Lovell rips into Browne Administration for its economic giveaway and allowing another state-within-a-state with WISEZ

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Harold Lovell, the Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), has described the recently signed Special Economic Zone Agreement as disgraceful and says it offers no economic benefits to this country.

Therefore, Lovell says the deal is one that all Antiguans, Barbudans and residents should be concerned about.

The manner in which the Gaston Browne Administration has given away powers that rightfully belong to the people is “sheer brazenness” and downright shameful, the UPP Political Leader declares.

And in light of the fact that Antigua & Barbuda will celebrate 40 years as an independent nation in three weeks – on November 1 – the Administration’s action is even more reprehensible, Lovell says.

He adds that, instead of the Government finding means to empower the people, it has embarked on a wholesale giveaway of their patrimony.

Meanwhile, Lovell says the statutory instrument passed in the Lower House of Parliament will forever be proof of the treachery of the Antigua Labour Party Government.

The Prime Minister has defended his Administration’s action by noting that the 549 acres of land were acquired from private owners.  But Lovell says this deflection tactic will not distract him from the real point – which is the power being given to the investors.

Just like the failed YIDA development, the UPP Leader says, the Administration has created a state within a state, and this project, too, might have a similar outcome.

Finally, Lovell says the Zone Management Committee that has been set up to determine who can come into Antigua and Barbuda, and what they can do here, is ridiculous. (REAL NEWS)

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52 COMMENTS

  1. But you know, Mr. Lovell, because of your reputation as a politician to politicize everything people will see this as political maneuvering, even if it isn’t. Thing is if you believe in Government and what it stands for you should know centralization is the ultimate goal of the cult that created the Government concept. The Gigsaw is coming together quite nicely for them, thanks to supposedly leaders like yourself and others in the region. You are all (A. L. L) a bunch of hypocritical mercenaries who disguise as caring people.

    • You must be one of the mercenaries. You are attacking Mr. Lovell instead of speaking to issue. I can see that in your opinion, nothing is wrong with the deal. Your kind is greater in numbers than the right thinking people, hence the poor condition of our country.

  2. You give the right to issue passports to a foreign entity. Who is going to do the due diligence to weed out the criminals, murderers and fugitives from other countries? The galling part is these people are getting the proceeds from the passports sales, which belong to the people of Antigua, to build the infrastructure in their economic zone. Are these people another YIDA with no money?
    Gaston, you went after Sandals for the deal it got for withholding taxes, now you do this? There are a lot of questions about this agreement, but one of the main ones is who in the government and their families stand to reap huge benefits?

  3. There can be NO such thing as a state within a state, not here. The only place that exists is the Vatican, which is a state within a state (Italy), but this ain’t no Vatican, that’s for sure. Be careful. Remember what happened in Dominica several years ago when some Ku Klux Klansmen tried to establish a state within a state in Dominica. They’re all in jail now.

    • Search your memory bank if you have any left cause you will find the same Poltrickian who is spreading falsehoods was an architect of the same thing. When you are blinded by Politrckian using Political language of deception designed to make lies sound truthful you have no one to blame but yourself. Harry as we say in Wadadli is a damn blasted liar. Do you own research on the parliamentary speeches made by Harry when he was a Minister in the UPPITES governance? Trying to crush the truth he have failed over and over. Cause it will rise again.

  4. “State within a state”?? Isn’t that what Barbuda wanted to be and was supported in their delusion by this same Harold “King Lyadd” Lovell?

  5. While many of you are cussing each other. The Country’s lands both(Private and Public) are being sold off to all Foreign Entities. Soon,many of us would need a Day Pass to visit those places in Antigua. The decisions made by the Gaston Browne Administration affects all of us. Regardless of which Political Party color you would wear or support.I am the owner of a piece of property near the Jennings part of the ZONE. I am telling all of you in positions of Governance not to mess with me and my property.

    • Just wait. The agreement gives these people the right to acquire any other lands in Antigua and turn them into economic zones. No requirement for them to get approval. This is signed into the agreement. So wait, they coming.

  6. WELL WELL WELL is Tobago a State within Trinidad and Tobago? Tobago is part of the State of Trinidad and Tobago. The difference between Tobago and Barbuda is that Tobago has more power to govern its own affairs. Despite the fact that Barbuda has a local government that is entrenched in the Constitution, the ALP Central government acts as if the local government does not exist. Monies from investments in Barbuda that should go directly to the local government, the Central government prevents these funds from going the the local government. What you and BETTY’S HOPE are failing to see is that the powers given to these SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES (SEZs) is tantamount to a State within a State. They are not subject to the requirements of many of our laws and our Environmental Laws are a case in point. Perhaps soon Gaston Browne and his insane government will declare that SEZs are not subject to our judicial system.

