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Tuesday, 15 November 2011


From The Desk of the Honourable Othlyn Vanterpool

Fellow Anguillians on Monday November 7 2011, the Anguilla United Front, Party Leader, Mr. Victor Banks, in addressing the nation on the Cap Juluca issue, extended an olive branch to the Hon. Chief Minster Hubert Hughes and his government, to support the GOA with a strategy to keep Cap Juluca open. Speaking on behalf of the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT in his capacity as party leader, Mr. Banks stated and I quote:

“The Members of The Anguilla United Front stand ready to support the Government of Anguilla in any “well-thought out” approach, which is designed to ensure that the Cap Juluca Hotel remains open. Cap Juluca Hotel has been the flagship of Anguilla’s Tourism Industry for more than twenty years and its closure would be a serious blow to the Anguillian economy especially at this time when we can ill afford to bear any further stresses to our economy. But even more serious is the impact it will have on the over 400 workers and their families, many of whom have been employed at Cap Juluca for most of their working lives --- as well as a number of other businesses that provide services to the hotel. It is not an issue that should be used as a “political football”.

End of quote.

In the same address Mr. Banks raised concerns about the approach adopted by the Chief Minister and some of his advisers. Mr. Banks made it clear that, and again I quote:

“Of serious concern are a number of statements made by the Chief Minister and some of his advisers that seem to imply that this is the fault of the past Government; that there is a conspiracy between the Governor and the Opposition to bring down the Government; that the Attorney General is advising him wrongly; and more of the usual conspiracy theories and the blame game. At a time when the people of Anguilla are hurting and the outcome of this matter is uncertain it is irresponsible for the Chief Minister to be playing politics as usual. In fact, it is an extremely dangerous game to incite workers to believe that a particular individual or group of individuals are responsible for their plight, knowing full well that it is a lie”.

End of quote:

Fellow Anguillians, one would have anticipated that in the face of constant calls for unity and assistance from members of the GOA, (the elected member of Sandy Hill in particular) and key supporters of the AUM on the many talk shows, that the Chief Minister would have welcomed the opportunity to work with the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT on this serious issue. Every one in Anguilla is concerned about Cap Juluca and want to see it remain open. We are all concerned about over 400 workers and their families, many of whom have been employed at Cap Juluca for most of their working lives --- as well as a number of other businesses that provide services to the hotel.

It was our hope that the Chief Minister would recognize this and give the call from the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT the serious consideration it deserves. We had hoped that the CM could look beyond the usual politics of lies and misleading statements. We had hope that the Chief Minister would have changed his destructive and divisive style, approach and attitude and accepted the call from the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT to work together in the interest of the workers of Cap Juluca in particular and Anguilla in general.

Fellow Anguillians, the Chief Minister response to our offer of support was in his usual style. In an telephone interview aired on Radio Anguilla today Monday November 14th , the reporter asked if he would be reaching out to the Anguilla United Front for support, in response the Chief Minister stated:

“there is no assistance they can give me, they are only messing up things because they should really hide! There is no assistance they can give – what assistance they can give me, I don’t want men to fight and there is no technical assistance they could give me, I am more qualified than all of them put together”.

Such a response flies in the face of the constant calls for unity and assistance from the very Chief Minister, his colleagues and supporters --- and is an insult to statesmanship that is required from the Office of Chief Minister. Fellow Anguillians you be the judges! We offered help, we heeded your call for unity and our Chief Minister not only refused but in refusing he resorted to insult the intelligence of the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT, its supporters and other well wishers. We will not respond to his claim about being more qualified than every one in the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT put together.

Fellow Anguillians in the said radio interview the Chief Minister stated:

“ if the united front was serious about Anguilla, they would just hush their mouths and repent of the sins they have committed” .

This statement makes a joke of democracy and further proves that the Chief Minister and his APP/AUM supporters want to silence the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT. That is why we take serious all comments in this regard whether spoken directly or posted on the many blogs and social networks. I want to make clear to the Chief Minister, his AUM/APP colleagues in Government and their supporters that the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT will NOT be silenced. We would continue to be the voice of the majority of Anguillians who refuse to accept the lies, misleading and irresponsible statements of the Chief Minister and his APP/AUM colleagues. We will be relentless in our efforts to ensure this dysfunctional government settle down and work in the best interest of all Anguillians. If our Chief Minister cannot manage we will continue with our call for him to go home. His leadership style, attitude and approach are not working for us. At this time Anguilla needs MANAGEMENT NOT MADNESS.

