The public acquisition of BTL is complete; tonight, BTL is under the
management of publicly - appointed directors. The takeover was made official
this evening. At ten to 5:00, the new Board of directors headed by Executive
Chairman Nestor Vasquez went in to the corporate headquarters at the Esquivel
Telecom Center on St. Thomas Street in Belize City. The new board comprises
Chairman and architect of the first privatization of BTL in 1988, Nestor Vasquez,
senior Advisors to the Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel and Alan Slusher, CEO
in the Ministry of Finance, Audrey Wallace, Businessman and the Prime Minister's
son, Anuar Barrow, and Secretary of the Board, Lois Young. Ousted chairman of
the committee of management Dean Boyce walked out as they walked in and he told
Keith Swift he has no hard feelings.
Dean Boyce, Ousted
"I certainly hope that going forward, the company flourishes. It's
got a great bunch of employees that put a lot of hard work into the company
over the years and I feel proud to have been part of the team so I just hope
we can move on to bigger and better things."
"What are your thoughts about the takeover?"
"Well I think it was a different way of doing it. We could have sat down and discussed this for the last 18 months at some point and I really think
nationalization was really unnecessary. We had said last year that we would
give up the agreement. We had said things like minimum rate of return, we were
going to give that up and it wasn't a problem. What we wanted was just
an agreement that was workable for this company."
"Are you voluntarily leaving or because you know that there were police
"No the police had nothing to do with it. I met with the new Board
and shook their hands and wish everybody well and it was very friendly, very
"You're not angry or bitter, you seem to be taking it in stride."
"No but you can't be emotional about it. It is all supposed
to be very matter of fact. You do what's in the best interest of everybody.
I've said I think there was a better way of doing it, other people had
a different perspective of it."
Interestingly, though he functioned as the boss at BTL, Boyce maintained in
communications with government officials that he was never an employee of Telemedia.
The new board was empowered in the order signed by the Minister of Public Utilities
Melvin Hulse this evening. He did that after the enabling legislation was passed
by the senate this morning and signed into law by the Governor General this
afternoon. It was immediately gazetted and Hulse signed the order - the
new board could only go in only after all that was done. The passage of the
bill into law was done in near record time - and the reason for that -
as explained by the Prime Minister - was so that Michael Ashcroft or his assorted
interests couldn't find some way to undermine it with nuisance litigation.