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Barack regrets not making US deal


marciadottin, [email protected]

Barack regrets not making US deal

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A “fed-up” and “disgusted” building contractor Al Barack regrets not pursuing a debt-buying proposal that he thinks could have seen American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a money battle with the Barbados government. Last December Barack announced he was considering a proposal by American interests to buy the more than $60 million debt owed to him by Government for construction work on its Warrens, St Michael office complex. Under the proposal, the Americans would have paid Barack and worked out an arrangement with Barbados for getting back their money. “I regret that I didn’t follow through on it,” the engineer told the DAILY NATION. “If I had followed through on it, the result would have been different today because Hillary Clinton would have made sure that they (the Barbados Government) paid the money . . .  because it would have been major American citizens’ investment.” He reported borrowing “a few million dollars” in the United States to carry out work on the Warrens complex because Government had not been timely in its payments. But that would not have been enough to get the US government to “come in and get on the Barbados Government’s case”, he speculated. He put his overall debt at more than $10 million, both in Barbados and overseas, and said that “the bills haven’t stopped coming”.  He told the DAILY NATION that he was “fed up” and “disgusted” with the way Government had been treating him, after being ordered by the court to pay up. “They say they are not going to pay. I can’t do anything about it,” he commented. “I tried my best, my very best to get the money, but they say they are not going to pay and there’s nothing I can do about that.“I could jump high, I could jump low – there’s nothing I can do about it.” Government has stated that it is prepared to negotiate a settlement. However, it has made it clear that in the current economic climate, it was not in a position to make a one-time lump sum payment. The matter is again before the court, where the contractor has applied for a charging order against the National Housing Corporation’s (NHC) real property across the island and an order for the sale of NHC’s property. NHC’s lead lawyer is Maurice King, QC, while Sir Richard Cheltenham QC, is representing Barack. (TY)

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