BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 9, 2018– Last Wednesday, July 4, I received a phone call from the Chairman of the United Democratic Party, Alberto August, complaining about our publication of a statement that had been made by BUFERAD chairman Derek Aikman, during his presentation at the launch of a “NO ICJ MOVEMENT” on Monday, July 2, 2018, at the Belize Institute of Management (BIM).
Aikman’s organization was one of six that took part in the event.
August’s beef to me was based on his assertion that the following statement that was made in an article in the Tuesday, July 3, 2018 issue of Amandala:
“Aikman opened the press conference explaining that ‘there is potential poison in the re-registration process.’
“The re-registration process is being undertaken by the Elections and Boundaries Commission, whose chairman is also the chairman of the UDP, Alberto August. That is the first thing that should cause every citizen of this nation concern,” was untrue because he, August, had resigned from the post of chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission in November of 2012 to contest the post of Chairman of the UDP in a February 2013 convention.
Overall, August and I had a cordial conversation on the matter, during which I told him that I would correct the mis-information in the Friday edition of that week’s Amandala, which would be dated July 6, 2018.
I drafted an article, called August and read it to him. He made some corrections and I corrected the article as per his instructions. He made no other demands apart from the corrections in the article.
The article was then published, as promised, in the Friday edition of the newspaper, dated July 6, 2018.
Today, Monday, July 9, we received a letter from Rodwell Williams, the Prime Minister’s law partner, addressed to the publisher, Evan X Hyde, threatening a lawsuit because of the said statements by Derek Aikman, and additional statements by Aikman that formed no part of August’s conversation with me.
I was surprised, and called August to find out why such a letter was sent in view of the fact that he had gotten all he wanted from me as per our conversation on Wednesday, July 4, including even the specific page where the article would be inserted.
In brief, August told me that the letter from Williams and the Prime Minister’s law firm wasn’t his call, that in fact, despite what we (August/Vellos) had agreed to, Rodwell Williams had told him that he “would take over the matter.”