Letter lashes out against ALP over closure of Friars Hill Service Station, while PM Browne denies any interest in its acquisition

Prime Minister Gaston Browne is denying claims that he or any
member of his family has an interest in the Friars Hill Service
Station popularly referred to as “Larry’s.”
Several weeks ago, it was alleged that the longtime operators of the
station had received a letter from the West Indies Oil Company
Limited (WIOC), stating that if they did not vacate the property by
August 31 they would no longer be supplied with petroleum
REAL News correspondent George Wehner recently published a
video report on the situation at the WIOC gas station on Friars Hill
Road, which reportedly has been leased, for over 40 years, by Larry
Gonsalves, a native Antiguan.

In the report, Wehner suggested that a politician or someone else of
note might have an interest in the service station, since – out of the
blue – Gonsalves had received from WIOC a notice to vacate by the
end of July.

In light of all this, a “concerned citizen” has penned a letter in an
online news portal, complaining that the businessman who had been
with WIOC for more than four decades was being kicked out – with
not so much as a “thank you” or any discussion.
In the letter, he criticizes the Antigua Labour Party (ALP)
Administration for being without humanity, charity, morals or
Christianity. The writer also places the blame for the gas station’s
closure on the Browne Administration.
The correspondence, which was signed by someone identifying
himself only as “Biggs,” says the Labour Party likes to portray itself
as one that cares about the people. But, he says, this is a lie, as
evidenced by the disgusting and heartless way in which it treats
PM Browne has responded to the letter calling the allegations of a
takeover a “total fabrication.”
Browne claims that, at no point, has anyone in his family expressed
or harboured any interest in the Friars Hill Service Station.
He opines that the author is fictitious and must be a UPP
propagandist. Browne goes as far as to accuse Wehner, who, he
says, is a known UPP operative, or other evil elements in the Party’s

Assuming a prophetic stance, Browne declares that “those who
continue to peddle lies, misinformation and disinformation will
certainly self-destruct.”

To this he appends his usual comment – that their evil efforts to
undermine and destroy him and his family for political gain shall fail
– and accuses his critics of hate and envy.

Meanwhile, the letter-writer recalls that former Prime Minister Sir
Vere Cornwall Bird had insisted that Antiguans and Barbudans must
benefit by owning and managing gas stations and delivery trucks.
However, he believes that those days are over, since another
Antiguan business is being killed by greedy individuals.
The writer notes, too, that former ALP Minister Hilroy Humphreys;
Abena St. Luce, the daughter of former ALP Minister John E. St. Luce;
and Maria Browne, the wife of the prime minister, all sit on the
WIOC board of directors.
He expresses disgust at the way in which the people allow
themselves to be treated and asks whether Antiguans will ever rise
up for anything.
Noting that this situation cannot be right and just, the writer warns
that if “we continue to sit back and do nothing, our turn will be