Belize: Passport to Paradise

Passport to Paradise

Desperate situations sometimes inspire daring solutions. Faced with a projected budget deficit of $17 million but unwilling to raise taxes, Belize's Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel has settled on a scheme to sell bonds on the international market that will bear an unusual dividend: the right of the buyer to become a citizen of his poor but peaceful Central American country.

Although open to all, the offer is aimed at jittery Hong Kong residents who might want to flee the coming of Chinese rule in 1997. Esquivel has already appointed an honorary consul to process applications there. He predicts that Belize will...

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