The eight year feud between the Government of Belize and British billionaire Michael Ashcroft is about to end with Belize retaining full control of its nationalized company, Belize Telemedia Limited and Mr. Ashcroft ending up with $458.4 million in compensation.

The final details about how much is to be paid in US dollars have been ironed out in the Caribbean Court of Appeal. The Court has given the Government of Belize a 10-day deadline to pay US $78.3 million, or face punishing interest payments which would keep the country in debt to Mr. Ashcroft for years to come.
Prime Minister Barrow has said that he will find the dollars to pay Ashcroft and be done with the matter, once for all. That is great news!
We feel confident that Belize will rebound from this setback and will go on to greater dollar reserves once the spectre of Ashcroft is behind us. .

It was a sad day for Belize when he was allowed to come in and take possession of the Belize telecommunication company by circumventing the firewall limiting foreign ownership. He was able to do this through his special ties with former Prime Minister, Said Musa.

Those special ties mark an ugly chapter of our politics, and Belizeans have paid a heavy price for these past atrocities. Today however, more than a dozen years later, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Belize will pay the debt, and we will all breathe a profound sigh of relief when we no longer need to be beholden to Mr. Ashcroft.
The Caribbean Court of Appeal could have given Belize more time to meet the challenge to our foreign exchange reserves. It did not! It could have examined more closely the padded expenses provided by Mr.Ashcroft. It did not!

Many friends of Belize in the Caribbean and elsewhere are wondering why the Court chose not to be more caring and more vigilant. .
Maybe in the months ahead we will learn more about the inner workings of the CCJ. A major scandal surrounding the Caribbean’s highest court is about to break. .
That’s going to be one for the book!

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