Behind the scenes and behind all the Independence Day pomp and ceremony, there was a transfer of power which was taking place during Belize’s decolonization process. The power being transferred was basically political and administrative, and it was being transferred from the British to some Belizean counterparts of theirs. Financial and economic power was NOT being transferred from the British to Belizeans, although what the transfer of political and administrative power did, was make it possible for some Belizeans to dream of financial and economic power in their own country. So then, one of the slogans for independence was, “With independence, more development.”
Today, 32 years after independence, there is a financial and economic power structure in place here, but that structure is relatively shadowy and secretive. What is quite visible and often high profile in Belize, is the political and administrative power structure, which is all Belizean. The case with the financial and economic power structure is, to repeat, somewhat different.
From time to time in this newspaper, we speak of what we call “international white supremacy,” and this is something no other medium in Belize speaks about, because it is something which is not supposed to exist. But, it does so exist, and because international white supremacy exists, it affects the way things work in small, undeveloped, non-white countries like Belize. The most dramatic way international white supremacy affects the way things work in Belize, lies in the process by which native Belizeans rise to political and administrative power. This process is controlled, mostly through financial and religious mechanisms, by Belize’s shadowy and secretive power structure.
Because international white supremacy is well aware, after 44 years, that Kremandala is not a friend or a lackey of theirs, the path we walk on Partridge is a harder and more rocky path than the path other Belizeans walk who are in our profession. Kremandala has survived, and has grown over our 44-year history, because the masses of the Belizean people established it, defended it, support it, and believe that there is a logic which holds in those domestic, regional and international analyses which have been and are being presented by Kremandala.
In the last 25 years, there have been two brilliant Belizeans who have dared to associate publicly with Kremandala. These were the attorney Dickie Bradley and the engineer Godwin Hulse. During those years of association with Kremandala, these two Belizeans became great heroes of the masses of the Belizean people, because the people believed that they stood for the interests of the people instead of for the interests of the shadowy and secretive power structure.
There is only so far you can go at Kremandala, however, because there is a glass ceiling on top of Partridge Street which will always prevent you from climbing beyond a certain point, no matter how brilliant or capable you may be. This is real. To climb beyond a certain point, you have to leave Kremandala and submit yourself to one of the two major political parties. The problem is that you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Once you leave Kremandala and become a PUP or a UDP, then you will cease to be such a great hero of the Belizean people, because the two major political parties are controlled, not by the Belizean people, but by Belize’s shadowy and secretive power structure.
Because of man’s pride, some say this is a result of original sin, man is always tempted to find out how brilliant and capable he really is. Godwin Hulse was and is a man of pride, and from an early age he knew that his gifts were superior to those of the average Belizean. This was clear to him, and to any Belizean who cared to examine the situation. As the years went by and Godwin proved his worth over and over again, he began to feel that his gifts were being wasted, and he saw that time was going by after an inexorable fashion.
Last year, Godwin Hulse decided to accept the highest position of power for which Belizeans are eligible – the position of Cabinet Minister. He had not been able to swallow the humiliations which accompany campaigning for public office in Belize, so Godwin accepted public office as a gift and honor from a man who had paid the price of campaigning and had triumphed – Dean Oliver Barrow, UDP Leader and Prime Minister.
Now there is one thing you must understand, and it is that decolonization did not mean liberation. When political and administrative power was transferred to Belizeans, international white supremacy retained financial and economic power for itself. This financial and economic power is expressed through an effective influence on the two major political parties which amounts to a form of control. So that, when the great Godwin Hulse accepted power from the ruling UDP, whether he knew it then or not, he had to swallow that pride which he had previously indulged himself in, a pride which he had enjoyed.
That frustration which Godwin experiences daily today, a frustration which has come close to anger, is a direct result of the deal he made with the ruling UDP. Kremandala columnists, commentators, and contributors have expressed their dissatisfaction with Godwin over the past few weeks. Editorially now, we would like to say that Godwin should have learned from the Dickie Bradley experience. He should have expected things of the nature he is now experiencing to take place, and he should have been better able to absorb the blows.
So, our criticism of Godwin today is that he was proud. Fundamentally, pride is good, because it propels us to higher heights, and pride also brings pressure on us not to shame or disgrace ourselves. Where pride went wrong for Godwin was where it blinded him to the reality of our shackled condition as a Belizean people. As Belizeans, and as Belizeans of color, we live in a condition of inferiority which is sometimes cleverly disguised. That political and administrative power which leaders of PUDP governments have enjoyed, is confined and controlled by our financial and economic power structure. Since real power lies in the Cabinet, and since you can only join the Cabinet by submitting to one of the two major political parties, and since these parties are confined and controlled by a financial and economic power structure which sleeps in bed with international white supremacy, then the implications of his UDP Cabinet appointment should, ultimately, have been clear to the Honorable Minister Hulse.
Power to the people.