Categorized | National News

Baha Mar Deal Scary, Says D’Aguilar

Former Baha Mar Director Dionisio D’Aguilar says the remobilization of Baha Mar is “scary.”

Mr. D’Aguilar says that although he congratulates Prime Minister Perry Christie on the much needed move, the idea of the Chinese government dealing with so much of The Bahamas is “not a good thing.”

“What we heard yesterday is that the Chinese have won. Cable Beach is now theirs; they have Bay Street, and a large portion of your economy is in the hands of companies that are controlled by a foreign government that doesn’t operate within the same democratic norms that we operate in. To me that is not a good deal. That is scary to me,” he said.

“You do not want [those] type of entities controlling that much of your economy, because they don’t operate like we operate. For that reason, I’ve always said any deal which leaves Chinese companies running this project, is not a good deal.”

Mr. D’Aguilar said that the paying of past employees is excellent and needed to be done.

During a press conference Monday night, Mr. Christie announced that former employees would be given unpaid salaries, severance pay, accrued vacation pay, and notice payments due to termination.

“Mr. Christie you’ve gotten money for these foreign contractors, that’s good. I’d like to believe that my constant pestering about it caused you to focus on it and led to the outcome. I’m happy to concede that you did it on your own,” Mr. D’Aguilar said.

On Monday, Moody’s Investor Services officially downgraded The Bahamas from Baa2 to Baa3.

Earlier this year, the New York based credit rating company threatened that the country could face a fresh credit rating downgrade due to two consecutive years of a recession; one of their main issues being the hold up of Baha Mar.

Mr. D’Aguilar said the prime minister’s announcement is a distraction from the downgrade.

“He’s trying to distract us from the fact that the economy is slowly going down and he’s trying to pep it back up. He’s trying to distract us from the fact that we’ve had negative GDP growth for the past two years, so [the] economy is contracting,” he said.

Mr. Christie made an announcement that stalled resort would be opened at the end of 2016 beginning of 2017.

Mr. D’Aguilar said the timeline is no coincidence.

“He’s timing us, he’s a master politician. He’s getting all his ducks in a row. You’ve got to finish this hotel, and make note of the fact it’s not the whole hotel” he said.

The businessman earlier this year said that he believes Baha Mar is only being completed by the Chinese because the government does not want the initial developer to engage in the bidding process.He added that it is his belief that the bids which were put forward were much lower than that of Sarkis Izmirlian’s , however the government doesn’t wish to give Mr. Izmirlian a chance.

Disgruntled former staff of Baha Mar in an open letter to Prime Minister Perry Christie requested the prime minister to not allow China Construction America (CCA) to be the general contractor nor “eventual owner of Baha Mar”.

Past employees of the Cable Beach mega resort said that there are Bahamians who are willing to complete construction on the resort and The Bahamas does not need to become a “de facto colony of the Chinese.

Yesterday, Mr. D’Aguilar said the Chinese have successful dismantled Mr. Izmirlian’s dream.

“What that press release signified yesterday was the complete annihilation of Sarkis Izmirlian’s dream. They have won. They have finally beaten him down, they have finally taken it from him. They have destroyed what was his dream and his passion for the last ten years,” he said.

“That’s a sad day. This man put his life, soul and a lot of his money into this project, and they simply took it away from him.”

CCA has served as Baha Mar’s general contractor before the resort filed for bankruptcy in the United States last year in June.

Baha Mar has since then accused the company of performing sub-par work.

According to a receiver of Baha Mar, Ray Winder, 16 groups have expressed interest in acquiring Baha Mar at the Supreme Court hearing on the project’s joint provisional liquidation, however he refused to identify the investors.

The opening of the Cable beach mega was scheduled for December 2014, but was deferred to March 2015 and again to May 2015.

Baha Mar’s developer filed for bankruptcy protection in the US on June 29, 2015, however the Supreme Court then rejected the resort’s application so that the matter may be recognized in The Bahamas.

Baha Mar went into receivership last October.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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