Editorial — 18 August 2018
Wall Street, Washington, and Belizean sovereignty

The United States of America originally comprised thirteen British colonies which declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776.  In their war for independence, the Americans were supported against England by the French, a most interesting piece of history.

Because of their specific colonial history, the American people and their governments tried to steer clear of exercises in the classic colonialism which had been practiced by the Spanish, the Portuguese, the British, the French, and the Dutch in Indigenous America, in Africa, and in Asia. But, as the United States grew more larger and more powerful, the U.S. felt the need to implement a foreign policy which protected and enhanced their commercial and other interests outside of the continental United States. The Americans implemented their foreign policy by establishing military bases all over planet earth. Uncle Sam does not send bureaucrats to administrate colonies: Uncle Sam intimidates the populations in other parts of the world, thus convincing, or forcing, such populations to follow America instructions and abide by American policies, such as the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

Once British Honduras became a self-governing colony in 1964, Belize became eligible for American foreign aid, and slowly and surely began entering the sphere of influence controlled by Wall Street corporations and Washington politicians.  For the businessmen of Wall Street and their lawmakers in Washington, Guatemala is the centerpiece of their Central American business and foreign policy vision.

The behavior of the leaders of Belize’s two major political parties – the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) strongly suggests that they have come under pressure from Wall Street and Washington to have the people of Belize agree to International Court of Justice (ICJ) arbitration on the Guatemalan claim to Belize. A referendum on the ICJ arbitration is scheduled to take place on April 10, 2019 in Belize.

Last week Tuesday, various PUP area representatives and standard bearers, led by the party’s Southern Caucus, met and declared their opposition to the ICJ arbitration, calling for a “no” vote in the April 10, 2019 referendum. That news was broken on the KREM Radio/KREM TV Sunday Review Show on Sunday morning by a host of the show, Bill Lindo, who is also an executive member of the PUP. The news of internal PUP dissent on the ICJ arbitration vote has not been reported by any of the mainstream radio and television stations besides the Kremandala organization.

We always felt at Kremandala that this ICJ business would bring special pressure on us because ours is not a system controlled by the business/industrial and political power structure in Belize. The decision by the mainstream media houses in Belize, who are controlled by the business/industrial and political elite, to ignore last Tuesday’s ICJ dissent by the PUP’s Southern Caucus, is almost ominous.

As presently organized at Kremandala, we are not in any kind of position to fight the business/industrial and political elite here. That is because a decision was taken by the publisher of the Amandala newspaper, in December of 1977, to embark on an orthodox course of business which would create jobs in the economically depressed Southside of Belize City.

Most of you know the background history to this, but it must be repeated in this time of crisis. In February of 1969, a group of black–conscious activists organized a movement they conceived of as cultural, which was called the United Black Association for Development (UBAD). UBAD was forced into politics when two of its leaders were charged with the political crime of sedition in February of 1970. The UBAD Party was handicapped by the fact that its youth base was disenfranchised by the then voting age of 21, but by September of 1972 the UBAD Party controlled  the streets of Belize City. In early 1973, the leadership of the party split down the middle, with half of the executive voting to join the new United Democratic Party (UDP), which was established in September of 1973.

Amongst those who refused to join the UDP were the UBAD Party President, Evan X Hyde, and the aforementioned Bill Lindo, a member of the executive. Bill Lindo joined the ruling PUP, while Evan X Hyde continued to lead the rump UBAD Party until a decision was made to dissolve UBAD following the October 1974 general election.

Amandala, established in August of 1969, was the news organ of UBAD and the UBAD Party. In December of 1977, Amandala announced that this newspaper was moving from black nationalism to a philosophy of Belizean nationalism.

In line with the philosophy of Belizean nationalism, this newspaper rejects and will resist the intimidation and bullying tactics which the United States of America has apparently introduced into the ICJ referendum process. The April 10, 2019 ICJ referendum vote can now only be viewed as a vote of existential proportions for the nation-state of Belize. The intimidation and bullying of the United States, as evidenced by the behavior of Belize’s PUDP leaders, are changing the landscape in Belize dramatically.

It appears to us that Kremandala has been singled out as the only institution in its category which is able and willing to reject and resist. There are serious implications involved here. The United States, if the political leaders of Belize collude with Wall Street and Washington, can destroy Kremandala as we have known it since 1977. Kremandala would then have to metamorphose into something else if we are to continue standing for Belizean nationalism.

Power to the people.

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Deshawn Swasey

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