(This column was first published in the Amandala issue of Friday, April 21, 1995)
Many Belizeans disagreed with independence, some believing the time was wrong, others fearing a Guatemalan invasion, while some “Britishers” adamantly refusing to accept it, preferring to die under colonial rule, servile and subservient. Belize is now 14 years young and proud of our record so far in governing ourselves. One wonders for some of the decisions made are, to be kind, mindboggling and incomprehensible. What’s going on?
Constitutional Guarantees 1981
… Regardless of the race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, every person in Belize shall be entitled to the following human rights and fundamental freedoms:
(a) Life, liberty, security of the person and protection of the law.
(b) Freedom, convenience of expression, of assembly and association.
(c) Respect for his private and family life, protection for the privacy of his home and recognition of his human dignity, and
(d) The enjoyment of property.
An Act to better control and prevent crime 1994
In a special area, any member of the security forces may, without warrant, and using such force (if any) as may be reasonably justified in the circumstances:
(a) Undertake a search of any premises, place, vehicle, person or thing upon a reasonable suspicion of any unlawful article or thing being there.
(b) Seize, take away and detain any vehicle or article which he reasonably suspects… in connection with the commission of any offence or has been unlawfully obtained or possessed.
(c) Arrest any person upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit an offence.
(d) Temporarily establish a cordon around the special area or any part thereof … restrict the freedom of movement of persons and vehicles into or out any area so cordoned.
Are we throwing out the baby with the water? Have other options been examined, such as creating training facilities with programs commensurate with the 21st century so as to obviate the need for such as these?
…Attrition to swamp the “FUTURE”: Belizeans must pay the following taxes:
1. Personal Income Tax
2. Gross Receipts Tax
3. Property Tax
4. Land Tax
5. Trade License Tax
6. Departure Tax/Security Tax
7. Social Security Tax
8. Tax on Certificates of Deposit
9. Customs Tax
10. Deposit Taxes for B.T.L., B.E.L., W.A.S.A.
Public investment companies shall be exempted from paying:
1. Income Tax
2. Corporation Tax
3. Revenue Tax
4. Withholding Tax
5. Stamp Duty
6. Land Tax
7. Capital Duty
8. Sales Tax
9. Value Added Tax
10. Customs or Seaport Duty or of any tax or duty of other nature, and whether presently existing or whether exacted for a period of 30 years… the Minister may… extend the period of exemption granted to that company.
And now the “Haves” have been exempted from the G.R.T. and here some the I.B.C.’s and the I.M.F. We “useless eaters” will be driven to the swamps and starved into submission. Secure the future. Belize for Belizeans. What’s going on?
“…Take therefore the talent from him and give unto him that hath ten talents, for unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. But from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath…” – Seth.