Haiti, just like eastern part of the island belong to Haiti.

For as long as we think the flag of Haiti is Blue and Red none of these lands will belong to us. It was under this flag that the eastern part of haiti became a Country that now treat us as

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Jhonny Jean Baptiste says...

Haiti deklare indepandan an novanm 1803 e Haiti selebrel nan ane kivini 1804 sakoz tt moun panse sete an 1804 noupran indepandans, men konstitisyon 1801 avan indepandans te rekonet ile lanavasa men moun paka retirel si okenn gouvernman pat vannli mw bezwen konnen kisa nasyon ini represante

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Jhonny Jean-baptiste says...

gra pey yo sesa Selman yofe vole te tipey yo soupretex gran pisans

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Bob Steven says...

La navassa belongs to Haiti.

It is ambarassing for the US and its people to want to stile the island from the Haitian people.

Acording to Haitian constitution la navassa is among Haitian territories.

The US has Shawn no respect for the Haitian Gorverment and its people when is because of the Haitian the US was able to gain Florida including Luisianna from the French and the spanish.

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