Lake releases statement on encounter between PM and former airport CEO, but critics believe he has an ulterior motive

Osmond Lake, a manager with Sunrise Airways (Dominica) Ltd., has
put out a statement concerning an alleged incident between Prime
Minister Gaston Browne and Euletta Francis, the former chief
executive officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority

While his version of events appears to support Browne’s claim of a
civil conversation between the two, a United Progressive Party
(UPP) officer is wondering “what really turns on this statement.”
Francis, who tendered her resignation from ABAA on Monday,
November 13, after coming under attack from Browne last Saturday,
said Browne berated her in the presence of Lake, who later called
her to apologize.
Lake says that in the meeting with Browne on November 9, he
presented an overview of his business plans. In the course of the
discussion, he claims the prime minister telephoned Francis, “and in
a very businesslike manner queried the reasons for the delays.”
These “delays” are a reference to Francis’ decision to put off meeting
with Lake for two weeks, since she reportedly was working on
another project – specifically, the closing a US$100 million loan to
the Government via the Airport Authority.
Lake alleges that Browne “accepted the point that the … application
could not be more immediately addressed and the conversation
ended cordially.”
Following that discourse, Lake adds, he called Francis to reassure
her that his meeting with the prime minister was not intended to
undermine her position; but, rather, to brief him on the introduction
of an airline into the region.
He says the former CEO was very enthusiastic about this proposal,
since it fell within the scope of the development plan for the airport.
A source says there was no need for Lake to put out any statement
on the rift between Browne and Francis, and it sounds like the press

release was orchestrated to make Browne’s version seem more

Meanwhile, the UPP officer says the statement appears to be more of
a “gimmick to promote Lake’s airline and convince the public that
Francis was obstructing a good business opportunity.”

Lake was Browne’s business partner in the Ebenezer housing
project, the official says and, therefore, he would want to pressure
Francis to “hop to it and help him to get his project going,” the
officer claims.