21 March, 2007



Only a raging toothache kept me away from West End on Tuesday evening. Members of Antil had earlier announced a meeting on Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm to discuss the Cap Juluca proposed acquisition. Cap Juluca’s present owner, Dion Friedland, has just published a release saying that the last thing he has in mind is a sale to Antil. He is very happy with the purchaser he has found. We all agree that Anguillians must ensure that the heights of the economy are retained in local hands. Antil proposes to ensure this process continues by acquiring Cap Juluca whether the present owner wants to sell to them or not.

This is not an ethical issue. What is, is that several of the principals in Antil are government advisers and civil servants. Government has to approve an alien owning land in Anguilla. Government usually acts on the advice of its professional advisers. Why is it that Antil causes a queasy feeling in my stomach every time I hear about it?

I would very much have liked to have been present to learn what Antil is all about. What about you? Was any reader of this Blog present at the meeting in West End? What were your impressions? Is my instinctive reaction wrong and misguided? Can you elucidate?


  1. ANTIL is no different to Starbursts, greedy opportunists coming together to create a company to achieve one purpose - buy Cap Juluca. ANTIL has no start up capital. Yet they manage to partner with Auberge-Firesky and create a company for the rich. Lets look at all the directors on ANTIL board and tell me if you see a company that can develope Cap Juluca. How much capital is each director putting in ANTIL of his own moeny? I assume they will borrow our money from the bank, give themselves shares and then open up the left overs for the minnows. And when they can';t pay the bills, the bank and us are left holding the bags. Until the government gets serious about how companies are formed and regulated a lot more mini Enrons wil thrive amongst us. Just remember at the end of the day these persons personal assests are not affected and that it why some individuals wants to be on every company board that is formed on the island.

    Anguilla government needs to stop behaving like Chavez in Venezuela and allow Mr. Friedman to get rid of this legal nightmare plaguing us for over 15 years. I was not at the meeting at the Methodist Hall but I listened to the directors and director advisers on Kool Fm. I must say I was disappointed with Mr. Cool when he implied that Mr. Friedman is a racist and an Apatheid supporter. It's funny when Mr. Friedland was pumping money in Cap Juluca and Guish was getting all the fame, Friedland was the best thing for AXA. Sometimes we need to stop invoking this racist argument just because people's opinion or interests may differ from ours. Too often caribbean people use that tactic hoping to win supporters.

    How can government hire Astaphan in Dominica to give them advice about CJ, when Astaphan represented Aubege-Firesky in another case? If I was Astaphan I would tell them the advice they want to hear and collect my big paycheck and drink on it. Who recommended Astaphan to goverenemt?

    Mr. Fahie insists his role cannot be conflict of interest but rather harmony of interests. I wonder if Mr. Fahie believes AXA is still stuck in the 80s when his word was King and no one else had the ability to think for themselves? The problem with people in leadership positions in AXA is their disregard for integrity and ethics.

    Where can we find information about ANTIL company structure? Is there a website? How long was ANTIL in esistence? Why should we support ANTIL as oppose to another Anguillian group?

    A recent press release states, “ANTIL wishes to emphasize that the company is not a special purpose company created to pursue the take over of Cap Juluca with its joint venture partner. ANTIL is a general development company which will focus on organising ventures and investing in ventures in the tourism sector in particular. [This will contribute] to the fulfilment of the Government’s and the people of Anguilla’s vision of major participation by Anguillians in the leading segments of the tourism industry.”

    Those at the press conference included Valentine Banks, CEO of the National Bank. who like Marcel Fahie, was involved in the establishment of ANTIL; Joseph Norris Payne, NBA’s Chairman; Kenneth Rogers of ANTIL; Claudel Romney who is assisting in an advisory capacity; Marcel Fahie; J. B. Turbidy of Auberge-Firesky; Harris Richardson of ANDCO and Jed Hunte of ANTIL. Other ANTIL personnel who were not at the press meeting are Denise Romney, Calvin Richardson, an Anguillian from West End residing in St. Thomas, and Sherwin Richardson.

    More information will be given with respect to the new Anguillian company and its operations later. (http://www.anguillian.com/article/articleview/3969/)
    If ANTIL is not a special purpose compnay, then what are ANTIL plans if the Cap Juluca take over should fail? I find it interesting that Mr. Banks was involved in the establishment of ANTIL while allowing NICA to go down the drain. Finally, I do hope an Anguillian group comes together to partner with an investment company to purchase Cap Juluca, however, I hope it is not ANTIL under their present company structure.

