September 9, 2011
Eustace denies mortgaging NDP building to pay bills

Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has vehemently denied that the New Democratic Party (NDP) had to mortgage its headquarters to pay bills, and that it could not make monthly payments on that loan.{{more}}

A leaked United States Embassy diplomatic cable that shed light on former minister of trade (under the NDP administration) Jonathan Peters’ unsuccessful attempt to take leadership of the NDP also revealed that he described the NDP as being in “financial disarray and almost completely out of cash”.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, Eustace said that Democratic House was paid for “a long time ago”, and since he had assumed leadership of the party in October 2000, he has never had to make a mortgage payment.

The cable, which was released by WikiLeaks, states that Peters told US Embassy officials that the party’s headquarters building had to be mortgaged to pay its “short-term bills”, and that at that time (January 2009), the party could not afford to make repayments.

“We don’t owe any money on our building… no loan has been taken for the New Democratic party since I’m the president!” asserted Eustace.

The cable, authored by then US Ambassador to Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Mary Ourisman, was created on January 15, 2009, and realeased on August 30, 2011.

It also states that Peters claimed that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves often bragged about having US$30 million to finance the Unity Labour Party’s election campaign.