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Sunday, December 5, 2021
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Editorial

Customer loyalty

We wish to recognize the loyalty of our readers and advertisers because we recognize the anomaly of our situation, and how tenuous this all really is. The leading newspaper in Belize is located inside the Southside of the old capital, in an area where many of the people are very poor. That is an anomaly. The leading newspaper in Belize is black owned, and has been black owned over the precise decades in which we saw the majority black population here become a decidedly marginalized minority. That is an anomaly. And the leading newspaper in Belize does not pay homage to London, Washington, Taipei, Mexico City, Guatemala City, or Havana. That is an anomaly.

Dirty money y la ciudad sin piedad

The results released this week of a SPEAR POLL indicate that almost 19 percent of those polled believe that the bulk of the campaign financing of Belize?s major political parties is derived from ?illegal? sources. This means narcotics money.

Watch di oil & money

Oil wealth is often a breeding ground for corruption, according to the latest survey by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International (TI).?

- BBC report, Oil wealth ?can cause corruption,? Wed. Oct. 20, 2004

?Venezuela and Nigeria are among the countries where per capita income fell even as oil wealth poured in. In some cases, corruption is the primary cause??

- Trouble brewing in oil-rich Norway, International Herald Tribune, Fri. Nov. 18, 2005

??resistance to transparency and the danger that oil-led spending becomes the major legitimizing force behind the state, tend to foster corruption and create difficulties with political transition and problems for governments that get locked into high-spending patterns.?

- Managing Oil Wealth, Finance and Development, IMF quarterly magazine, March 2003

Illicit enrichment

Illicit enrichment is when the assets of a government official grow to an extent that cannot be explained from lawful earnings during the performance of public duties.

Of late, there has been much talk about the contracts that the Government of Belize entered into with the Belize Companies Registry and the Belize Intellectual Property Office. The storms have seemingly died down, where the Belize Telecommunications Limited, Intelco, the Social Security Board, and the Development Finance Corporation are concerned.

VIP all the way!

This newspaper?s support for the third party VIP slate in Belmopan is unconditional. Our support is not logical, because we barely know the candidates. We do not expect our support to be monumental or pendulum swinging, because our days of dreaming are past. Our support is derived from the old geometrical system of reductio ad absurdum.

Double standard

This week a slowly re-emerging bus controversy came to a head when Novelo?s Bus Line, the receivership company, struck for a day, in protest of the Novelo brothers? new company, National Transport Services Limited, taking a bite out of the western runs.

We wonder how it is that transport authorities?that is, the Ministry of Transport, headed by Hon. Jose Coye, and the National Transport Board?permitted such a situation to fester and explode in the faces of thousands of Belizean commuters and travelers who were, evidently, left out in the cold.

Double standard

This week a slowly re-emerging bus controversy came to a head when Novelo?s Bus Line, the receivership company, struck for a day, in protest of the Novelo brothers? new company, National Transport Services Limited, taking a bite out of the western runs.

We wonder how it is that transport authorities?that is, the Ministry of Transport, headed by Hon. Jose Coye, and the National Transport Board?permitted such a situation to fester and explode in the faces of thousands of Belizean commuters and travelers who were, evidently, left out in the cold.

The rule of the lawyers

At this newspaper we have opined several times over the last year or so, that there is a need for a real third party option in Belize, because the two major parties here, one 55 years old and the other 32 years old, have become too cozy with each other, so cozy that very little changes when a different party is sent to Belmopan. We saw that our passports continued to be sold, our lands and cayes continued to be alienated, undocumented labor continued to dominate the manual labor market, the major narcotic traffickers continued along their merry way, and so on and so forth.

Corruption and Compromise

The reality of life in Belize is that you can?t survive without money?at least not for long. There were times when a family could survive by bartering goods with others, but today nobody can use cacao beans to buy food, or pay their school fees or utility bills. The terms of settlement are almost always cold cash, except if you are Jeffrey Prosser, who can pay huge bills with an unsecured promissory note?a mere piece of paper with his signature!

Liability

There seems to be no end to the string of stories of corruption in this administration. Just when you think you?ve heard it all, there seems to be some other duplicitous deal that becomes exposed, to the humiliation of Prime Minister Musa and his flock.

But was it really humiliation that caused the Government of Belize to abruptly end its contracts with the Belize Companies Registry Limited (BCRL) and the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO)? Was it, as it is being portrayed, Cabinet?s ?shock? over the obvious sweetheart deal with BELIPO and its owners that caused it to suddenly and ?unilaterally? break two 15-year contracts valued at tens of millions of dollars?

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