Hurricane Ivan has played a huge role in the further declination of ties between Grenada and Taiwan. Grenada reported that it would need approximately $27 million to sustain itself and begin reconstruction during the 6 month period which followed Hurricane Ivan. Grenada’s Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell, reported the damage to be over $1 billion as its entire agricultural industry was wiped out. Tourism was halted as well as most of the hotels were damaged to the point they needed to stop operations. Most if not all Grenadian Nutmeg farmers had little or no insurance to cover the damages and future earnings they might have received. Worse yet they have no hope of replanting the nutmeg trees any time soon as it takes a decade for the trees to become fruitful.
For many of these people, their harvests were their only source of revenue and hope to survive; many will be forced to plant vegetables so they can feed their own families. Therefore, aside from the initial devastation which was experienced, scores of Grenadians will be hurt by Ivan for years to come. One can not blame Keith Mitchell for being angered by the apparent ignorance’ he perceives is Taiwan’s policy toward Grenada. Conversely China can easily use this as an excuse to engage (successfully) in dollar diplomacy with Taiwan, slowly inching the nation out of the Caribbean politically landscape. Interestingly enough, other Caribbean nations stepped aside from wanting to receive aid stating that they could handle it on their own. In the end, Grenada’s prime minister which has helped the island prosper up until Ivan will be charged with helping the island survive the years of reconstruction which will follow.
The switching over to diplomacy with China instead of Taiwan (who offered only $10 million in relief after Ivan) is not only the most logical thing to do, switching is the most necessary thing for Grenada at this critical point in its history. .