  2. The above poster is very suspicious of the motives of the individuals concerned in Antil. That is healthy. However, what I am interested in is the conflict of interest issue:

    How many government advisers and civil servants are interested in Antil?

    Are they advising government at the same time that they are putting together a commercial company to bid for the purchase of Cap Juluca?

    Are they influencing government not to approve other purchasers who might be making a better offer to the owners?

    If they are doing so, is it legal?

    Can Friedland sue if his preferred purchaser is refused an Aliens Landholding Licence?

    Who will pay the damages, Antil or the Anguillian public?

    The reason I ask these questions is practical. Friedland gave an implicit warning in his “Open Letter to the Anguillian Public” published in the media last weekend. He said, in effect, that he expects that his preferred purchaser will be treated fairly in its application to government for the necessary licence. That, to me, is a coded message translating as, “If it is not treated fairly then be prepared to pay me the damages I suffer”. I don’t think he could have been clearer.

  3. After I posted the above comment, I listened to tonight’s 7:00 pm news. On it was government’s reaction to Friedland’s “Open Letter to the Anguillian Public”. In it, government accused him of arrogance and insulting the people. I read Friedland’s open letter, and I must say that I did not find it insulting. His motivation appeared to me to be to remind everyone and the government that in Anguilla, under our Constitution, people’s private property is sacrosanct, and can only be taken away if there is full and fair compensation in money paid promptly. The government response says that they have the right to decide who can purchase Cap Juluca. That is coded language that could mean that they believe they have the power to reject what is objectively the best price for the present landowners. Government also claimed to have the right to say that the purchase will only be permitted if the purchaser agrees to give large areas of land to the government, and other such concessions.

    The question that we must ask is, did the same advisers who are involved in Antil, a locally owned competitor for the purchase of Cap Juluca, draft the government response? Did they get legal advice before they persuaded government to sign off on such a harsh and robust response. My concern is motivated by the realization that if my government gets involved in blocking a sale for tainted reasons it is the people who will pay the legal damages. That includes me.

  4. While I support Anguillian ownership, this Anguillianisation of Cap Juluca is rife with corruption. If they are so concerned with Anguillian ownership in the hospitality industry, why would they allow Flag to own Pelican over Alan Gumbs, who by the way offered just as much money as Flag. If they were so serious, why would they not acquire Cinnamon Reef which is ripe with potential or Marinas and develop them? Why are they using nasty, sinister tactics that are tatamount to insider trading and Castrolike policies? Friedland is an egotistical maniac but the government is opening a battle with a man who is so arrogant that he would take God to court if he could. This is going to cost the Government of Anguilla millions in lawyer fees and could quite possibly, cause the closedown of the hotel. The staff at the hotel are 99% antiANTIL and are right now very worried about the possibilities of Starburst, er, I mean, ANTIL taking over the hotel. If this drags out, I am more than sure that the days of Cap Juluca will be short lived

  5. If you think Antil is so bad wait until you see how Gencom (ritz Carlton) treats the anguillan people. They will not place anyone in managment who has not worked for them in other resorts. IT IS THEIR POLICY. And they will do and develope as they please.

  6. What is ANTIL without M. Fahie and Val Banks?

    Everybody knows that Guishard is behind Antil. He spent the whole week inviting people to the town hall meetings. This is Anguilla people are not stupid.

    I am shocked that the the stockholders of NBA are not up in arms about the bank investing $80k in Antil which is then spent in senseless weekly press releases.

    If Mr. Cool is so pro anguillian empowerment what percentage was kept by anguillians when they sold the land at Pelican to Sillerman?

    To the last poster; no sensible business will replace a qualified local manager for a foreigner, go educate yourself and do you will not have to worry about that type of comment.

  7. At the meeting of the government officials at Cap Juluca a few weeks ago. Mr. V. Banks was offended when Haydn Hughes one of Cap Juluca's managers compared the suggestion of compulsory acquisition to country's like Cuba and Venezuela.

    Mr. Banks obvioulsy only likes the comparison to Castro and Cuba when he decides is appropiate. If memory serves me right last year in August during a House of Assembly meeting where the resolution was passed to "explore the option of compulsory acquisition" Mr. Banks himself quoted Fidel Castro saying "History will absolved us"

    Check the records and you can confirm the above.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.