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Feb 6, 2014

Toledo East Mike Espat speaks of cancellation of port leases

In August 2013, the government cancelled the lease held by the Ports of Belize Limited to the Commerce Bight Port in Southern Belize. That…after the Belize Bank seized control of PBL from Luke Espat. The bitter dispute which surrounded that seizure and the subsequent cancelling of the lease to the Commerce Bight Port might be last month’s news, but it’s still a very touchy topic. On Wednesday in the House member for Toledo East Mike Espat brought up the matter while his brother, Luke Espat, sat in the gallery. That opened a can of worms which the Prime Minister was only too happy to spoon feed to his colleague in the House.


Mike Espat

Mike Espat, Area Rep., Toledo East

“We now have the Stake Bank Port, we have the Belize Port, we have the Port in Dangriga and we have the Big Creek Port; four ports in the country. Commerce Bight is very important to us because as we travel in the area of Dangriga, the people are demanding that we do something about Commerce Bight. Now I heard the prime minister before pointing his finger on myself and my brother who is sitting in the audience, but I want for the record, Mister Speaker—and you know, we come to this house and I guess most of the time our people do not get the true picture of what is happening in this country and sometime we put our foot in our mouth. Luke Espat paid the government of Belize sixty-four million dollars for that port and that is not money that he got out of Belize.”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I hear him bleating about how much Luke Espat paid for the port. I imagine you are talking about the Belize City Port because in terms of the Commerce Bight Port, let me remind you that when it was discovered that in fact an arrangement had been entered into that turned that Port over to Luke Espat—and it was done fortunately by the way of a lease and not complete sale—there was huge dissention on the ranks on your side because others in your party complained bitterly about the inside lane that Luke was able to work with I believe Henry Canton, who was then the Minister of Ports. There were people in your cabinet who did not know that this had taken place and in fact there was an effort in cabinet to have it taken back on the basis that Henry Canton had not informed the key people in the cabinet. And while I wasn’t there and I don’t want to go too far, I believe that might have meant the prime minister at the time. And Henry Canton and Luke stood on the fact that well he is the minister and by law he had the authority to enter into the lease that he had entered into. In other words, the thing so stank to high heavens that even those in your party whose threshold for corruption as we well know is extremely high were outraged. And the fact is that your brother got that port under the agreement and completely failed to do anything about it. how dare you come to this House now and say that people in the south are so anxious for the development of the port, are impatient that since government took it back, nothing has happened along those lines when your brother had it for all these years and did absolutely nothing, except sit on top of it?”

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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1 Response for “Toledo East Mike Espat speaks of cancellation of port leases”

  1. moses x says:

    Mike is ederugu. PG people how did this ederu get elected?

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