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Jun 4, 2021

Senators Salas, Smith, Herrera and Benguche Chime in on Commerce Bight

Osmany Salas

The social partners’ senators also weighed in on the commerce bight port.  They asserted that the matter may end up in the courts and that should the lease be cancelled, the people of the south may also lose out on job opportunities and an injection into the economy.  Here are Senators Salas, Smith, Herrera and Benguche on the matter.


Osmany Salas, N.G.O. Senator

“We are of the position that we cannot support the approval of the disposition of the commerce bight port. I must say though that it seems to us that this matter might very well find itself before the court. I ask now and I hope to get a response as to how solid a case the government has. Both sides seem to think they have a solid case.  In our minds, while the lease cannot be transferred or assigned the ownership of the company, the shares can be sold in their entirety. And it begs the question about the possibility of speculation happening where for very little investment a very hefty profit can be made by selling the assets of that company in their entirety so these raise a lot of red flags in our mind and makes it very difficult for us to support the disposition. But we also recognize the importance of that port and the benefit it can bring for Dangriga and the surrounding communities. So, we would also like to ask what are the government plans as far as the future of that port. What serious steps does government intend to take to reactivate that facility that has so much importance for the economic growth of that area.”


Elena Smith

Elena Smith, Senator for the Unions

“We believe that it is critical that there is resolution for this matter. It seems that we are at a place where this will end up being not a win-win but a lose-lose situation for the very fact that we have the people in the area who have lost jobs who won’t have their jobs anymore but as I said just now the matter of litigation as well. From our end, then, we hope that the parties can come to the table  and have some kind of discussion or negotiations on this matter to try and resolve this as best as they can so that we don’t end up in the courts.”


Kevin Herrera

Kevin Herrera, Senator for Business Sector

“If it was required to be brought to the National Assembly it could not have been the responsibility of the investors to bring it to the national assembly that would have had to be the administration’s responsibility. And so, in my view if the contract is cancelled I believe that there will be significant litigation risk and it is quite likely that the company will sue.”


Alvin Benguche

Bishop Alvin Benguche, Senator for Churches

“While there may be some wangling about the lease agreement, I must confess as Sister Elena pointed out, that jobs are extinct. And at this time, especially in Dangriga, in Stann Creek, the jobs become extremely, extremely important.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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