U.S Threatens To Withhold Military Assistance From Antigua & Barbuda Over Unpaid Debt

Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says a high-ranking United States diplomat in the region has threatened to withhold assistance to the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force over an unpaid loan.

Browne said that some countries continue to press Antigua & Barbuda for money “even though we not in a position to pay them.”

Speaking in parliament today, Browne recalled a telephone conversation he said he had with American Ambassador to Antigua Linda Taglialatela, in which she demanded EC$ 25 million owned for a port loan several years ago.

“Up to last week, I had a call from the US Ambassador telling me that we owe them for the port loan and they want their money.

“In fact, she reckon the arrears is about US $9 million plus or 25 million ec…so I asked the distinguished Ambassador how do you expect us to pay that 25 million dollar debt, in terms of the arrears, at a time when we cannot even pay salaries and wages.”

Browne added “and I said it not because we just don’t want to pay but we don’t have the resources. The irony about it too is that they owe us for the WTO debt and even though we asked them to do a set-off against what they owe us they are not looking at us.”

Browne went on the inform parliament of a threat to withhold assistance made by the US diplomat.

“In fact, you what they have done, during this time of covid, the Ambassador said to me the US will withdraw all the military support they give to the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force .”

Browne said at the same time the US is questioning the country’s relationship with China.

“These are the challenges we have to deal with as a small nation. And then the very ambassador will ask me why we are so close to China. Now I don’t know if they want us to be self-sacrificing allies and to take a hostile position against China and to eliminate that source of support.

“We have to work with those who help us to build capacity,” the prime minister insisted.

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  1. Well said Mr.Prime Minister we cant be afraid of them and they owe us from the end of time pay up so we can pay you and stop worry who we deal with

  2. Why don’t the prime minister keep those conversations between himself and foreign diplomats private? Is it because He just love attention? Oh gash man, keep a low profile for a change no man….

    • One time we say these government in the Caribbean are not transparent, and they are we complain say they need to keep these things secret. Well sorry I prefer transparency at all time. These are not private conversations between two friends. Its the people’s business and the people have the right to know what is going on. The US complains all the time about the WTO that they are not fair when they rule against them against China and others, but when it rules in their favor you don’t hear a word. And look how many years now Antigua has won their case against them and they will not butch. It like might is right. The law of the jungle here at work. Makes you wonder if not every nation should have nuclear weapons to protect themselves from bullies.

    • Be quiet…are you serious. Everything in Antigua is a secret already. Although his tendency is to be quite demeaning to others, in this instance this is information that needs to be shared. It’s strange that they would try to collect this now. I suspect there is more going on here than meets the eye. Maybe the real story is the country’s alignment with China but so is every other country in the region. Why is the collection of that debt so crucisl now. I believe there is a back story that is not been told.

      • Bingo! We never get the whole story just the political fadda that makes him sound good. He’s like a mini Trump

        • You so right with that one all the money them get from hurricane show you as a government should thing about paying some of your debt first but you’ll love to much money


    • Where is the leadership?I went down to the wharf in Antigua.I saw small ships,medium ships,large ships,I did see the mother ships but I could not find the Leadership.

  3. USA cannot demand payment of debt owing to them but at the same time refuse to pay what they owe. Hypocrisy. But that is the USA Today. Do not expect justice from a country that believes might is right!

  4. Dear Mr Prime Minister:
    I think you should now at least begin to understand even just a ” little tweeny tiny bit ” of how POOR PEOPLE feel when the creditors come knocking at their doors and there is no honey in the jar to give them.

    If you have it in your heart…or if there is any heart at all, you will get at least of very slight understanding of how the poor man feels it. Yeah… we are feeling it. Not only in de pocket….. but all over.

    If it still doesn’t strike a nerve in your body…then go sit with the common man/woman in your constituency and get the real talk from them. Do not try to give hand oust or buy votes. Just sit and listen to the cries from the ghetto. Real ghetto vibes…poor people cry.

    Your rich and powerful friends who control you are not feeling it. The ordinary man is.
    Get a heart, you politrickians.
    You may fool the people….but NO WAY ARE YOU FOOLING THE CREATOR.

    Every act you do is recorded. An account will have to given one day soon.

    • Gaston don’t have to sit with the people in the ghetto to know what it feel like. He was once there before so he should have an idea how it feel to be hungry and don’t have nothing.

      • He has been their indeed. That is why he feels the pain of the poor. A person like me can never tell you what it feels to be hungry and mall nourished. And I pray that I will never have to experience it. That is why I have a lot of respect for Gaston to have know where he has come from and how he has build himself up in life to become the Prime Minister of this country Don’t think he ever dreamed about that. I knew him since he was a young loan clerk at Swiss American. His boss was my good friend. Mr. Fisher. Quite an amazing life story.

