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Apr 29, 2015

P.M. Addresses Legalities of Petrocaribe Loan Act

Dean Barrow

At least half an hour of the two-hour long press conference this morning was dedicated to Petrocaribe, the controversial project which spawned the controversial Loans Act and Bill. The Opposition has led the charge to declare the government’s use of the funds without approval from the House as illegal…from the very start. Prime Minister Barrow addressed that right off this morning, claiming that at in 2012 he didn’t think of Petrocaribe as a loan agreement, but as a credit facility.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I admit that right at the start I did not go to the House at all; because I didn’t see how it could fit and I didn’t think properly described it was a loan arrangement. It is this credit facility. And I am saying if I made a mistake coming to that conclusion, so did everybody else, including the Opposition who all of a sudden got religion. But how would I…did Finance and Audit Act says you need prior authorization if you are going to borrow any sum in excess of ten million dollars. All of the motions we come to the House with under the Finance and Audit Act are for loans having to do with international financial institution. Everyone would say whereas we di borrow twenty million dollars to build a bridge, whereas the terms are and…what would we have said? Whereas we are borrowing an unlimited sum by way of this credit facility. We noh know how much it will be, we noh know when it wah end; whereas we will be paying back on a basis that changes from month to month, depending on how much fuel yo buy, depending on what the prices…how could we fit it properly into the Finance and Audit Act. So how can I regret trying to do the impossible? Later on I was obliged to and when we tried, it did work. That’s why they said right away, the Opposition, well we will still challenge it. So all I am left with is passing this law that in fact says you can borrow. You don’t need the prior authorization to borrow. And in effect it is saying that we can borrow—since we are now classifying the credit facility as a loan—for as long as Petrocaribe continues and long may that be. If it ends up where we collect one point one billion dollars, the extent of the super bond from Petrocaribe and we use it to wipe off the super bond, which we are paying back at eight point…with bullet payments and to pay that back at one point… Aren’t we that much better off.”

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2 Responses for “P.M. Addresses Legalities of Petrocaribe Loan Act”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Go ahead Barrow and white wash your fiscal crimes. The opposition and people of Belize are phenomenal, phenomenally stupid to believe you.

  2. Rod says:

    This gov is some of the biggest thieves in this country now they are justifying their thieving wow and all a unu duncy rasa belizeans stay mute well I hope you or one of your family members are not next to be gunned down in the streets or in your home

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