LETTER: Alpha Nero and what it means for Antigua & Barbuda’s economy


Dear Readers, 

As a businessperson in Antigua & Barbuda, I want to share a different perspective on the Alpha Nero  situation and what it could mean for Antigua & Barbuda’s economy and the foreigners interacting with  this beautiful country. 

The Alpha Nero story is a saga that could become a movie, with many locals politicizing the situation and others thinking we are doing the right thing.

However, the majority knows that our country is in an  increasingly worse predicament, particularly how things started with sudden questionable changes to  our laws to acquire it, and how things have since transpired between the numerous litigations and poor  taxpayers feeling the brunt of funding the upkeep of a luxury item designed for the 0.01%, not the 1%. 

As Antiguans, we know the government’s landgrab tactics and shady dealmaking, many leading to failed  projects. However, what’s different here is that we are not just at legal war with a multibillionaire’s  estate but indirectly fighting Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin; otherwise, the yacht would not have been  sanctioned.

Right now, we are personally attacking the demographic that every vacation country seeks to  attract: the super-wealthy. We are also attacking a major ally of China, a country we rely on heavily for  financing. 

What is especially worrying is that even when this ship has sailed, if it happens, Antigua & Barbuda’s  reputation will be tarnished, and we will have many years of expensive litigation against individuals with  unlimited capital.

In the world’s billionaire community, it is safe to assume they are familiar with each  other. Despite our beliefs and doings in our tiny “bubble,” we live in a world of instant information. 

These individuals power our yachting community, and seeing how this event took place, with the seizure  of one of their prized assets, it is not difficult to imagine a situation where their friends and associates  divert their yachts to other islands.

Warren Halle, the latest billionaire suing Antigua & Barbuda for  running a shoddy yacht auction, is also one. Even the auction winner, Eric Schmidt, left this country with  a bad taste in his mouth and perhaps left money on the table, which he may also pursue; I know I would. 

I am saying, liken our problem to a bad restaurant experience. If you experience it, you tell your friends  and family to avoid the restaurant at all costs. Antigua & Barbuda is no different. We pride ourselves on  our pristine beaches and poor customer service (joke), but the reality is that nearly every island in the  Caribbean provides the same view; we are not unique. 

Antigua & Barbuda has always been in the headlines, even being the opening paragraph in a book called  The Sink – Terror, Crime and Dirty Money in the Offshore World, which is about shady dealings and  laundering money. 

From the public’s perspective, there is not much we can do besides seeing how things play out because  our reputational damage is already done. We can only hope that Alpha Nero does not have lasting  effects on our future.

Imagine no longer having Falmouth and Jolly Harbour crowded with the  superyachts we typically see and enjoy. Often, the vessels serve chartered guests, not the owner, so  choosing not to visit our country is an easy decision to make. 

I saw that Antigua & Barbuda was recently represented at the Monaco yacht show. I would love feedback  from the delegates on how many questions they had to answer concerning Alpha Nero. For those who politicize every story, this one should be an exception.

Whether it is ABLP or UPP in power, reversing  what is already done will take much effort and money. Unfortunately, it lies with the taxpayers. 

God bless this nation.






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  1. Countersuit the owners let them pay and I mean really pay then they can take there damn boat out of our waters and never ever return . Tax payers should not pay for no boat.

  2. A truer tale have never before, been told. And all effected, by the complement of: Our Dear Leader. The Supreme Indomitable “Alpha Negro” Of Antigua 🇦🇬 Barbuda. Easy Money, Eh!? The Sell Off &, Sell Out Of Our Patronage.

  3. I agree with the author. This situation is absolutely disgraceful. The government has portrayed Antigua very negatively. John Public is not with them on this. They need to let the Alfa Nero go.

  4. The Prime Minister was warned by many observers not to get involved with the Alpha Nero, because of the LEGAL ramifications, yet Gaston Browne (and his advisors – at home and abroad) decided to go ahead.

    Was he coerced or ill-advised by outside Western influences that have beef with Russia?

    I do not know, but what I do know is that certain CHOICES in life have consequences; and our government has made a poor CHOICE to poke their noses into a situation that could see repercussions for Antiguans in the future; and especially as the differences between the US and Russia (and Europe) seems to be escalating – indirectly – and out of control with the Ukrainian war.


    Did Prime Minister Browne make the right one with the Alpha Nero super yacht?

  5. From the very beginning I said that it has been a foolish decision driven by the greed of the government officials. All we had to do was tell the skipper of the boat: we’ll let you fuel the boat, get provision and leave… You’re welcome, but please don’t come back. That’s it. US would never make a huge fuss with Antigua about it. At the end of the day, we could always say: “It’s the Caribbean, man.”
    But no, instead our officials saw the opportunity to steal an expensive piece of someone else’s property with the big boss’s permission. What a shame!

    • @ Jane
      All we had to do was tell the skipper of the boat: we’ll let you fuel the boat, get provision and leave… You’re welcome, but please don’t come back.”
      That would not have happened. Tell you why. Up to now, you all still do not understand the twisted, covetous mind of Gaston Browne.
      His eyes shone brightly and he started salivating about that yacht. He saw himself owning it and having parties aboard and wining and dining important people. He meant to do whatever it took to own it. He would be the big man showing off to his friends and sticking it to Ralph and Mia.
      All the misery we are experiencing is because of his ego, his greed, his selfishness. He is a loathsome creature.

      • Well said @ Greedy Dawg.

        You mentioned “his ego, his greed” and ‘his selfishness’ and him being a “loathsome figure … ”

        However, you forgot to mention Gaston Browne’s STUBBORNNESS; and I predict that this will eventually lead to his ultimate fall from grace.

        His stubborn nature has made him make MANY terrible financial faux pa’s to the detriment of the country and the autochthonous Antiguans.

        It’s a character flaw that’s inherent in his nature.

  6. Gaston Browne,the smartest man on planet earth.He never saw an opportunity where money is to be made and walk away from it.Maybe he was mislead and or ill informed by the US Ambassador,Ronny Boy Sanders.Into thinking,he could get that juggernaut .So he ran his arse to Parliament and passed into Law.A Bill to cease that hangman’s noose around Antigua neck.The ALFA NAR GO NO WAY.That Law in my opinion was trend setting.Whereby,he could go into Parliament in Antigua and pass bills to cease anyone’s assets at will.There in lies the danger of that Bill passed a few months ago.

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