Issues and concerns surrounding the appointment of several CEOs have surfaced over the past week with appeals to the Briceno administration to rethink their appointments. Yesterday the final list was released which spurred some anger among those in the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB). The group held a press conference today where they vented their concerns over some of the CEOs saying that they are too closely affiliated with Lord Michael Ashcroft. The most vocal on the matter was David Almenadarez.
Almendarez alleged that the Prime Minister is being manipulated to benefit Ashcroft and his interests. Backing up his statement he says is the expedited manner in which the approval of the Scotiabank buy over and the Waterloo Project were addressed.
David Almenadarez, FECTAB Member: “In just fourteen days of government the Briceno / Ashcroft alliance are acting disgracefully and has fast tracked the sale of the ScotiaBank of Belize which by my two cents and understanding will now be giving the Ashcroft majority of our banking system in Belize. The one that makes me can’t sleep at night is the fast track, expedited consultation of the Environmental Impact Assessment for another cruise port after we have already been down this road. Is this the PM or is he being ill advised ? Is Mr.Briceno being used as a puppet? Beg me to question who is the Prime Minister of Belize ? A few months ago I had a chance to meet face to face with Michael Ashcroft because I needed to find out for myself why our leaders are so afraid of this man. Why the unfairness ? Why the privilege ? After going to Channel 5 to request an interview where I was arrested and formally charged I was contact by phone by no other than his Lordship Michael Ashcroft. We met at the Radisson for about two and a half hours – this is before general elections – he was cunning enough to say he will help this administration win and work with them the new leader to ensure that his objects were achieved. He only needs five years he told me. Five years.”