For some time now the spotlight has been on Opposition leader, John Briceño, a man who is positioned to become the prime minister of our country after the next general election, due to concerns about his relationship with Lord Ashcroft, a man who, thanks to our leaders, is positioning himself to be king of our country. The PUP notoriously, irrationally, gave up control of BTL to the gentleman, and it cost us over 500 million dollars to get it back. No one knows how we ended up paying three times the value of BTL to return it to government control. We got had. Lord Ashcroft says it isn’t him, but he hasn’t convinced everyone.
John Briceño is a business partner of Ashcroft through a venture called SMART, and that worries a lot of people. The UDPeez are saying that Briceño will want, with the encouragement of Troy and Darrell (surname Carter) and others, to give back BTL to Ashcroft, but Prime Minister Barrow has said that ownership of BTL is so deeply embedded in our constitution that that ain’t going to happen, no matter how hard dehn try, and oh if only we could believe him.
I’ve written in my column a couple times that when the UDP was gathering momentum and looked like it would form the government in 2008, I expressed to a couple of my colegas my doubts about the leader, Dean Barrow. For years he had been Ashcroft’s go-to lawyer, and it isn’t usual for an employee to just shift gears and go after the hand that once fed them. It seems that lawyers are a breed that can do that, but it isn’t normal.
My colegas told me that at the moment that the UDP came to power, Mr. Barrow would be working for a new employer, us, and they said he needed to continue working for Lord Ashcroft until the election because he was hauling in a lot of loot, which he was using to help fund the campaign of the party. Hmm, moral is not a word lawyers have in their vocabulary, not because they don’t know what it means, but because they have expurgated it. In their world, you never know.
I might have mentioned in one of my columns that Brother Rufus X said when Barrow came to the throne that he was still working for Ashcroft, that Ashcroft’s business was his priority, not us. That might not be true, but if Ashcroft was paying Barrow more money than we were, and it really is near fixed in stone that he who pays the piper calls the tune … hmmm.
About Rufus X and his comments, I don’t think they are written anywhere, but I swear that I heard him say so, more than once. Brother Rufus X and his friends are certain that Mr. Barrow has been working for Ashcroft all the while, and if we look at the results of all dealings between the two, if we go by how the pudding comes out of the oven every time, well, we keep getting food that is unpalatable. If you ask non-UDP people, I believe they would say that things fishy bad, but we can’t pin him down as legally guilty.
A look at the case of the port will explain this fishinis bizniz better. Ah, we all thought that Godfrey Smith had gone out of our lives, by the same train, plane, or super yacht he had chartered for someone else, but Brother Eamon couldn’t take the case … ai, it’s just so terrible that he, like Barrow, has sold his considerable skills to the highest bidder, without a qualm. Yes, Eamon had to hide from this one, hot potato, so a phone call went out to a palace somewhere, to Lawyer Smith, who hit the ground running when he landed, to go represent their boss, because, me seh, Eamon begged out.
I think that was a diversion. When we all get to heaven, there will be no lawyers.
In the recent House meeting the Leader of the Opposition, we know who he is, spoke up for the workers at the port, said some tough things to the people who are believed to be working for his business partner, Ashcroft, and Barrow (we don’t know who he is) thanked the Opposition leader for saying all the right words, and checked him for his lack of energy.
Dean, the Prime Minister, made a statement that had more heads than the gorgon, and the only excuse he might have is discomfort, which we might all believe, because he was visibly wincing. Barrow said that Briceño spoke with “no real fire”, that he said “some nice things … but there was no conviction”, which led him to believe that “that was the deal he made with the master.”
And then, and then Barrow said: “I notice that the Leader of the Opposition, unlike this administration, has not said that if the Port of Belize does not cooperate, does not restore these people to their rights¯the Leader of the Opposition has not said that if he and his party were to become government, God forbid, that he would ensure that that MoU (re: the building of the proposed Waterloo cruise port) which is languishing… the MoU, which the UDP administration has declared absolutely, unshakably that it will not sign … we have not heard the Leader of the Opposition say that the same position will be taken by their side of the House. That is what the Belizean people want to hear.” (from 7News Belize transcript (italicized words are mine))
We know who this Mr. Johnny is. We are still wondering about Mr. Dean. A part of that statement, it sounds to me like a quid pro quo is there. You know, you, PBL, you give me this, and I will give you that. I say, that set my little mind a-churning over that possibility. If Dean were Johnny, we wouldn’t have to wonder.
Everything Mr. Johnny does if/when he becomes PM will be under the microscope. Mr. Barrow has had a free rein because he has had us thinking one thing, while the results of his actions oftentimes say something different. Ignorance is bliss, only when it is folly to be wise. It is a whole lot better to be wise in this case. We elected Dean, and we still don’t know who he is. If we elect Johnny, we daam well know that he is soft on Ashcroft, and so we will be watching him at every turn. This time we’re going in with our eyes wide open, no wondering.
Garinagu leaders in Honduras under siege
For a long time now the people in power in Honduras have been displacing our Garinagu brothers and sisters who live in a number of villages on the east coast of that country, and they are employing extremely uncivilized methods to get what they want. Everywhere we go in Central America, big money is trying to oust the roots peoples — on the coast so they can set up huge hotels and mini golf courses, and in the countryside so they can make huge plantations.
In yet another horror story from Honduras, a number of Garinagu leaders from Triunfo de la Cruz were kidnapped by armed men in vehicles that had no identification marks. TeleSUR said the leader of the Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (or Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras), Ofraneh, Sneider Centeno, was kidnapped along with Milton Martinez and Suany Alvarez. The three leaders are defenders of the community’s Land Committee, and their whereabouts are still unknown. These terrorists in Honduras are known to kill community leaders, so the villagers are calling on the authorities to act quickly.
There are people in our country who love the rich and famous, but greedy people are not to be trusted. It is said that a thief is a murderer; well, add greedy people to that. Everywhere in Central America the racist and greedy are pressuring, torturing, even murdering indigenous leaders and getting away with it.