Letters — 27 August 2013 — by Rand Taylor

Dear Editor,

Belize has been blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, the world’s second longest barrier reef, and a treasure of biodiversity both in the sea and on the land in all directions. This is a sacred gift, entrusted by God to the people of Belize for as long as the sun may rise. You are the guardians of this treasure now and for future generations yet to be born.

And right now your love of country and the natural environment that makes it so magnificent is being tested. Some of your misguided politicians have been seduced by the false promises and barefaced lies of the gigantic cruise ship industry. These people that you elected to help protect your country and its future have sold you out. They have agreed to let these giant cruise ships belch into your pristine waters of Southern Belize and destroy everything in their path that is worth saving. If you don’t act now to stop this massive scam, your world is doomed to follow the devastation that has wreaked havoc across the Caribbean in the last decade. Once lost, this beautiful world cannot be restored. You hold the future in your hands.

Ask the people of Jamaica what has become of the false promises the cruise lines offered them. Ask the people of any of a dozen other areas that the cruise ships have invaded what has happened to their lives since the cruise ships showed up and began disgorging hundreds of clueless tourists. What became of the “good paying jobs for the locals” and the “richer lives for everyone who lives here” that the cruise ships promised? What happened to the once beautiful beaches, fishing spots, and jungle waterfalls that used to make their homes a treasure? What happened to the “commitment to protect the environment” that was promised? Ask them.

Or go there and look for yourself. I’ve traveled the Caribbean from the Bahamas south to Tobago and Los Roques for many years as both a diver and explorer. I’ve seen once beautiful places destroyed by the wallowing masses. Amazing places once visited and loved by a small handful of careful people have now been desecrated by the huge numbers of careless cruisers vomited forth like a plague upon the land. Nature cannot deal with destructive masses. The damage is too great and the scars too deep. Once the natural beauty is lost, it is lost for generations, often forever.

The future of Belize is in your hands. Your elected representatives have been fooled or bought. But you can still stop the carnage that is coming. You can still say “NO!” with a loud voice and a determination to make your voice heard. The destruction of Harvest Caye is just another gigantic step toward the goal of turning Belize into another Cancun or Las Vegas or Jamaica. Can you really let that happen? This is your country. This is your time. This is your decision. You are the guardians. Act now or lose your real treasure forever.

Rand Taylor
Placencia, Belize

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