Things have been hectic at the United Nations lately. There is the looming threat of North Korea, concerns over Iran and their ability to build missiles, and so on. It seemed like the perfect time for a well-known actor to sneak in and make his move.
Robert De Niro showed up at the United Nations on Monday to talk to them about the devastated Caribbean island of Barbuda. One might wonder why De Niro cares so much whether or not a once-populated island gets rebuilt. It might have something to do with the fact that De Niro recently bought a resort called the K Club Resort with James Packer on Barbuda, according to Page Six. It would appear that De Niro is upset that he did not get his initial investment back.
De Niro spoke at a meeting that was called hastily, regarding Hurricane Irma, which was the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded. The meeting started when a group of leaders from the area spoke about the impact on the islands in the Caribbean.
Up to 90 percent of the structures of Barbuda were destroyed. Considering that 1,400 people live there full-time, it is easy to see why this would be such a concern to leaders.
But as De Niro came up, he started by talking about how we need to “help the most vulnerable.” It was a heartwarming speech until people realized his true intentions.
De Niro even went on to say that he has met plenty of “warm and friendly” people on the island. Then, the bombshell dropped when he said that people were “looking forward to a new resort and jobs and future for them and their children.”
In what may be one of the most disturbing ad placements of all time, De Niro explained that the people needed the resort for jobs and their future. But what about the homes that need to be rebuilt? It seems that that doesn’t matter, just so long as De Niro’s resort is open.
The governor general of both Antigua and Barbuda, Rodney Williams, explained that the storm made Barbuda “uninhabitable.” He went on to say that the entire population was moved to Antigua.
“For the first time in over 300 years, there is today not a single human being living on Barbuda,” Williams words echoed through the UN meeting. All the while, De Niro was seemingly worried about getting his resort fixed up for jobs.
Williams explained that Barbuda is not yet a lost cause. “We can re-establish the island, better and more secure as a productive tourism center and as a safe homeland with which its inhabitants are desperate to reunite,” he said.
It is estimated that it is going to cost $300 million to rebuild the tourist spot and home to over 1,000. This figure is 20 percent of the country’s GDP.
The question here is, shouldn’t we be worrying about the damage that Irma caused as a whole? While it is understandable to be frustrated that a big investment was lost in the wake of Irma, there are real lives on the line that need homes and clothing, and who just want to get back to their normal lives.
It is high time we start worrying about them and worrying less about a specific resort.