“Look in there and take out what you see,” he said in a lowered tone of voice, pointing to a cupboard. I did as he instructed and drew out a long, cylindrical object wrapped in a BEACON newspaper.
“Open it,” he said.
I opened it. “It’s dynamite,” he said, “the dynamite from Airport. I have a whole box here and I know where to get the rest.”
While I was in the States, the PWD depot at the Airport had been burgled and dynamite was lost.
“Do you know how to explode this?” I asked.
“Yes, all you have to use is a battery,” he answered.
I handed it back to him. “No, take it with you,” he insisted. A sixth sense touched me, but I said what the hell. If it were now, I would listen to my sixth sense.
– from an article entitled “About Dynamite: From the President,” on page 6 of AMANDALA of Friday, March 29, 1974
One of my wife’s friends has a saying that goes like this, “There’s a wheel within a wheel.” In other words, at any given time there are various levels of intrigue taking place with respect to any subject or situation. The game is not simple or straightforward.
One of the reasons the UBAD movement lasted so long, relatively speaking, was because, as leader, I had spent three years in the United States and had been exposed to the wheels within the wheels. I had serious appreciation for how skilful and sophisticated the enemies of the people were, and I never, ever underestimated them.
Even in the United States itself, you know, it was many years after various black and activist movements had been infiltrated, sabotaged, and tricked into fighting against each other that the details of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) began to emerge.
One of the really dangerous personalities in activist movements is what is called an agent provocateur. Most activist movements are pretty young, so they are high energy, prone to impatience. The agent provocateuris the one who is always pushing the movement towards more adventurist, more extreme initiatives. The agent provocateur can become so influential he or she brings pressure on the legitimate leadership.
While I was teaching at Wesley College between September of 1971 and June of 1972, an agent provocateur took the opportunity provided by my absences from UBAD Party headquarters on Euphrates Avenue to form his own organization of activists. These young people thought they were being trained as paramilitary protection for the UBAD organization, but this was a personal operation of the provocateur who, I had several reasons to believe, was a “federal,” that is, an asset of the United States government.
Galento X Neal was Vice-President of the UBAD Party, and served as President in late 1970 and early 1971 while I was awaiting Supreme Court trial on criminal charges. Galento ran a tailor shop inside the UBAD office, so he was a constant presence there in 1971, and his cool, charismatic personality made him a big hit with everyone.
A tall, bespectacled, white Canadian by the (supposed) name of John Williams kept telling Galento he knew where to obtain shotguns for the organization. John Williams was so close to UBAD that he may have travelled with us to Dangriga on a couple occasions, if I remember correctly. I know for sure that when he left Belize he was accompanied by one of the UBAD lady members with whom he had gotten into a relationship. This was 1971. I have no idea what happened afterwards. The point is, I have to believe John was a provocateur.
While Ismail Shabazz and I were in the United States in early 1972, someone broke into the Public Works quarry at the Airport and stole an amount of dynamite. I don’t know where the PWD quarry was, at the Stanley International Airport itself or at what we called “Airport Camp” – the British garrison. Soon after I returned to Belize, a mature UBAD supporter (basically an NIP who was looking to UBAD for action) invited me to his workshop, showed me a stick of dynamite, and told me he was in possession of the rest. This set in motion of series of dramatic events which I will tell you about soon.
As we speak in 2018, Belize is crawling with agents, informers, and electronic surveillance. In the area of electronic surveillance, there was a well-known Belizean businessman who had been busted for marijuana conspiracy in New York City in the early Belize weed days of the 1960s. Having served time in federal prison, he should have known better than to talk marijuana transportation business on long distance telephone in the 1970s. From back then, more than forty years ago, the Americans tape all long distance telephone calls in and out of Belize. Our friend was busted on conspiracy charges for his long distance talking, and went to jail again.
Belize is not known as any kind of terrorist hot spot, so most of the electronic surveillance done by the Americans and their surrogates, the Israelis, has to do with drugs. (This is absolutely not to say that terrorism is not on the surveillance agenda.) So that, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) government of Dr. Manuel Esquivel, narrowly elected to office in June of 1993 by a margin of 16-13 in seats, broke the news that Courtenay, Smiling, and Swan had been conspiring to pay Cayo’s Salvador Fernandez and Dangriga’s Chiste Garcia to cross the House floor from the UDP side to the side of the People’s United Party (PUP), no one could tell me that it was not the Americans, running into the political chatter while trolling for drug deals, who had tipped off the Esquivel people.
There are Belizeans, at home and abroad, who have become assets of the United States government over the decades. There is no risk involved for such Belizeans, America rules the planet, and there are substantial benefits to be gained from working for Uncle Sam. When a Belizean decides to go federal, no one can say this a foolish career decision.
The problem in 2018 is that Uncle Sam is taking sides, has been taking sides, with Guatemala, and Guatemala is pursuing an aggressive claim against the territory of Belize. State Department officials will say that it is not the case that Washington favors the Guatemalan side of the dispute, but this is what they are paid to say. On the ground, it is well known that right wing American governments are always partial to Guatemala’s ruling oligarchy and military, and there is no other way to describe the Trump 45 administration except as right wing. Trump is 100 percent in favor of America’s military/industrial complex.
Belizeans need to know which gods they will serve between now and April 10, 2019. More important perhaps, they need to find out for themselves which gods their leaders, and those who are offering themselves as leaders, are serving. Prove the pudding. This is real.
Power to the people.