“During the most recent operations, the joint enforcement team destroyed more than 58,000 marijuana plants, 10 pounds of marijuana seeds, and 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana plants worth US$54 million.
“The US Army’s Joint-Task Force Bravo provided 2 UH-60 Blackhawks and 1 CH-47 Chinook helicopter to assist with the destruction.”
– pg. 3, story entitled BDF LAUNCHES OPERATIONS IN CHIQUIBUL, ADDRESSES NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNS, by Kareem Clarke in Amandala no. 2841 of Wednesday, October 22, 2014
To a certain extent, the rivalry between the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) is a contest between different elements of the Belizean upper classes. This has not always been the case. In the beginning of the PUP in 1950, there was not much of a Belizean upper class except for that which was allied with the British – the colonial masters of British Honduras. The native upper class here was unreservedly anti-PUP. The PUP was roots.
Three decades of ascendant PUP power had led, by the time of political independence in 1981, to the growth of a wealthy native class which was involved in the drug trade and was being protected at high levels of the ruling PUP. Not all of the new upper class was in drugs, but drugs was where the fast money was being made – first marijuana, later cocaine.
Because of what was going on with the tacit consent of the PUP government, the publication of a Mexican magazine article in 1981 caused a panicky reaction when it was reproduced in three Belizean newspapers, including Amandala. Despite the traditionally virulent nature of the rostrum rhetoric and newspaper writing in Belizean party politics, local politicians almost never sued for libel before that, because such trials would have inevitably led to questions about other matters which the offended politician(s) preferred to remain private. In the case of the reproduced Mexican magazine article, however, the independent Belize used a Portuguese judge to ensure that trial testimony was restricted to the specific matter at hand, and the specific matter at hand only.
The American authorities have always sought to clothe themselves in the garments of pious morality where their drug interdiction efforts are concerned. Remember now, some drugs have been arbitrarily declared illegal ones. (Other drugs, legal ones, make billions on top of billions for pharmaceutical corporations.) The drug traffickers and dealers are the bad guys, and the American anti-narcotics agents and their domestic collaborators in the native countries (the countries of illegal drug origin) are the good guys. There is a deeper reality involved in drugs, nevertheless, and that reality is that it is the American people who want these illegal drugs. The American government cannot control the desire of their own people for these drugs, so they attack drugs at the native source and during their transit. Once these drugs actually reach inside of America, it’s not as big a deal because American dollars are staying at home. But when the drugs are being produced in South America, Central America, and Mexico, and when the drugs are being transported north, American dollars are flowing south. Above all, this is what the Americans are serious about preventing – the movement of their monies outside of the continental United States.
The position of the American people is, we want to use drugs, but we want to stay rich. The role of the American government is to satisfy the wishes of the American people. The position of Belizeans and other populations south of the Rio Grande is, we are willing to supply you with drugs, but we want some of your riches. The drug trade has nothing to do with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The drug trade is about the desire of the American people, the rulers of planet earth, for pleasure, and the need of the people of the south for money. I give you what you want; you give me what I need.
It is clear that the UDP government of Manuel Esquivel, the first ever to replace the PUP and which did so in 1984, was a pro-United States government. The upper classes of Belize which had been loyal to Great Britain had now switched their loyalty to the United States. The problem with that new loyalty was that the United States was more supportive of Guatemala than they were of Belize, and eventually that is where the UDP lost Philip Goldson. American dollars could not buy him.
Along the road we have travelled since 1969, we have watched American dollars buy many prominent Belizeans, some of whom still behave as if they are legitimate spokesmen for the Belizean people. At this newspaper, we are not concerned about the interests of the American people: we are concerned about the interests of the Belizean people. There was once a time, in the time of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, when such a nationalist perspective meant that Washington branded you a communist. Bottom line, there is a question which is still to be decided in this here territory: will Belize remain Belize or will Belize become Guatemala?
The Belizean people are, of course, in favor of the first named option. Power to the Belizean people. But there are many prominent Belizeans who have been compromised by American dollars over the course of the years. It is important that such compromised leaders and spokesmen be exposed, for the benefit of the Belizean people. It is not that such leaders and spokesmen are absolute traitors, you understand. It was that they just could not recognize how committed Washington was to the second named option. It was that they would not listen to Philip Stanley Wilberforce. After all, the man was physically blind. Yea and yet, how that man could see! Lord, that man could see.
So here we are, people of Belize, and here we are indeed. The time has come for everyone to declare his/her position. If Belize does not stand first and foremost with you, because you have been seduced by Washington, then you must confess your weakness. The times now call for strong Belizeans, those who have not been seduced, those, like Philip Stanley Wilberforce, who will look Washington straight in the eye and say, Belize is for Belizeans.
Power to the Belizean people.