      • I just wanted to ask the good lawyer that simple question. Like always he is the master of spin. Just tell him to explain the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. And that of a UNITARY STATE of Antigua and Barbuda. What a deceiver. And it’s not that he doesn’t know better.

        • Tenman, while you are defending Gaston, the lands pulling from under you. Can everything not be about politics and use common sense. If Gaston give away all the lands to investors, what happens to our children and our Grandchildren. There won’t be any lands, remember we have limited lands. Please don’t get all consumed by politics. Use your brain before it’s too late. Please, for the future of our Generation. Try and see if your brain can think that far.

  7. Just had a read of the MOA signed in 2011 (26 July) between GOAB and Milennia-Montaigne dev. Antigua Ltd One of the parts that got my attention was:
    “15. Exemption from all taxes for the Hotel Management company..” There was also the granting of all work permits. There was also a promise to work with the company to help them get grants from intl agencies like the world bank. I was not surprised seeing these because I figured Lovell would conveniently forget. I have no doubt if we were to look at other agreements especially those involving companies that operate offshore similar to a SEZ, during Lovell’s tenure you will see similar incentives

    • It is a pity that ‘other parts’ did not jump out to you.

      These are some of the parts that jumped out to me and I DARE YOU to find similar in the ‘new economic zone document’:

      3. To undertake on completion of the Project to employ or cause to be employed in various positions and capacities a minimum of 500 persons locally.

      4. To undertake in conjunction with the resort operator to institute and continue during the operation of the Project, training programmes for citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda that are designed to provide, develop and expand the skills base of all employees of the Project so as to facilitate their advancement as employees.

      5. To undertake in conjunction with the resort operator, an understudy program that will ensure that Antiguans and Barbudans will receive the necessary training and experience to ultimately assume. insofar as reasonably possible, any role, job or function in the Project which may initially be undertaken by a non-citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

      There are other parts that jumped out of me (in a positive way).

      Tenman, show me in your party’s document WHAT ANTIGUANS GET for the ‘GIVEAWAYS/CONCESSION’. I AM DARING YOU.

      • So once the SPZ’s do what you list the forever tax holiday is acceptable? Guy those things are like you in a imperative sentence, understood, hence don’t need to be stated. Though a SPZ they are not exempted from our labor code.

        • Not exempt? You must be kidding or you blind.

          Did you miss the part of the document that said they can bring in their labour force and you talking about labour code?

          Trupz.

          • Saw similar language re facilitating work permit in the 2011 moa. You missed it? Again labor code must be adhered to. The main reason for the spz’s is to provide jobs for locals l. This (,ob creation ) has always been the driver for major incentives

          • @well stop trying to make me be you. The way you said it I can see you are in pain. Can tell you meditation helps. Will add you to my
            Prayer list

    • A free economic zone in Antigua and Gaston go work to help them Get grants from international bodies like the World Bank. What am I reading here? Shouldn’t these grants be for the Antiguan people? Just like he is giving away the proceeds from the sale of our passports, now he is giving away our grants to. This man doesn’t care about Antiguans. I am thinking that he has to Stand to benefit financially from this free zone or his head is not right.

  8. WELL WELL WELL I am very familiar with the terms Republic and Federation. What does that have to do with the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) created by the government that is tantamount to a State within a State? Antigua and Barbuda is a Unitary State with devolution of certain powers to Barbuda under its local government. Barbuda therefore is not a State within a State, however, Barbuda has to fight to be able to exercise the little power that is given to it under the Constitution and the Local Government Act because the Central Government appears to be ignorant of the status of Barbuda under the Constitution. The SEZs created by the government is a total giveaway of the country’s assets into perpetuity without much tangible benefits to the vast majority of the population. With the creation of these SEZs and the powers given to them, they are tantamount to a State within a State.

    • Make sure your friend Tenman don’t miss this Charles Tabor:

      It is a pity that ‘other parts’ did not jump out to you.

      These are some of the parts that jumped out to me and I DARE YOU to find similar in the ‘new economic zone document’:

      3. To undertake on completion of the Project to employ or cause to be employed in various positions and capacities a minimum of 500 persons locally.

      4. To undertake in conjunction with the resort operator to institute and continue during the operation of the Project, training programmes for citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda that are designed to provide, develop and expand the skills base of all employees of the Project so as to facilitate their advancement as employees.

      5. To undertake in conjunction with the resort operator, an understudy program that will ensure that Antiguans and Barbudans will receive the necessary training and experience to ultimately assume. insofar as reasonably possible, any role, job or function in the Project which may initially be undertaken by a non-citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

      There are other parts that jumped out of me (in a positive way).

      Tenman, show me in your party’s document WHAT ANTIGUANS GET for the ‘GIVEAWAYS/CONCESSION’. I AM DARING YOU.

