Letters — 06 September 2013 — by R. Montero

Dear Amandala:

Here we are in the patriotic season in Belize — waving our flags, dancing in the streets, recalling our history. But there is more to patriotism than such activities. Patriotism means believing in Belize and in Belizeans. It seems that many of our leaders do not possess that strain of patriotism. Their response to the proposed Norwegian Cruise Lines’ project at Harvest Caye is strong evidence of their lack of faith in us, the people they are supposed to represent.

Roots and hearts Belizeans have toiled, risked, and sacrificed to build a successful and sustainable niche tourism sector in southern Belize. These small businesses are largely family-owned and operated, employing fellow Belizeans and spending their dollars in Belize. This is in stark contrast to a giant foreign firm like NCL who has said openly that they are coming to Belize to “plant the flag” — their flag, not our flag. The conquistadores planted flags. Are patriotic Belizeans going to allow these modern-day colonialists to take over and destroy what Belizeans have built and are still in the process of developing and improving?

Our leaders need to re-examine their own patriotism and reverse this terrible decision to sell out The Jewel as if it were a cheap trinket.

In this patriotic season, we should all be saying NO NO NO to NCL and its ilk, and saying YES YES YES to Belize and Belizeans.

A concerned and patriotic Belizean,
R. Montero

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