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DPM Cordel Hyde Comments on latest Payout to Lord Ashcroft

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved the 38. 25 million US dollar settlement between the Government of Belize and Belize International Services Ltd. (BISL). As we’ve been reporting, this was the result of the unlawful nationalisation in 2013, by the then UDP Administration, of the ships and companies registries, and the subsequent judgment by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in July 2020 against the government. When asked for his personal opinion on the matter, Deputy Prime Minister and Lake Independence Area Representative, Cordel Hyde expressed that the money used to pay Lord Ashcroft could have been used to better the lives of Belizeans. 

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum & Mining: “I was reading last night. An American student once asked Winston Churchill, “What must one do to meet the challenges of leadership?” He emphatically said, “You must study history.” Ultimately, just yesterday, we had to go to the parliament to approve US $38 million for Michael Aschroft to settle the BISL issue. That’s US $38 million that we could have found a thousand ways to spend to ameliorate the living conditions of our people, to transform the lives of our people but we had to pay that. A few years ago, we had to pay $560 million to the same gentleman for a company that our experts, the Government experts said, did not value more than $100 million. Why do we have to go down that same road again? Anything and all things Ashcroft, my position is clear on that. I really want nothing to do with Ashcroft. if it were up to me primarily we wouldn’t even be paying Ashcroft anything. If it were up to me primarily, we won’t be dealing with him at all. Ultimately, I am heartened by the fact that people are borrowing a page from the residents of Gales Point Manatee and standing up to Ashcroft US pipe dream because that’s what I consider the whole Waterloo business. We’ve been hearing about a port there for the last 20 years and what’s happened in the intervening years, really? Just exploitation of the cargo port. Exploitation of the stevedores. This company has been in receivership for what, 15 plus years? 15 plus years of receivership is some sort of record I assume. So ultimately, people across this country are wising up to that. people are standing up. We spent far too much money. Far too great a price to engage with cats like Ashcroft, to engage with rich multinationals that don’t care about our country, that don’t have a record of helping and benefiting our country in the way that they should for the benefits that they get, for the privilege that they get to engage with us. We’re not quite there yet but we’re getting there.”