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Home Letters After COVID-19 -- what next?

After COVID-19 — what next?

The Editor,
Amandala
Wed. Sept. 16, 2020
Belize is currently managed by a Troika and a Half — PM Dean Barrow (Brawn), Joseph Waight (Calm) and Dr. Carla Barnett (Brain). The Half is the measurement (Huff and Puff).

After the UDP’s mini circus was finally concluded with a curious “three stooges” — the “tranche,” the “Chihuahua” and “artificial border” – it was quite interesting that Dean Barrow did not approve of any of the candidates to replace him. His first choice was Pere, then Darrell. He has problems with those two, as they were not politically qualified. His biggest leadership issue was, he did not train his successor. Note that the present deputy is a lightweight.

Dean took many pages out of Donald Trump’s playbook:

1. Defending John Saldivar in the public forum and in Cabinet

2. Giving Saldivar every opportunity to exonerate himself

In the second session for the leadership of the UDP, no voice was raised in objection to Saldivar contending for the position after the Utah court case in which his participation in the tranches was clearly identified.

I contend that the U.S. Embassy, long before the leadership convention selection, had informed Barrow of the hearings.

Barrow now has a few months before retiring and is leaving Belize in an economic, financial and health mess – not all of his own making. Any leader or party that wins the General Elections will inherit a “serre” – NO MONEY DEH! and the CORONAVIRUS IS HERE TO STAY!

POLITICALLY
Belize will experience a devastated economy. Barrow has proven that he is a “Senior sabelotodo” (know-it-all), and within his Cabinet and party no politician has been capable of showing face over any issue affecting Belize. The two major issues are COVID-19 and the invisible Minister of Health, and the re-opening of the PGIA and a silent and invisible Minister of Tourism.

The PUP
The PUP has four persons in their leadership – Johnny, Cordel, Julius and Kareem. I listened to Johnny’s interview, and all his plans and programmes, issues and concerns when they get into office in 2021. No interviewer has ever asked him, “Where will the money come from?” Our only donor is Taiwan — any other money will be a loan, which we cannot afford.
There is no money, and none will be available! The PUP over the past 12 years has always been the Opposition (literally), and very few representatives can address any issue sensibly. Most PUP representatives are only visible when there is a House meeting, and then they return to their constituency coffins and rise when they are summoned.

WHAT NEXT?
1. Dean Barrow will not present a CORONA Recovery Policy or Plan. He has packed his bags and gone back into his turtle shell, waiting for elections, so that whosoever wins will need a lot of disinfectant, mops, brooms and a big bucket to lead the “Beggars Opera.”

2. Dean has taken a page out of the Musa/Fonseca loans book, and now the national debt will be close to another two billion dollars. Belize is compromised and indebted. He did not manage well against his glitter (Crazy Glue was right) – Petro Caribe, loans, donations.

3. The Swamp needs cleaning. The UDP has started – Sedi, Finnegan, Gapi, Boots, Dean; and these others should also go home: John, Erwin, Castro, Montero, Pablo and Manuel. They can live off the accumulated fat from the past 12 years.

On the PUP side there are some who need to go home as well – Said, Mike, Ferguson, Francis, Marin. After 12 years, these old politicians are exhausted, and need to go home with their accumulated benefits.

We need leaders with vision. The problem is, “old generals and politicians never fade away – they have to die!” (This is a figure of speech and is NOT an incitement to violence, which could never be endorsed.)

My question is – which leader will clean up his/her party for a post-Corona new Belize? The bad thing is that they also qualify for a pension (thanks to Manuel), and none will go home broke. I propose that the next government immediately revoke that pension law benefitting politicians. Have they not benefitted enough from their offices?

4. Belize is safe for tourists – is tourism safe for Belize? Especially with American tourists coming from Florida, Texas and California? Parents are not in a hurry to send their children to school – preferring to wait and see how this re-opening experiment works.

5. We do not need to go to the IMF —whose major practice is for Third World countries to reduce spending in the public sector —to send home 50% of employees and contract officers (ask Manuel).

6. Any new PM needs to invite a CDB financial expert to assist in a new economic plan as soon as the rumble is over, and this should include economists from UWI. They have been here before.

7. Belize desperately needs a COVID-19 recovery plan.

8. Kudos must be given to PM Dean Barrow for his leadership and management of Belize during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was smarter and more sensible than many world leaders, including Donald Trump of the USA. I am glad that during this time it was not The Tranche, Faber or Johnny in the control seat.