      • FORMER A.B.L.P. VOTER I agree with you completely. I really did not have the time to highlight all the valid points you made. I just used the example of Long Bay to show how hypocritical the ALP supporters are. They blocked the project and eventually Gaston and his son were the beneficiaries. I hope TENMAN has the courage to respond to you and also to provide a comparison as I requested.

      • Now that sounds like a contract that favors Antiguans and Barbudans and supports the long term development of our human capital. 500 jobs is a good start. Ah so negotiations fu wrerk!!!

      • They delivered anything? You know it was all essentially a mirage ? currently we have investors ready who have actually put money on the table. Who you think most likely to deliver? So brethren it’s the current admin who have something promising to offer while Lovell fruit is failure

    • wasn’t it you who brought it up.
      “WELL WELL WELL is Tobago a State within Trinidad and Tobago? Tobago is part of the State of Trinidad and Tobago. The difference between Tobago and Barbuda is that Tobago has more power to govern its own affairs. Despite the fact that Barbuda has a local government that is entrenched in the Constitution, the ALP Central government acts as if the local government does not exist.”
      You deliberately fail to show the difference between Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda. And that is why you are cunning. deliberately misleading the reader. Barbuda has not the same powers as Tobago. the same way as we can say that Florida has more power than Barbuda. Barbuda is not a State within Antigua and Barbuda. We are a Unitary State. They cannot pass laws in Barbuda. Laws for Antigua and Barbuda are passed in our one and only Parliament. And we have one Governor General.

  9. You know the UPP continues to have no vision for this country. When they were in opposition, they took Dato Tan to court. This action caused the investor to cancel the project. Spencer lost the case and was ordered by the court to pay the government One million dollar. This I believe never happened. But like always, politicians cover up for one another. Whenever you ask Gaston about whether Baldwin paid the Treasury, he never knows. But let one little man get a parking ticket and don’t pay it, he would be taken to court.
    Then Data Tan sold the land to Stanford, which the receiver sold to Yida. In the meantime, Stanford was getting the green light to go ahead with his millionaires’ club. Then the very same UPP was negotiating with Yida right before the election to get the project of the ground. But since they lost the election, they suddenly were against the project. They approved the Sandals Group to build a resort down at Long Bay and giving them all the concessions and the public beach under their control. Just like they do at Dickenson Bay. They also agreed with Sandals to hold on to our room tax as a matter of offsetting certain concessions. In the end it was calculated that this agreement had cost the Treasury hundreds of millions of our tax dollars. The embark on a car park and gave the developer the right to use our land as lien against a loan. We know what happened there. They also gave a developer acres of land title at Valley Church beach without having to pay a dime for it. The developer would not go out and search for investors and finance for his project. I mean there is so much more to mention where the UPP gave away our lands and yet when they are in opposition, they complain about the same things they did. God help us with these inept people. Cannot think outside the box and cannot see the big picture. They protested against Global Port Holding arrangement, which now have proved to be the best thing the government did right before Covid. if they hadn’t the financial situation would have been even worst. They really came to take over all the Port’s Liabilities at the right time. The losses that they have encountered so far are enormous. I hope they make it back over the remainder of the contract. No one knows how long Covid will cripple this industry. And Royal Caribbean me reconsider their investment at Fort James. I’m looking forward to the day when the UPP has people that can think outside the box and come with constructive criticism on projects that the labour party brings. You know an investor should be embraced by both parties and don’t get entangled up in our local politics. it doesn’t matter to him/her who is in power. He/She sees an opportunity for investment comes to government in power and negotiate the best deal. I hope there will come a day when an investor can sit around the table with both parties and get their blessing for the proposed investment.

    • Dato Tan got all those lands and no body knows who they paid for it. That is why Baldwin took them to court to get the lands back. If you ask me Dato Tan was an invisible figure fronting for some politicians.. Has anybody ever seen him? $60million of lands ended up with Stanford and the government ended up with $1.5 million. You people will defend anything the labour government does. When are you going to defend what’s good for Antigua? Are you part of the corrupt cabal?

      • I cannot help, but it is tiring to always have to educate you guys or always have to refresh your selective amnesia. remember Buffy. Remember the Fullers. They claimed to have been the owners of the land. The government bought the land from them to transfer them to Data Tan who paid for it. So, the Fullers got handsomely paid for the land. And Baldwin took the investor to court because he thought the concessions were too generous. Just like every time that is what the UPP’s complain is all about. Until when they are in power, and you see documents in which they do the very same thing they used to protest. Bunch of hypocrites if you ask me. Do you if Baldwin paid the million dollars into the Treasury. And if he did, where did he got the money from?

