Navassa Island

Navassa Island (/nəˈvæsə/; French: l'île de la Navasse; also La Navasse, La Navase) is a small uninhabited island in the Caribbean Sea. Located northeast of Jamaica, south of Cuba, and 40 nautical miles (74 km; 46 mi) west of Jérémie on the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti, it is subject to an ongoing territorial dispute between Haiti and the United States, which administers the island through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.[1]

Navassa Island
Disputed island
Navassa Island seen from the International Space Station
Location in the Caribbean
LocationCaribbean Sea
Coordinates18°24′10″N 75°0′45″W
Area5.4 km2 (2.1 sq mi)
Length4.7 km (2.9 mi)
Width2.1 km (1.3 mi)
Administered by
 United States
Claimed by

The U.S. has claimed the island since 1857, based on the Guano Islands Act of 1856.[2] Haiti's claim over Navassa goes back to the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 that established French possessions in mainland Hispaniola, that were transferred from Spain by the treaty[3] as well as other specifically named nearby islands. Its 1801 constitution also claimed unnamed "other adjacent islands", with Navassa not specifically named. Since its 1874 Constitution, and after the establishment of the 1857 U.S. claim, Haiti has explicitly named "la Navase" as one of the territories it claims.[4][5][6][7] Médéric Louis Élie Moreau de Saint-Méry, who was a member of the French Parliament best known for his publications on Saint-Domingue (now the Republic of Haiti), referred to la Navasse as the "small French island of Saint-Domingue" in 1798.[8][9][10]