  5. I hope they feel this way about student debt. Many students come back and can’t get jobs but they want to name and shame them in the papers. *wha he want them fu do if dem cya pay? Tief*

  6. What happened to the $25 million loan that was to revamp the port then? As far as I am concerned I Totally agree with the Ambassador, they borrowed the money so it must be paid back.
    Brown can pay it out the millions he embezzled from Antigua.

    • I remembered sometime between 1986 and 1990 they had borrow millions of dollars from America government to fix Deep Water Harbour but that money went to another project instead. We still owed them that money plus the interest accumulated. From what I understood the UPP were trying to get that loan and other loans write-off but it didn’t happen.

    • I guess you have all the proof that he embezzled monies. Let me ask you. Do you think that you are responsible for the loans your parents took when you were young. So when you are now grown up and have your own life to live and they have passed away the bank will just say sorry but your parents have some debt here and you are their heirs so pay up. And in this case the parents are still alive and well and have enough money to pay back the loan. These are things England should have settled. And furthermore the USA owes us so much for the case they lost at the WTO and blatantly refuse to even sit with us and work out some payment plan. I guess all that is fine with you. What a friend we have in the USA. And I’ll bet you its all because our stand against them with regards to Venezuela, Cuba and China. We should not have our own mind and our own views and policies. We need to fall inline and be with them in everything they say and do. Kiss their backside so to speak. As they say who is not for me is against me.

      • Yes I do believe I am responsible for loans of my parents. That is how the national debt works. Moneys borrowed eventually have to be repaid even by the grand children.

        • Therefore by that sane reasoning the children of the slave owners and slave masters are responsible for paying the debt to the children of the slaves. I guess my case for reparation is made right here. And since slavery took over a period of four hundred year ALL White People should start emptying their bank account and give it to the blacks. Cause almost the entire world was build on the backs of slaves. Not just America and England. The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Spain and even Germany to name a few. And lets move to South Africa and Rohdesia and Mozambique and many others

  7. Can we see some kind of documents that we owe them ? We can’t take word of mouth especially from you

    • The only way we will see any documents is when cock grow teeth….not under this ABLP government or any other government of Antigua and Barbuda. We will just have to pay like blind bats.

  8. . USA feel that they can treat people as they like and they have to accept it. WTO told them to pay us and they dont want to but we must pay them. Really who pays someone who owes them.

  9. If we are not in position to pay back money that we keep borrowing, then why keep on borrowing again. Lord Jesus, help us.

  10. If anyone believe that the attempt to squeeze antigua’s balls have nothing to do with China and Venezuela and the OAS, living in lala land.There will be more to come,

    • you are on point. I just mentioned that in one of my comments above. The USA will take revenge in a very cunning way against those it feels do not fall in line

  11. I am sure the Prime Minister has his faults but as an Antiguan born living in the United States, one has to look on the question of sovereignty. Antigua is as much a sovereign country like the United States. Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo should not dictate whether or not Antigua is a friend of China, Venezuela and Cuba. I venture to say the Prime Minister cannot be the wrecking ball that both men are on the world stage. They have no respect for institutions within and without the United States. They will not pay Antigua as ordered by the WTO. It is true that that judgement preceded the Trump administration. I was disappointed that Antigua rushed to rename Boggy Peak, Mount Obama when he could not pay the bill. I know lots of my fellow villagers from Newfield whose name could go on there if it needed a name change that badly. Irrespective of your political affiliation, Antigua needs your support especially in dealing with this current US Administration. Stand up for Antigua. God bless. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️.

  12. Gaston Browne,did you get paid for working in the Merry Month of May.Well,there are hundreds of pensioners. Who are still awaiting their pensions payout for May.Those elderly persons did the crime(they worked)and the time.Now they are being kicked around like footballs.While you and your old renegades are paid on time.They worked their backsides off to established getting a pension in retirement.Now they are being kicked around like footballs.Pay those pensioners their damn money.They are hands to mouth.By the way folks.The loan in question has not one thing to do with the WTO ruling.It was not a cash(liquid) settlement.Plus the WTO,WHO,UNICEF,all UN Organizations have no damn powers over any country.None.When you borrowed from any one to include countries and or Banks.You must repay those loans.You are borrowing from all and sundry and now you cannot repay.By the way it has not one damn thing to do with Covid-19.Poor Financial Management is the main contributor.

  13. @Moore. The idea of renaming Boggy Peak to Mount Obama was not in hope of any payment but as a symbolic gesture. Of couse everything to ABLP is transactional so no surprises here. It was however a demonstration of lack of political maturity that ABLP would change it back, as they took away a school to burden us with a university.
    Now, the issue above have more to do with our association with Venezuela and China and we better hope Trump does not get reelected

  14. Perhaps self sustainability is the way to go now that we have a target on our back, stop importing thier goods and do business regional or not at all

  15. How is this even up for debate? To hell with the US! They want all and everyone else grovel.

    Do not entertain no conversation with them about no outstanding loan when they owe us.

