That judgement benefits both the Briceno family members who are shareholders in SMART and the Ashcroft Alliance - whose various companies are the company's majority shareholders.

But are Ashcroft and Briceno also in political business? That's what we pointedly asked the leader yesterday:

Jules Vasquez
"Asked you the other day about funding from Mr. Ashcroft and you spoke elliptically about you know that UDP's financiers are abandoning them etc, etc. But you didn't say with specificity, is the PUP receiving campaign financing from Lord Ashcroft?"

Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"No."

Jules Vasquez
"No? Absolutely not? Because maybe he's one of the UDP's financiers who's abandoning them."

Hon. John Briceno
"Probably. Wouldn't you abandon them, if you were him?"

Jules Vasquez
"I can understand why he would, but then I would seek to, to ride with the other horse."

Hon. John Briceno
"Better hurry."

Jules Vasquez
"But, sIr, you are usually so descriptive, but it's like you're stonewalling me."

Hon. John Briceno
"No, I just gave you an answer. What more do you want me to say? I gave you a straight answer."

"Gentlemen....as a government we have to deal with everybody in this country. Every investor that is in this country, and every voter or citizen or anybody."

"And any investor that wants to come and have a good plan for this country, we're prepared to sit down and listen to. And work with that person."

Hipolito Novelo
"Has Mr. Ashcroft offered to help the PUP financially?"

Hon. John Briceno
"I don't know, because I haven't...I wouldn't know that."

"If he hasn't given us the money how would he have offered? If he had offered I would think that we would have gotten it, noh?"

Hipolito Novelo
"So, he hasn't approached anyone from your party offering any kind of financial assistance?"

Hon. John Briceno
"Not that I am aware of. We're scrambling for money, you know? If you guys want to make a donation to the PUP, please, please (laughs)"

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