Editorial — 09 September 2015
Deep throat

    Elsewhere in this issue of the newspaper we publish a letter from one who calls himself “Glenda Parham.” The letter is an attack on the editorial credibility of the newspaper.  But, we publish the letter in toto and without any editing whatsoever.

        The writer has written before, and our conclusion is that this is someone who has been or may still be highly placed in the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and who is very well informed, perhaps actually had access to classified information. The loyalists of the UDP have reason to believe that the present administration’s popular support has been damaged by recent Amandala editorials, hence the need for such attacks as Glenda Parham’s.

        Again, we publish this letter because there are points we wish to make to our readers. The most important point is that the business of the Belizean army (Belize Defence Force) is national security business. As such, a lot of BDF business is confidential and classified. Military business is mostly secret business. This is as it has to be, because armies are, by definition, in the business of war, which is to say, the business of life and death.

        Belize is a parliamentary democracy. This means that command of the army is in civilian hands. The army takes orders from the Cabinet of Belize, headed by the Prime Minister, and advised by the National Security Council, which is also headed by the Prime Minister. The United Kingdom and the United States have been involved with the national security of Belize since independence, and we believe London and Washington are involved with Belize’s National Security Council. They may actually be represented thereon.

    Our newspaper competitors in Belize have direct contact with the British High Commission and the United States Embassy. Amandala has never enjoyed such accesses and relationships. Despite such handicaps, in 1981 Amandala became the leading newspaper in Belize and it has remained so up until the present day. This is not a comfortable situation for the British High Commission and the United States Embassy. Neither is it a comfortable situation for Belizean politicians who are in office in Belmopan. Amandala is not a submissive institution.

        The national security apparatus of Belize includes spies, agents, and informers, and it maintains offices with archives of classified information. The archives of classified information have to be destroyed whenever there is a change of government, because those who are in power always spy on those who oppose them. When those who were opposing, actually come to power, they cannot be allowed to see those dossiers which were compiled on them.

        There were two aspects of the People’s United Party (PUP) Cabinet which led Belize to independence in September of 1981 which were of special interest to the Americans. There were at least two of the PUP Cabinet Ministers who were very friendly with Cuba’s Fidel Castro government and with Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, and there were at least two PUP Cabinet Ministers who were involved in the trafficking of drugs.

        Captain Charles Good of the BDF, the no. 1 soldier in the Belize army at the time, was a good and true soldier who had been originally trained by the Americans. It is said that he first got into trouble when he busted a weed field owned by someone connected to the Belize Cabinet. In any case, and for whatever the reason(s), after independence the PUP Cabinet decided that Good should be replaced as Belize’s no. 1 soldier by Major Tom Greenwood, whom they brought in from the Volunteer element and sent to train at Sandhurst. On hearing of the Cabinet decision to make him subordinate to Greenwood, Captain Good became very angry. Amongst those he contacted and consulted with was the publisher of this newspaper.

        At this newspaper, we know that the Greenwood BDF appointment did not go well, because someone at the Airport Camp, and we believe it was the British, began sending material to this newspaper making fun of Major Tom. How the situation affected PUP Cabinet thinking with respect to BDF command, we cannot say.

       We do know that the PUP Minister of National Security and Deputy Premier between 1979 and 1983, C. L. B. Rogers, had lost his Mesopotamia seat in the 1979 general election, he was not in the best of health, and he ended up being forced out of Cabinet in January of 1984. Rogers’ 1979 to 1983 stint in charge of Belize’s national security was tainted.

        Cabinet didn’t know what to do with the angry Captain Good. It is for sure that at some point Good went on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was led in Belize after independence by one Trencher. As Captain Good’s brilliant military career began to fall on hard times, he began to experience serious problems with his common-law wife, Olive A. She began to take him to Magistrate’s Court for maintenance payments, and the presiding magistrate, one Yakub Gaznabbi, consistently awarded her exorbitant payments, which Good’s income could not sustain.

        Finally, one day in court in late October of 1984, Good took out his gun and fired at Gaznabbi on the bench and wounded a fleeing Olive in her hip. He then headed for Amandala, in search of Evan X Hyde, who was at home and not in office. Captain Good later claimed that he had been given orders by the Commissioner of Police to “kill or maim” the Amandala publisher.

       When the UDP first came to power just two months later in December of 1984, with substantial assistance from Amandala, the matter of the conspiracy to murder Evan X Hyde was never investigated.

        Captain Good was convicted of various charges in the Supreme Court of Belize and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Governor-General Dame Minita Gordon later reduced the sentence to two years.

    Charles Good later became the chief of security at Kremandala and then chief of security at the University of Belize (UB) when Evan X Hyde became the chairman at UB.
We would like for Glenda Parham to tell us more about Major Tom Greenwood’s service as the highest ranking Belizean soldier, and whether this had any effect on the delay in a Belizean’s assuming command. You will note when you read the Parham letter that Glenda never mentions a single word about Charles Good. But, it sounds to us as if Glenda really knows a lot. We would like for her to tell us more. We are all ears.

    Power to the people. Remember Danny Conorquie. Fight for Belize.

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