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Sunday, April 5, 2020
Home Editorial The Jewel gangster

The Jewel gangster

“Democracy today, especially in the English-speaking world, is a political system that specializes in positioning inadequate, unqualified and dubious types in leadership positions. We are imprisoned by a catastrophic political system that pretends to reflect our ‘free choice.’”

–    pgs. 170, 171, THE WANDERING WHO?, by Gilad Atzmon, Zero Books, 2011

“Five major Opposition media outlets – Krem, Times, Plus, Vibes, and Channel Fox, are daily representing themselves as not only supporters of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, but also as co-organizers of the events that has (sic) gripped the headlines in recent weeks. Their bursting excitement is palpable that maybe at last, just maybe, something has come along that can swing the pendulum their way to the Promised Land, and they may soon get to feed from the trough once more.”

–    pg. 8, THE UDP GUARDIAN, by Jamil Matar, Sunday, August 30, 2015

Belize is a country where people live, overall, well above their means. The reason for that is that Belize is a country where there is a lot of trafficking of illegal commodities, such as narcotics and human beings and travel documents. The Jewel is a gangster. With the de facto standard of living based on such gangster activity, Belize is a country where life is cheap. It is a country where crime pays very well. It is a country where the attorneys are so powerful and have so thoroughly subverted the judicial system that the really big-time criminals never go to jail, or if they visit, it is not for very long.

Those whom we sometimes refer to as the “street people” of Belize understand completely how bogus it all is in Belize. The middle-class people of Belize, sometimes called the bourgeoisie, those who work 9 to 5 jobs and pay all their taxes and go to Christian churches on Sundays, know something is wrong somewhere, but they are still basically wide awake in a dream. How could Belize have become so bloody?

The key to what happened to Belize lies in the political system. In the first instance, what political power gave to our native politicians was control over the institutions of law enforcement, and in particular the police. The native politicians could not handle that power. They began to cut deals with criminals. There were people entering Belize as immigrants from Asia and the Middle East and Central America who had experience in international crime. First, the native politicians facilitated, protected the immigrant criminals with international experience, and then, especially after the coming of political independence in 1981, the native politicians became international criminals themselves. One such native politician who had become a naked cocaine trafficker received a Belize state funeral with services in a highly prestigious Christian church. In Belize, crime pays very well, and crime is safe once it is married to political power. Politicians in power are above the law.

The people of Belize were not innocent bystanders when Belize was collapsing with respect to our personal morality, public integrity, and national decency. The street people of Belize had been the victims of white supremacist, imperialist slavery and colonialism for centuries, and they were desperate for a better standard of living, no matter its source. The middle-class people of Belize were afraid of the native politicians who were working the parliamentary system we had received from Great Britain. Because they had something to lose, middle-class Belizeans were afraid, and they were not really as educated as most of them thought they were. Who were more to blame: the street people, who were desperate, or the middle class people, who were afraid? That is a question for academic debate.

This newspaper was built, to a certain extent, on the principle of self-defence. This newspaper survived because we were defended by street Belizeans. This newspaper became successful because we became supported by middle-class Belizeans. Early in our struggle, it became clear that Belize’s political system would not tolerate such views as the ones we held at this newspaper. We therefore began to work within the existing economic system in late 1977, and we confined ourselves to the modest role of creating jobs in the depressed Southside.

In two general elections within a five-year span, the  1979 and the 1984 general elections, we discovered  that our newspaper had a core support, a minimum of 4 percent of the Belizean electorate, which could give an advantage to any of the two major political parties we chose to support. We have seen nothing since 1979 and 1984 to change our opinion, except that that minimum of 4 percent core support may have grown a bit.

Any political party which chooses, for whatever reason(s), to declare war on Kremandala, is asking for trouble. We have been careful in the last few years not to take sides with any of the major political parties. Between 2005 and 2012, we had a special interest in the political careers of the People’s United Party (PUP) area representatives, Mark Espat (Albert) and Cordel Hyde (Lake Independence), because they were members of the family which was Kremandala.

Since 2012, Mark Espat has become an independent consultant who does major business with the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) government. After experiencing a personal tragedy, Cordel Hyde has returned to the leadership of the PUP Lake Independence committee and will be the PUP Lake I candidate in the next general election.

Cordel Hyde had won the Lake I seat in three consecutive general elections – 1998, 2003, and 2008. He did not run in 2012, when the UDP’s Mark King claimed the seat. The sterling performance of the PUP’s Lake I committee, under the leadership of Cordel Hyde, in the March national municipal elections this year, when the PUP were collapsing all around Lake I on the Southside, was apparently alarming to the Hon. Mark King, who spent huge amounts of money on that campaign. Hon. King will never lack for money to go against Cordel Hyde. There are any number of oligarchs from both the UDP and the PUP camps who want to defeat Cordel Hyde, because he is a symbol of Kremandala, and Kremandala represents a roots, revolutionary tradition, an anti-oligarchy tradition in Belize.

As long as the Honorable Prime Minister, Dean Oliver Barrow, does not publicly disassociate himself and his administration from the threats made by Hon. Mark King on Wednesday, August 12, then Mr. Barrow’s silence will continue saying something to us. It may be that Mr. Barrow is of the opinion that he and his party are in a fight with Kremandala, because of the expressed opinions of prominent members of the Kremandala family. We do not believe that we are in a fight with Mr. Barrow and his UDP, but if this is what the Prime Minister truly believes, then Kremandala is in a dangerous situation. Belize is a gangster country. Hon. Mark King spoke like a gangster on Wednesday, August 12, on national television. If it is a fight Mr. Barrow and the UDP desire, Kremandala cannot run away from such a fight. We have the right of self-defence, no matter what.

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

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