Butler-Turner questions govt’s neutrality in Baha Mar negotiations

Loretta Butler-Turner in the House of Assembly.

Loretta Butler-Turner in the House of Assembly.


Tribune Staff Reporter


 LONG Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner has questioned whether the government is truly neutral in the Baha Mar negotiations, after a leaked email from a senior government advisor to an attorney at a US law firm last month suggested that a new equity partner be brought in to invest in Baha Mar as a way to secure the necessary financing to complete the project and get it open.

In that July 23 email Sir Baltron Bethel, Prime Minister Perry Christie’s senior policy advisor, reportedly suggested that the idea be seen as coming from the Export Import Bank of China, Baha Mar’s debt financier, rather than the government to avoid any impression that the latter was trying to oust the Izmirlian family.

Mrs Butler-Turner said the email clearly demonstrates that the government’s agenda “is different from the picture they are trying to paint to the public.”

“It also speaks to whether they are looking out for the best interest of the public,” she said. “They were very, very eager to make a deal with China Construction America and the question needs to be asked, how can the government be so eager to go into business with a company that still has so many unanswered questions surrounding it? The prime minister is very delusional and very confused.”

“Whose interest is really being served? The prime minister needs to declare his interest in the Baha Mar development, if any, and also what are the interests of his family.

“When you have a senior policy advisor suggesting that CCA find another partner that is unacceptable. I thought he was the advisor to the government not to the foreigners. Whose interest is Sir Baltron serving? And now when the people need to hear from the prime minister he chooses to remain silent? Well that is not an option, he does not have that luxury, too much is at stake.”

The contents of the email were first reported by Tribune Business earlier this month.

A well-placed source, speaking on condition of anonymity, read out to Tribune Business an e-mail that Sir Baltron sent to Michael Zou, an attorney with the US law firm, Hogan Lovells, on July 23.

Sir Baltron had suggested that a new equity partner, with hotel and casino experience, be brought in to invest in Baha Mar as a way to secure the necessary financing to complete the project and get it open.

“One way to make up the equity shortfall would be for the bank to advance the idea that an additional equity partner, with hotel and casino partners, be brought in,” was the source’s account of Sir Baltron’s e-mail.

“Such a suggestion should preferably come from the bank and not the government to prevent Baha Mar taking the position that the government is trying to push Izmirlian out.”

Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy at the end of June, blaming CCA, its general contractor for its opening delays. The government has filed a winding up petition to appoint provisional liquidators to oversee the resort. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for the Supreme Court today.


Wideawake 7 years, 9 months ago

The Bahamas government has been caught red-handed in a conspiracy to defraud Sarkis Izmirlian of his $800 million investment in Baha Ma, and, to use their policy advisors' own words, "push him out"!!!

The Prime Minister, and members of his Cabinet who were complicit in this devious scheme, should hang their heads in shame, and do the honorable thing; RESIGN!! to minimize the damage they have caused to the good name of The Bahamas!

Many Bahamians groaned out loud when they heard that Mr. Christie had resurrected the geriatric Baltron Bethel to serve as a highly paid consultant in his so-called New PLP government. Bethel, who was named in the Commission of Enquiry, is exactly the type of corruption smeared "Old PLP" political operative that should never have been allowed to participate in our government.

It seems poetic justice that it was "Bagman Bethel" who screwed up and inadvertently "let the cat out of the bag!!."... and now the World can see the true motives behind this ill-advised and disgraceful, Involuntary Liquidation plot!!


Honestman 7 years, 9 months ago

So true Wideawake. The only problem is that the PLP has no social conscience. They care not for ordinary hard working Bahamians - all they care about is staying in power at whatever cost so they can line their pockets and those of their family and friends. The sad thing is many of their supporters know this and will STILL vote for them come May 2017. What a sad country we live in.


Chucky 7 years, 9 months ago

National pride is just a "sales pitch"!

Mark my words: not a single politician cares in the least about the "people of this country, or , the physical nation itself".

Their goal is to fill their pockets and the pockets of their friends, they'll tell everyone what they want to hear; and hid behind "the publics perception that they are incompetent" as a defence of their actions.

Notice, if you consider that the government and their friends (doesn't matter which party), is in power to serve their own interests and that of their friends, to rape and pillage the people and the land, using any tactics they can conjure up; and then consider what the outcomes of their actions are, the end results are great! They are amazing thieves, not world class as in the US Government and it's cronies, but certainly our governments are good at what they do.

And the propaganda, while not great, it still works sufficiently to keep the masses thinking that the government is trying, but incompetent, rather than thieves who are successful.

Just a simple adjustment in perspective, and all things make sense- imagine that.

Could it be true? Open your eyes and you will see. As for "National Pride", trust me on this one as well, it does not exist! Do you really think that all those cars driving around with the Bahamian flags around independence day are displays of pride? No consider you only have to drive behind one for about a mile to see them throw garbage out their window. Do these people who'd rather party than watch their kids, or help them with their school work, do they display pride. Does a government who refuses to solve one issue, no matter how simple, do they have pride?

National Pride is the biggest lie ever told, it simply gets your "people" to buy into "we're the best" sales pitches; they'll follow any stupid money grubbing agenda under the guise of improving our already "best country".



MonkeeDoo 7 years, 9 months ago

Loretta should attend court today and put her question from the visitors gallery. If she gets locked up so much the better. This shit has to be flushed somehow.


TalRussell 7 years, 9 months ago

Comrades where you will not find this neutrality is between Loretta and her red party's leader. To the contrary, Loretta would require extra square footage to hide her aspirations to unseat Minnis, even if it means spreading for political gain that some unknown someone, says someone else, said something.


banker 7 years, 9 months ago

This is more of Tal's FNM Tourettes Syndrome. If anyone mentions PLP criminality and perfidy and Tal uncontrollably says Red Shirts! Red Shirts! I've seen smarter parrots.


MonkeeDoo 7 years, 9 months ago

Comrade Tal needs to think more slowly - Its all jumbled. Minnis can't make it - period.


MonkeeDoo 7 years, 9 months ago

Anyone know what happened at Court today ?


PKMShack 7 years, 9 months ago

use social media so we all can line up and protest to save our country


paul_vincent_zecchino 7 years, 9 months ago

 Say what you want, but as with the late 60s thru the 80s, as with today, when PLP reigns it's never dull, is it?

Never. Always something new and interesting to discuss when PLP rules, yes?

When PLP reigns, one is never bored.

 Does it seem to you that the reported doings out at Baha Mar are vague, conflicting, baffling?  It's hard to sort out the players and make sense of their baffling actions, isn't it?

When something is baffling, confusing, conflicting, complex and elusive, isn't that a sign of chicanery?

Never dull with PLP, having seen the laying of the keel during the late 60s and 70s, as with today, always interesting; in the fullest sense of the ancient Chinese curse, isn't it?

Were one given over to conspiratorial thinking, might one be tempted to say the chicoms are advancing their long held plan to control Bahamian affairs by means of economic crisis?

But of course, that's conspiracy talk, isn't it? The chicoms would never do such a thing, even though official chicom government policy is to 'Use capitalism to build communism to destroy the West", would they? Why no, of course not. Everybody's pals now.

"May you live in interesting times." - timeless Chinese curse


Sign in to comment