Features — 02 August 2017 — by Colin Hyde
Optimistic, truly believe…and the No-Good Samaritan

I can’t recall (it’s from 2015) who told me that Audrey Matura had reported in her column in the Amandala that PM Barrow had called Michael Ashcroft—a Good Samaritan. I’m pretty sure that was the term used. I was incredulous. And if I was that, I would remember who told me, Audrey had said, that PM Barrow had said, right? Okay, I do recall. But, like parties at the Senate hearing, I’m not telling. They will spit, when DPP Vidal gives them a call. But what I have to say is all incidental, so I get a pass.

I told the person who told me that PM Barrow said that Ashcroft was a Bible hero: No, I don’t think so. The person insisted. So I said: Maybe it was in jest. The person said: Well I heard the PM say it too, and I can tell you he wasn’t joking. I said: No disrespect (to you), but this one I need to see, the entire story. I want to hear his lead up. I want to hear how he ends. And I definitely want to see his body language when he says something so incredible.

I haven’t seen the show, yet. But I did read the story of what people say prompted such a proclamation. The Prime Minister blew in from Miami and informed Belize that we had an agreement with Ashcroft that would end all litigation over BTL. The prized, essential utility, our nation’s most profitable business, was once again ours, for ever and ever, lock, stock, and barrel. We would pay through our noses, but there was a sweet deal within the sour deal that would ease the pain.

Bah, in the very first instance this sweet deal (within a sour deal) reeked of COLONIALISM. We would pay money to a trust and this trust’s trustees, from the wisdom of their enlightened brains, would invest in projects in the country that appealed to them. I guess this is where the story of the modern Good Samaritan emerges.

Of course it isn’t wrong to accept assistance from a benefactor that has shown a good heart. But who, once thrown from a horse, will not be shy? The PUP made Ashcroft look like a gift horse from the British. He was all Trojan. He never treated Belize with respect. When our authorities tried to put a limit on him, he ignored them.

Apart from putting us in a bowing position, our sweet deal with him was such a set for his crowd to continue raiding. Of course the goalposts would be moved. Of course we’d have trouble agreeing on projects. And, of course, what Bill Lindo described as the 8th wonder of the world, would continue accruing on capital resting in the bank, for the glory of the trust.

That wasn’t the end of it. The funds that would be available for these projects would be realized AFTER the Ashcroft people had taken out certain costs. Wasn’t this one of the biggest problems with Ashcroft in the first place? Didn’t we find that their managers were gouging? After the shocking sale of majority shares in BTL to Ashcroft, didn’t COSTS cut the dividends of local shareholders to NADA? We really have to stop falling for the same ruse, time after time after time.

But Barrow had so watered down his base, to just the sycophantic, that he went to wherever to meet Ashcroft without a nation behind him. We all knew that the absolute worst move any capitalist economy can make is to take away private property, especially property that belongs to a foreigner or a paper citizen. Yes, it was “take back”, but how he got it was all legal.

We were prepared because we knew our cause was just. When the battle for Belize began, those of us who don’t wear red or blue blinders were vocal for the return of our asset. But Barrow’s execution of the process alienated many who are Belize before party. When he could find no trustworthy talent outside of his near family, the tires on our Rover went flat. Of course he was busy winning elections. Of course he had to win elections to complete the process, because the PUPeez are yet to tell us where they stand with our BTL.

This story belongs so in the realm of we told you so. The baggage is all unwrapped in this Channel Seven story of July 25. Here goes: (Channel Seven) “When the Prime Minister disclosed the terms of the BTL settlement, he told the nation that although the total value the nation would be paying is close to half a billion dollars, 60% of it would go to the benefit of the Belizean people. Well, after court battles, only 50% is on the table, and if the Ashcroft Alliance would have their way, almost the entire portion of that 50%, would be paid to them in legal fees.”

And here’s the PM’s response. I put in the italicized parts. Hmm. (Our PM) “Well, first of all, it’s very clear that the agreement which I signed did allow for the so called Dunkell liabilities to be extracted before the balance would then go to the people of Belize by way of the projects to be funded. The quarrel is not with the principle that in fact the Alliance is due some kind of recompense for their expenses. The quarrel is with the quantum that they are claiming. It is absolutely true then if you make the point that that sort of claim that they have launched, not sort of, the figures they have produced strike me as being utterly unreal and in fact their getting there is completely contrary to the spirit of their agreement. When Ashcroft and I spoke, while a figure was not agreed, it was clear between us that these liabilities would not be anywhere near the figure that has now been produced. I have said to you before and I will say again, I think this is his way of trying to get back at us for the fact that he has not been able to collect yet on the judgements that he had upheld in the US courts. In any event whatever his motivation is, it is indeed extremely unfair and I don’t think that the quantum that he advances is at all supportable and I am optimistic and truly believe that in the end justice will prevail and that there will be a sizeable portion of the award coming back to the people of this country by way of the projects.”

Bah, so all we are left with, to dream on, is a PM’s “optimism”, and that hihn “truly believe.” The PM says Ashcroft is being “extremely unfair.” We judge a person’s character from his past. Where, pray, did Ashcroft show himself to be a horse that we could ride? The PM should have known. Of course the PUP is to blame for all this. The people of Belize don’t trust this party with our BTL. Until such time that that crowd comes clean with us, the No-Good Samaritan holds the whip and bridle.

Ashcroft and Ralph Fonseca should never have touched our BTL. It would have been so good if they had confined themselves to the development of the offshore business. But it was such a misread to consider Belize Nation in the same vein as Turks & Caicos, Barbados, Cayman, Bahamas, and Bermuda.

Still, that could have worked. They could have staged a coup on San Pedro. They and all the lawyer and accountant types could have gone there to join the tourists. From their big buildings there they could have run all the shady deals, and lived the life in the fast lane. The altruistic ones could have remitted some of their gains to shore.

Purge those 2 pics from that show
God alone knows what Said Musa was thinking when he brought those two along. Of course, he is a politician. So he has problems with delusion. We don’t need Ms Claudia to tell us what’s up with politicians. Maybe Said is fanciful more than most.

It’s stuck in my mind, that show our local television stations replayed of PUP ’98 in Cuba, at the time of Fidel’s passing last year. I watched them, one by one, as the camera zoomed in on their faces. I watched them very closely. After a time I said to myself, it is possible that none of these bohgaz are Fidelistas. But it is good that they show their (and our) appreciation for what he has done for Belize. Noh wait till the man dead fu tell ahn ih good.

Then the camera zoomed in on Ralph Fonseca. No, no, no, I said, don’t be so unreal. My, he is the antithesis of the revolution. If Fidel knew that that one had privatized all our essential utilities, he would have thrown a fit. You see why I say sometimes you have to wonder about Said Musa? You don’t? Well just wait ‘til I tell you who the next hero was who popped up on the screen. What the heck, can you believe, Lord Ashcroft!

Really, if those two wanted a jaunt, or wanted an opportunity to smoke over Cuban assets in anticipation of liberalization day, they should have gone on their own invite. They shouldn’t have been there, posturing with our government delegation. Said Musa must be artistic. That scene, it is a farce. Maybe he can apply an airbrush and purge them before that show plays again.

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