(Intercept) A chorus of voices from the Caribbean island of Barbuda is accusing Robert De Niro of being part of a backroom effort to exploit a devastating hurricane to fundamentally change the island’s communal land ownership law in the interest of developers — changes opposed by many Barbudans, but which could aid the actor’s controversial plans to build a large luxury resort called Paradise Found Nobu.
Earlier this month, with almost no international news coverage and with the majority of Barbudans still displaced from the storm, an amendment to the law in question was quietly pushed through the Senate of Antigua and Barbuda — a body dominated by politicians from the wealthier and more populous island of Antigua. If the amendment stands, a tradition of communal land rights that dates back to the abolition of slavery in 1834 — and which has protected Barbuda as a rare beacon of sustainable development in the Caribbean — will be extinguished.
But as news of the change trickles out, Barbudans are fighting back, challenging the legality of the amendment to the Barbuda Land Act. And they say the island’s highest-profile investor, Robert De Niro, stands to benefit most.
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