CNMI Gov. Arnold Palacios responded to the CNMI GOP’s recent press release where they called into question the state of the economy under current leadership.

“It's rather disingenuous for GOP President Diego Benavente to be lecturing about tourism, as he did in a press release this week - especially when the biggest exodus of Japanese hotels, airlines, and other investments happened on his watch, when he was Lt. Governor (2002 - 2006),” Palacios wrote in a letter sent to the media.

He added, “Let me remind Mr. Benavente that nearly every hotel in the CNMI has changed hands at least once. As the former Lt. Governor surely remembers, when Japan Airlines pulled out of the CNMI during his administration, Nikko Hotel and La Fiesta Mall went with them. Nikko became Palms, and years later, Palms became Kensington, now owned by E-land.”

Palacios said there are many other examples of hotels transitioning through the years.

He added, “Lots of hotels change hands. That is the nature of the business, and it’s not the end of the world when it happens.”

Palacios also responded to the CNMI GOP’s support for more tourists from China.

“I suggest they take a look at the national Republican Party position on China and the letter that 32 Republican Members of Congress recently wrote urging the Biden administration to apply B1/B2 visa requirements for Chinese nationals entering the CNMI,” Palacios wrote.

He added, “I won't hold my breath for any actual solutions from the same people who have done so much damage to both our government and economy over the years with bad policies and the plundering of public funds.”