G.O.B. on to Puerto Azul – They Failed the 5-Point Test
Finally today, government spoke of the international hoax that is the multimillion dollar Puerto Azul tourism development project. It was endorsed by the G.O.B., particularly by the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior and Minister of Economic Development, Erwin Contreras. The proposal to construct a seven-star, exclusive resort on Northern Two Cayes and Sand Bore Caye even made it as far as the Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment where Senator Godwin Hulse sits as a member and it is known that approval was granted for an EIA which did not get off the ground nor did the project. Hulse says he was not surprised when he found out that the entire proposal was an elaborate scheme that netted so-called developers Domenico Giannini and Fabio de La Rosa millions of dollars. Those two are now the subject of a massive investigation after it was discovered that they were running a Ponzi scheme across Europe. Today, Hulse told the media that the project failed to get off the ground because the investors talked big money talk but never walked the walk.
Godwin Hulse, Member, Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment
“I was not surprised at all. Actually, the first time the project came and you know we had several meetings, I had my issues. I could catalogue them for you. One was to put an airstrip anywhere near the reef and as an Engineer I know that would not have worked – sonic boom alone. Two – they were going to raise commercial paper. I had made it made it clear to that is fine when you put that on paper but show me the money. Anybody can come with certification that you can raise a billion dollars or two, but banks don’t release money that easily. But to tell me that money is no problem – anybody that tells me that I get very excited because money is always a problem to raise, so I was not surprised at all.”
“Sir, but did they take us for a ride? They used up significant psychic and administrative energy. You all had to review stuff from them. You all had to engage and these were basically con men?”
“Well, I am not sure they took us for a ride. Because remember we do have a clear investment policy and a program – a five point program. In fact, we developed it pretty much after Puerto Azul. Puerto Azul came kinda in the middle of that, so and it was a learning process that we could in fact in the future know where to say no and where to say yes. First of all, the project had to be socially and economically feasible and legally doable. And it had to bring revenue to government. It had to bring foreign exchange to the country and it had to provide meaningful jobs and last but not least it had to ensure the environment preservation and cultural heritage. You will remember one of the major problems they had to start with was the whole environmental issue when they went to look at the island and how it was. So, these two guys, one working out of Europe – I think it was Holland and one working out of the DR, were no surprise to me because at the end of the day could not have moved forward until they could establish some clear proof that money was available and they couldn’t do that.”