    You should have diplomatically told them to piss off

    We’re not dogs. Antigua and Barbuda must be treated with the same respect as any other country, and if the US can’t give it, then we know they can piss off.

    Simple as that!

    They apply pressure on us, put it back on them with the ruling from the WTO.

    Why we pussy-footing over this matter is beyond me

    • I was told that Antigua is the poorest island in the Caribbean…as a Black American who invested $100,000 US in Rusells Bar and Grill at Fort James my partners and I were screwed on the pay back. Just as the deal was maturing …I was told that Antigua is full of Thieves by business owners and government officials to be leary .They were right sorry We didn’t heed the warning. Thank you Shirley Heights for the set up. That investment was my LIFE Savings. Wow

  16. Most Countries get their Revenue from Income Taxes and Business Taxes which has to paid as it is a Criminal OFFENCE to evade paying. If Antigua had a fair Taxation System probably they wouldn’t have to depend on THE Chinese or other Nations for Money..

  17. Why did the US pass over Sir VC, Sir George, Sir Lester, Sir Baldwin and pick on poor Sir Gaston? Isn’t this loan over 50 years old?
    While all international and local financial institutions are offering moratoriums in the middle of a global pandemic the US has singled out Sir Gaston to pay up or else. To what end one may ask.

    They know Sir Gaston is struggling to pay pensions, salaries, is unable to provide a Covid 19 stimulus and is being ridiculed by his counterparts in the OECS, and they strategically used this opportunity to strike.

    Talk about kicking someone when they are down.

    This has nothing to do with China or Venezuela people because Antigua is not the only ally these countries have in the region. This is not business. This is personal. Sir Gaston has rubbed someone the wrong way and has breached diplomatic protocols and they making US pay for his sins.

    Sir Gaston is skating on thin ice and his choices are apologize (publicly) or leave.

  18. The problem with the PM is he likes to borrow Money but not pay it back.
    That has always been the way of third world nations.
    Now while you all Bad Mouth the US we Loan Money Paid for buy American Taxpayers
    Governments have no money, but the peoples money and we want it back.
    Now the main difference between China and the United States is we Loan or Give Money!
    China is Buying Your Country Piece by piece and you don”t even see it coming till It”s to LATE.

    • Garston Brown should learn from the history of other nations that got into bed with China. Their national treasures (the people’s inheritance) are confiscated by China. America wants its loan money back, China wants Antigua & its people as slaves. Think about it, not just Garston Brown, every Antiguan: beware!!!

  19. Dear sideline this has nothing to do with parents owing the bank. The Country of Antigua and Barbuda is still in existence and presumably you do not understand that when a Country owes deaths it does not matter which government/party borrowed that money it still has to be paid.
    Now about England and the US do you not think it about time we stop whining and looking for handout? For the amount of years we call ourself independent ALL THE COUNTRY DOES IS BEG AND BORROW. OH AND DO NOT FORGET MOST OF THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WE RECEIVED HAS BEEN LOST IN ACTION. Regarding China and Venezuela take a good look at how they treat their citizens .Do you know anything about China at all maybe you should do a bit more reading on these Countries and mark my words. IN A FEW YRARS FROM KNOW YOU WILL BE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA and let’s not forget you might soon have to carry identification to move from one area of your Country to another part of your Country.The Chinese will make sure of that.

    • So for you it didn’t matter that Antigua was not an independent country and therefore could not have been the one taking out the loan.
      And don’t try to scare me about what the Chinese will do to me. And how the Venezuela treat their people. The evidence is right before us now in the USA with Trump sending in the military to crush protesters and may I add peaceful protesters. But when these things happen in Venezuela or China it is a shock to all. We have so many of our young students enjoying FREE university education in China and in Cuba. The few scholarship that we get from the USA is nothing. Yet we who can afford it or sometimes hardly afford it pay to send our children to study in the USA and Canada and England and thereby sending millions of dollars to these countries. And believe me almost every student that goes there for the very first time get a shock when they are confronted with racism for the very first time in those countries. Those scare mongering things is what is happening in the USA partly in Canada and England. That will never ever be part of our way of living here. Massa Day will never ever come back here in this country. We are not just a resilient people but we are proud as well. Proud to be an Antiguan and Barbudan

      • you know nothing of what you speak,Iv been to cuba it is truly a Socialist nation
        just like China, ong lines for everthing.
        Now since you seem to get your information from The Clown News Network
        President Trump has not deployed troops or used tear gas
        the National Guard was deployed for Rioters and Looters,you have Murdered
        last count 8 people
        so if you think that Communist countries are so great why don”t you move there
        But get your facts right first after all The Chinese Unleashed Covit-19 on the World.