Fellow Anguillians, at this time the Workers at Cap Juluca remain in a state of fear and uncertainty about their future employment. They are not sure what to expect and are very anxious. Recognizing this, our Chief Minister should be at this time offering hope to these hard and deserving workers who for over the years work diligently to ensure that Cap Juluca remain among the top properties in the world. Instead the Chief Minster continues to blame the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT for what is happening there. In his interview in responding to the current issue with Cap Juluca he declared:

“ it is due to the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT why we are in this mess, they are the ones who mess up Cap Juluca by signing a MOA to a man, who obviously did not have the money to buy it and to do the work that was necessary and that why Cap Juluca is in so much trouble, because Aron did not have the money, and according to our Alien Land holding license in Anguilla, nobody should get an Alien Land Holding Licence in Anguilla to buy property unless they can show where the money is coming from”.

This Statement by the Chief Minister is laughable and shows that the Chief Minister will not stop in his efforts to mislead the people of Anguilla and in particular the workers of Cap Juluca in believing that it is the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT’s fault. Fellow Anguillians I wish to remind you of the facts relating to Cap Juluca.

The MOA with the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT Government was signed on July 27, 2009. Immediately after the signing, Mr. Aron contributed US$1million as a bonus that was shared among all staff, a gesture that he was highly praised for by all concerned. You will also recall that during the Election Campaign, the AUM convinced the people that the agreement was bad for Anguilla and when elected they would recover from Mr. Aron all that was lost under the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT Administration. Upon taking over the Government, Chief Minister Hughes indicated that he gave authority to Haydn Hughes to renegotiate all the MOA’s of the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT government. The Cap Juluca MOA was renegotiated by Haydn and Jerome, and a new MOU was signed with Mr Aron on August 13th 2010. This is the agreement that Cap Juluca has being operating under up until today. The MOU was signed at Cap Juluca in the presence of the Governor, all ministers of government, the Parliamentary Secretary and Elected Member for Sandy Hill, Jerome Roberts, as well as staff of Cap Juluca.

Yes Fellow Anguillians, Chief Minister Hughes signed a new MOU with the same Mr. Aron that he said had no money --- after the MOA of the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT. This means that the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT MoA was thrown out of the door and that MOU of Chief Minster Hughes and his APP/AUM government is the one in operation. The Anguillian Newspaper made the following report of the signing on August 20, 2010:

Mr. Hughes said the Government undertook to do as much as it could to make Mr. Aron and the workers of Cap Juluca comfortable. We sat with Mr. Aron and found him quite easy to deal with in that he never really gave us a tough time. He realised that we were willing to do a proper job,” the Chief Minister stated. He stressed that the Government had acted in the best interest of the people of Anguilla and had set a precedent by taking the MOU to the House of Assembly for the people to know about its contents. He added that even members of the Opposition had an opportunity to voice their opinion on the matter for the first time in ten years. Mr. Hughes said some amendments were made to the MOU and that everybody, including Mr. Aron and the Government, was happy!”

Fellow Anguillians the record is there for all to see and read. Today the Chief Minister is blaming the Cap Juluca crisis on the ANGUILLA UNITED FRONT rather than taking responsibility. This is what I refer to as lies and the use of misleading statements to confuse the Cap Juluca Workers and the people of Anguilla.

Fellow Anguillians by his own admission Chief Minister Hughes indicated that he was satisfied that Mr Aron was good for Cap Juluca. Further not only did he signed a new MOU but it was an MOU that gave back Mr. Aron 7 acres of the best beach land in Anguilla, the pond which was to form part of the national park for the use and enjoyment of all Anguillians, and the option for Anguillians to purchase 20% of Cap Juluca. This is what Haydn Hughes and Jerome Roberts negotiated and the Chief Hughes signed on to with Mr Aron last year. Yes fellow Anguillians! The same man who he is now saying had no money to buy and develop Cap Juluca. Mr. Hughes must now tell the people of Anguilla, since he knew Mr. Aron had no money why did he sign the MOU last year giving away so much to the same Mr. Aron? Chief Minster Hughes stop the lies! Stop the blame game! Anguilla needs MANAGEMENT not MADNESS! Fellow Anguillians! Do not allow yourself to be fooled anymore! Reject the lies of Chief Minister Hughes and his APP/AUM Government!

By: Hon. Othlyn Vanterpool 
Hon. Othlyn Vanterpool is the AUF's District-1 Representative in the Anguilla House of Assembly.

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