Barrow took a page out of the Musa/Fonseca playbook – borrow, with little accounting.

It would have been sensible to provide the Belizean public with more accounting information on monies received and spent.

WISH LIST
That the new PM must put into effect:

1. That the UDP/PUP include in the party constitution for national offices (National Assembly, municipalities, Senate, boards, commissions) only persons who bring something to the table, not just an empty plate. That all candidates for election or appointment have a minimum of an Associate degree or equivalent qualifications. Common sense is no longer an asset, as economic management and leadership is not common. We have been dressing up broom sticks for too long. We need vision.

2. That the Ministry of Education does not offer scholarships for law. Anyone who desires a law degree must finance himself. Lawyers have taken over every aspect of Belize life for such a small country. There is need for training in other areas – economics, financial analysis, mathematics, environmental studies, planning, criminology, psychiatry, actuarial and forensics.

3. Sir Colville has not done anything wrong. He has reached an age when he should just retire and enjoy the rest of his life. Sir Colville, please retire after the elections?

4. Net Vasquez – as a founder and maker of the UDP, Net has been the Castillo representative in the UDP government since its formation – overseeing and protecting the financial contributions from that business empire. He has been appointed to boards, commissions, and committees. He has outlived all his options. Both Net and Sir Colville are due to retire and are now experiencing – in the words of Bro. Fem Cruz — “Old Timer’s disease.”

5. That at the expiration of his contract, FINSEC Joseph Waight can retire again. He has been a “good and faithful servant;” but he is now tired and forgetting his fiscal responsibilities – thousands of dollars have “slipped” through his hands in accounting reports (not his fault).

6. That the Governor of the Central Bank also offers her resignation. Belize has a problem with educated and qualified people – most have paper qualifications. John and Erwin have degrees in economics.

7. That whichever party forms the next government, that the leader offers an appointment at the highest non-political level to Dr. Carla Barnett. She is the most intelligent, experienced and educated person in Belize when the economy is involved. Dr. Barnett, please accept such appointment for Belize?

8. COMPOL Williams is mad with his parents for giving him the name “Chesta.” Like Barrow, he is now a “Senior sabelotodo,” where police activities are concerned. I suggest he remove the “DIET” programs from the Ministry of National Security, which is now bloated, or change the department’s logo to, “No gas, can’t shoot, caan’t run.”

9.
MAJOR CONCERNS 2020 AND BEYOND
Belize will experience many major economic, political and financial and health concerns. COVID-19 WILL NOT GO AWAY. HIV/AIDS is still growing.

The biggest threat to our independence, economic and political life is LORD ASHCROFT. In the 25th July edition of the Amandala, Colin Hyde, a fellow conspiracy theorist, hit the nail on the head. I share his views on the subject.

Three governments have played and caused disastrous financial court cases against the Lord — Esquivel/Barrow, Musa/Fonseca and Barrow. The national debt (loans) reflects our biggest financial failure, which was the involvement of successive administrations of our government with the Lord. It was Goliath beating Little David BAD by winning all the court cases; which has an emasculating effect on our leaders, and has placed a financial burden on Belizeans for a long, long time. NONE OF OUR LEADERS KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT PRIVATIZATION, and so we will be paying and paying and paying. To paraphrase the Lord, “the boys are going home happy.”

The Lord played with the big boys in England and the Conservative Party with offices and finances. How do you think he was “Lorded”? He has the greatest asset needed by politicians in Belize — money. Enough to satisfy NEED and enough to satisfy GREED.

2020 – 2021 will be no different. He has partnered with Johnny’s family (PUP) in the Smart telephone system. Lately, Dean has refused to comment on any of the Lord’s activities – Scotiabank, Port of Belize, Tourism project… Remember, Dean is going home.

The Lord of Ashcroft is already “King” in Belize. And will DONATE TO BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES – has always done so, and will continue to do so. His small contribution to health is just a case of returning a tiny drop of the screwing he has inflicted on the Belizean people.

I posit that the leaders of the UDP/PUP have their own problems, which will not go away. The Lord of Ashcroft wants to OWN BELIZE, and the puppies all play with the BIG DOG.

Will any party leader disclose for any election, any CONTRIBUTION he will make before or after the NATIONAL elections?

BELIZE NEEDS LEADERS, NOT YES MEN!

David Cruz, Sr.
Belmopan

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