  20. Dear sideline this has nothing to do with parents owing the bank. The Country of Antigua and Barbuda is still in existence and presumably you do not understand that when a Country owes deaths it does not matter which government/party borrowed that money it still has to be paid.
    Now about England and the US do you not think it about time we stop whining and looking for handout? For the amount of years we call ourself independent ALL THE COUNTRY DOES IS BEG AND BORROW. OH AND DO NOT FORGET MOST OF THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WE RECEIVED HAS BEEN LOST IN ACTION. Regarding China and Venezuela take a good look at how they treat their citizens .Do you know anything about China at all maybe you should do a bit more reading on these Countries and mark my words. IN A FEW YRARS FROM KNOW YOU WILL BE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA and let’s not forget you might soon have to carry identification to move from one area of your Country to another part of your Country.The Chinese will make sure of that. Oh you will not not be kissing the US backside like you said, but instead you will be kissing the Chinese(Asian ) BACK SIDE.

  21. You have been Boasting Antigua is a Powerhouse and it’s all Red and Rosey over here..It Takes Covid-19 and the American Government to Prove you are just a Liar and Under your Administration Antigua Became a Poorhouse..Papa Bird must be Turning in his Grave to see what Antigua is Going through with you being the worse Leader
    to Govern. You paying for Being a Bully with a Nasty Mouth.

    • 1. The Ablp got alot of debt when they took over from the upp let’s remember that …the imf alone was a huge debt & Ablp paid that off …2. The country has been in debt from bad management. 3. Look at the car park upp still couldn’t finish that 😂🤣🤣 ..ABlp is working to fix the major roads we must stop being one sided …..Yes I do believe the pm should be doing better but I can see improvements……Oh & don’t forget upp is the reason why we got tax in the country ….have a good one

  22. Let’s do the MATH. America owes 🇦🇬 $340M USD, while 🇦🇬 owes 🇺🇲 $9M USD.
    Then, the DIPLOMATIC BLACKMAIL is subtly applied. They are threatening to withdraw military assistance, which benefits our ABDF and Coastguard. Low, dutty, gutter tricks..
    Another KNEE on the NECK of this Black State.

    • @FRANK SOUTHWELL AS IN FRANKIE SOUTHWELL.You are a spineless man of straw.You were on the Radio cussing the ABLP.When they were in Opposition.You were a BLUE Blood.Then the ABLP won in 2014 and again 2018.You jump faster than wind could blow on the RED ship.Did they offered you a few work Frankie?Where are your morals?Where are your testicles?They could not be found,no scrotum to hold them in place.Do you still have that position in Administration.That has to do with Barbuda recovery.What has become of that.I am calling the Embassy in Bridgetown,Barbados to get some clarity into this matter.Because I do not believed one damn word uttered from the mouth of a diabolical liar in Parliament.Where you could say “anything” to get attention with impunity.That man is trying change the narrative.Pay poor people their money.Antigua is BROKE,BROKEN,BROKER THAN BROKE.

  23. The difference is
    1) United States didn’t borrow money from Antigua
    2) Antigua borrowed money from America and promised to pay it back

    It’s that simple. Stop borrowing money from countries and then beg them not to pay it back.

    Reminds me of that broke uncle who borrowed money but every family function tells me he broke and can’t pay while driving a luxury car and living in a mansion. What a joke.

    • The loan is 50 years old therefore it was not Antigua that borrowed the money. Antigua just became independent in 1981. The problem is we rush into independence and don’t cross every T and dot every I. England should have been made to sign off that they are giving us a blank slate. Not even reparation they have paid us. Just here you have your Island go about your business. The only thing I must say they did was put up a security in the USA for our currency. But we never were able to touch that money.

  24. People should remember that the way the us government work, no president can write a check to pay Antigua for the WTO ruling. Congress holds the power of the purse, so Obama couldn’t write Antigua a check.

    • Rubbish, if Obama was interested the money would have been paid. America was owing Iran 400 million dollars and under Obama they were paid in cash, the money was delivered by military aircraft.

      • The US did freeze Banks accounts for Iran in the USA for many years.That money was Iran’s money that Obama gave them back.It had nothing to do with any loans.As is the case with Antigua and the USA.The money was delivered to Switzerland for Iran.

  25. so wait all of this is coming up now? first half moon bay now this? whose next? i dont feel safe now?

  26. America is wicked ..they deal with us like shit to get a visa but here they are asking us about our relationship with China…Antigua & China have a good relationship & I hope it stays that way regardless of the corona virus afterall it wasn’t the pm of China who sent corona . America has no right to ask us shit not because we are a small country smh …

  27. They should have gotten into bed with China. China is like a COCKROACH you let one in then more appears then you’ll NEVER get rid of them. P.S. The stadium will never be as much as they will causes you lose. HOLLA cause I do not own a fridge or freezer.

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