15 April, 2007


Compulsory Acquisition. Government is forcing the present owners of Cap Juluca Hotel to sell. Government’s advisers have written some innovative new policies for government to apply to the forced sale. One such new policy is that the present or future owners must surrender tracts of land and pond to government to be turned into a “national park”. Government is insisting that this must be agreed before the forced sale will be approved.

You do not need to be a lawyer to appreciate that if it is not voluntary and consensual, this sale amounts to an expropriation of property. Enforcing this policy is the same thing as forcibly acquiring the property. Government’s advisers have held public meetings and published press releases saying that if the owners do not comply with government’s new policy for Cap Juluca, then compulsory acquisition is being considered. Of course, government can acquire property against the wishes of the owners. Government is not powerless. The law permits it to forcibly acquire land in Anguilla. Compulsory acquisition from the Randall Estate is how government came to own the freehold at Maundays Bay in the first place. But, compulsory acquisition carries with it an obligation under the Constitution to pay full and adequate compensation to the owner. Otherwise, it is illegal.

I have not heard anyone saying who is going to compensate the owners when the sale they have negotiated with Gencom-Ritz-Carlton is blocked by the lobbyists at ANTIL. It will certainly not be Auberge-Firesky, ANTIL’s foreign backers. Auberge-Firesky have offered to invest, but they would never be willing to hang around while a case is dragged through the courts. They have offered to invest a certain sum, not to pay whatever sum the courts may award by way of damages. ANTIL and government will be on their own as owners of Cap Juluca.

You would have thought that government would have learned from the recent failed attempt to force the sale of airport land from Forest Estate. Unless you are completely fair, and fulsome, and up front, in your offer to pay compensation, the owners can tie you up in court for years.

If government forcibly acquires Cap Juluca, what will become of the hotel and its employees while the case drags through the court? Will government put out the capital to keep the hotel going pending determination of the court case? They will have to find a way to do so, as no purchaser will be able to take a good title from government until the case is settled. Just thinking about it gives me a stomach ache!

I am getting tired with the worry. Tomorrow, I publish the last post in this series on ANTIL.


  1. The Hon. Minister of Finance said a few weeks ago in a town hall meeting at West End that they "are keeping the density of Cap Juluca to 200 rooms so the sale price does not go out of control"

    This is total nonesense an clear interference with free market and totally self-serving. He should have added we are keeping the price down so my friends at ANTIL can afford it or the government if we finally decide to take it as we have been really planning for a while now.

    ANTIL I heard say in another meeting that they offered 56 million for free title of Cap Juluca. Hickox alone is aking for more than this. Please someone needs to explain the math to me...because I do not get it.

    GENCOM seems to be a reputable buyer what is the government waiting, do they want to frustrate them so they have an excuse to attempt to step in? I hope their plan is more sophisticated than this otherwise is going to be ugly. If Fridman can show that the government was unreasonable at approving Gencom so they could take the property is not going to be a very hard case for a judge to decide.

    The question must be asked why neither Temenos, Viceroy, nor Altamber were subjected to such tirade? Over 400 families worry sick about the future of Cap Juluca lets put them as the first and foremost priority. If not, they should all march to the CM'S office and demand a resolution NOW, not next week, or next month. NOW.

    Tourism is a very fragile rose lets stop playing with it before we loose all of its petals.

  2. Bob Johnson was seen with Guishard, Riketts, Val Banks at Temenos-Golf. Seems as if they are seeking Bob's $$$$ support for ANTIL.

  3. Mr. Mitchell do you think the UK government is paying attention or is aware of how corrupt this whole ANTIL-GOA-GECOM smells and tastes?

    If you were asked to give independant advise what would be your advise to the following:


    I hope you accept my query, I am very interested on your respected opinions.

  4. The GOA should publish the opinions given by the AG chambers and by Mr. Astaphan of Dominica on compulsory acquistion if they feel so strong about it.


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