        • Did Baldwin take them to court when he was a private citizen or when he was prime minister? Who signed off on the dato tan deal, not Gaston? How much was the government paid for the lands and who was dato tan? Answer these questions.
          You would think that the labour government would learn from the past mistakes, but it is what they mean to do as this is how they operate. Always entertaining self enrichment schemes. Antigua is dirty and the streets are full of potholes, if they are paved at all. Water off, current off, $2billion in debt to one country. Is this the best we can do? Antiguans need to wake up from their trupidness and stop the rape of our country by the people they elect.
          Stop always going back to the past. You should deal with the shit that is happening now. Because me thief yesterday doesn’t give you the right to thief today.
          You know a lot of older people can’t remember what they did today, but they can tell you what they did 30 years ago.

      • Nope in his filing he stated it was for environmental reasons. He argued those lands should be untouched. Same bs admin then gave the green light to Stanford to develop said lands

  10. DATO TAN GOT THOSE LANDS FOR EC $1.5 MILLION PAID IN STAMP DUTIES.HE SOLD THOSE LAND TO STANFORD FOR MANY,MANY,MANY,MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.STANDFORD LIQUIDATORS THEN SOLD SAID LANDS TO YIDA FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.OTHER THAN THAT EC $1.5 MILLION PAID IN STAMP DUTY INTO THE TREASURY.WHAT THE HECK ELSE DID THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE GET IN RETURN FROM THOSE LANDS,ANSWER:ZERO.
    SIDELINES: YOU WOULD NEED TO SIT YOUR FAT ARSE DOWN.

  11. FROM THE SIDELINE what is this one of your usual long irrelevant ramblings designed to distract from the issue at hand. You should be ashamed to mention the Long Bay project and how the ALP demonstrated against it. Ask Gaston and his son Andron who were the ultimate beneficiaries of the lands at Long Bay.

    • I’m not interested in the transactions of private citizens with their private property. I’m not like a crab in a barrel that I get envious because my brotherman is clever enough to make a few dollars. You guys seems to be stock on that. There was no illegality in that. No one whatsoever. Do not get so caught up with other people’s wealth creation. You need to learn to celebrate others achievement in creating wealth honestly. As long as they do not do it illegally. Being envious will get you bitter.

  12. My people, get those who are around you to REGISTER TO VOTE.

    It is voting that will get the rid of the present A.B.L.P. headed by the DICTATOR.

    Go out and get eligible persons to register to vote. It is our individual responsibility to get this done.

    D.N.A. is an option my people.

    The present A.B.L.P., headed by the DICTATOR, have run its leg of the race. TIME FOR THEM TO GO.

    • One thing peeked my interest. The zone will have a massage parlour. Guess this parlour will be like the rest around the world, a prostitution establishment, staffed by orientals. Hope none
      of them will be sex slaves.This may help all the Limpy Joes currently in parliament. Why else would there be a need for one in the economic zone?

  13. FROM THE SIDELINE you should be interested in the transactions of private citizens when the private citizens hold public office and use the assets of the State for their personal benefit. Let me give you a simple example of private citizens who hold public office. Gaston Browne and wife Maria Browne. Maria Browne used her Charity SHARE to obtain property from the government (which a government entity owned by the way for pepper corn price). He immediately turned around and sold that property to her husband owned interest POINTE FM. To you FROM THE SIDELINE that might appear to be above board, but in other countries where public officers are held to a higher standard Gaston and Maria would be investigated and one or both of them could be in jail for misfeasance in public office. Would be easier if both went to jail since the issue of conjugal visit would not arise. That is a very simple example for you of impropriety of the intersection of private citizens and public office holders.

    • Can you for once be logical. A private citizen that holds a public office is not a private citizen any longer. And the only persons that were public official and used the Assets of the States are the three UPP ministers that are now being called to answer for that in court. Which are; Daniel, Harold and Jacqui. Gaston Jr. is a private citizen and has no public assets at his disposal. Please for once speak the truth. He bought land from a private citizen and sold it to another private citizen. That seem to hurt you that much?

      • “He bought lands from a private citizen and sold it to another private citizen”. What happened to the government lands that were part of the deal that the government wasn’t paid for? He can manipulate the deal but he can’t hide the crime. Not all Antiguans are fools.

  14. FROM THE SIDELINE I do not know how more logical I can get. I referenced the SHARE Charity and the land that was bought and ended up for her husband’s benefit, however, I noticed that you preferred to focus on the scandalous Long Bay land deal involving Gaston’s son. FROM THE SIDELINE the latter smacks of so much corruption that in a normal country somebody would go to jail (even for insider trading). Do you think something like that would go down well in the USA or UK. Gaston will forever spin that these two transactions were above board and were legal and ethical. Tell him to tell that to his mindless minions. Not all Antiguans are gullible fools.

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