Letters — 25 February 2017
Letter to the Editor: Mr. Heredia, where are you when we need you?

A month ago I sent an open letter to Mr.Heredia, our UDP Caye Caulker representative, published in Amandala and Ambergris Today under the headline: “Mr.Heredia, Caye Caulker needs your help!” When Mr. Heredia did not show up for his appointment day for Caye Caulker for the third time I contacted his secretary to ask when he would be coming, who told me he was out of the country to promote Belize as a holiday destination so we could get more tourists to come to Belize.

Mr. Heredia, I expressed my support for you in my last letter and believe most islanders will support you if you will work to solve the most pressing issues on our islands and especially fight the oil exploration lobby inside the GOB to protect our islands from being destroyed by the oil interests.

What I hope you understand is that we have common interests but maybe have different ways to solve our problems. I wished that the GOB would be more positive when the PEOPLE are more participating in the political process relating to their social situation. GOB is obviously not happy with the engagement we islanders have, to stop our islands from getting killed by an oil spill. Neither do they understand how disappointed we are that GOB does not want to listen to the voice of the people. When the Oceana videotape with the interview with our Prime Minister came out, Oceana had to restrict the comments section because there were so many angry explicit responses! I think you know what the mood is here! We also kind of know that for you San Pedro is first and Caye Caulker is second best!

When I requested information from several Government agencies/departments like Central Bank, BTB, Statistical Bureau, to understand how much money Caye Caulker was generating in taxes to write this follow up on my last letter, nobody was willing to give me any numbers! Several people suggested contacting Mr. Waight, the Financial Secretary, so I wrote him but up to now I have not received any answer!

Caye Caulker is changing rapidly, and not always for the best and certainly not for the best for the islanders. For years GOB has not responded very well to the needs of the people and there is no hope that they can financially do anything for the island other than take the money we generate to pay Wall Street. It is very clear here in Caye Caulker that we will have to help ourselves if we want to get anything done.

Let this be your wakeup call! Maybe you should find out especially what the young people think of you Leaders of the Nation! They say things like: How much does Caye Caulker pay GOB and what do we get back for that? They do not even dare to tell how much money we generate! They promised transparency and a referendum about the oil exploration! Why are you still writing articles in the paper? Why still deal with those [email protected]#&*s ? How do they treat us? They want us to keep to the rules and what example do they give us? What do they have to show: A bucket with the decapitated head of Pastor Lue and no explanations!!!

So we should just be allowed to solve our island’s economic problems our way, since you are not going to help us! Allow creation of a weed café which you can use as a pilot project to understand how we have to shape and improve the regulations around the Belize marijuana law. Learn from the other societies who have done this before. When Belize decriminalizes and legalizes marijuana it will have a great positive influence on tourism, our economic situation and on our society!! Since Caye Caulker is an isolated society it will be very clear how this initiative will influence our island and the future marijuana politics in our country.

Yesterday I talked to a politician from Colorado who has come here each year for the last 25-30 years s a tourist. He said that this first year of legalization resulted into a turnover of 2.7 billion US$ and they dispensed 157 million US$ to small communities around the state like Caye Caulker who needed help to solve their budgets to be able to fix the roads. To keep open the police stations at night and do all sorts of social programs like free healthy school food and assistance for the elderly!

WELL??????? IF THEY CAN, WHY NOT WE?

Chriss Roggema,

Commentaries from the Garden,

Cocoplum Gardens, Caye Caulker

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