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Jul 29, 2020

Will the Port of Belize be Nationalized Too?

The strike continues at the Port of Belize which means that cargo cannot be unloaded or loaded in the midst of the economic fallout due to the COVID pandemic. The ongoing logjam between the Port of Belize Limited and the Christian Workers Union, amid the termination of thirty-six employees last Wednesday, has seen operations at the harbor grind to a complete halt, severely impacting the arrival and departure of freight to the global market.  Despite an attempt by the Labor Department to intervene in the standoff, there has been no resolution to the dispute which has resulted in millions of dollars in revenue being lost. The Barrow administration has already nationalized B.T.L., B.E.L. and the Registry. And all things considered, is the Barrow administration presently contemplating the nationalization of the port facility as the end all, be all for the longstanding dispute?  Here’s how PM Barrow responded to that question.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“That has to be a consideration and I’ll leave it there.”



“If I could, a simple follow-up, we know that every entanglement with the Ashcroft alliance ends in tears for the Government of Belize as it has over these many years.  Is there any sense of once bitten, tenth shy or twelfth shy, maybe?”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Ultimately, the situation dictates at the very least a contemplation of what you raised, otherwise you would not have raised it.  And while I do not want to, as it were, engage in any kind of rear guard vindication, we have lost a number of battles, legal battles with the Ashcroft alliance, it may have been the occasion for immediate tears but over the long run, apart from the fact that we are all dead since we think with respect to, it’s so commonplace that it’s almost striking that this reference to our children and our grandchildren, if you think in terms of that sort of a metric.  Take B.T.L., some people claim that the price we have paid is too much but ultimately it is ours and note that it makes profit or has made a profit every year since nationalization, I don’t know what’s going to happen this year because of COVID.  Note that, unlike Port of Belize, you don’t hear B.T.L. talking about laying off people.”

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