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Feb 3, 2016

Minister Heredia Supports Harvest Caye Project

A twenty-five-year exclusive contract has been awarded to Norwegian Cruise Lines for the controversial southern cruise port at Harvest Caye. The matter was taken to the House of Representatives at its last sitting by way of a bill called the Belize Island Holdings Facility Development Bill of 2015. Essentially, NCL gets to have the only cruise port in the south for the next twenty years and for good measure, the multibillion dollar company also gets duty exemptions for the cruise port. The exclusive contract was brought up this morning; the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia is a staunch supporter of the Harvest Caye investment.


Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“There was a challenge in court, I think by Mister Feinstein. The court had decided that there could not be any exclusivity for that. But when they speak of an exclusivity, it means to say that if you give someone for twenty-five years…when that twenty-five years, it cannot be altered and renewed or anything. In the case of that one with FSTV, I believe they had given an exclusivity then renewed and altered and so. But in the case of NCL that was given before this ruling came to court. And I can assure you that once that twenty-five years expires, probably I would not be around, but it should not be renewed again. That is what we call exclusivity; a onetime thing and that’s it.”


Duane Moody

“So they have received an exclusive contract down south?”


Manuel Heredia

“As far as I am concerned, I believe—I am not a hundred percent—but I believe that that was the case.”


Duane Moody

“Sir, don’t you think that it comes across—and please excuse me—don’t you think that it comes across kind of hypocritical given the fact that Mister Feinstein was asking for an exclusive contract for the Stake Bank project—which the B.T.B., your ministry has said is a needed port in Belize City—and then you go and give NCL the same thing?”


Manuel Heredia

“My friend, remember that this thing with Mister Feinstein goes way behind; it was his creation of this exclusivity. And you recall at one point they had exclusivity for Carnival and Mister Luke Espat and an exclusivity for Royal Caribbean and so? You cannot play with investors. If we are serious about what we are doing then let’s deal the way it is supposed to be done. This one with NCL came into being way before. He decided later on to challenge that exclusivity and he won the case. So to come back again and say redo what the court has said cannot be done, I mean let us be fair.”

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