Thursday, November 16, 2023
The welcomed news that offshore drilling in the Jewel is not up to the politicians but up to the people of Belize through referendum, and that it is the law of the land, is very reassuring! That no government can arbitrarily decide whether we allow our coastlines, or reefs, or cayes, some of our most important assets, to be subjected to oil rigs and drillings and environmental damage, not only is it welcomed but also inspiring, knowing that we are a democracy, as we understand that term, these days.
How many underdeveloped countries right here in Central America, and around the world for that matter, would give their population a say, a voice in something that could drastically change the trajectory of the economy of their nations? How many governments are honest enough to turn away from all the future profits, for the country and/or for their own selfish interests? In the old days I think it would have been different. Those days when we weren’t so politically aware and active, when we didn’t hold our leaders accountable. A time when we would sacrifice the wellbeing of our country for promised wealth.
This current PUP government has its faults, as all governments do, but they do listen to the voice of the people, mostly! Vulcan tried to come in with its huge purse, and would’ve turned a quiet community into an environmental disaster! With all its power, it’s lobbying, it’s backing from some politicians who apparently don’t care if the country goes to hell in a hand basket, the government held its ground and said no, not here, not now!
We are a small country, we are neither rich, nor do we suffer from abject poverty. Poor yes, but not to the extent of letting our fragile ecology be destroyed, in order to be able to feed our families. We are poor but we live in this demi-paradise, to quote the bard! This is all we have, this beautiful piece of land wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, with the sea and reefs and cayes as our natural pride and prize, our gift from the gods!
This is what democracy looks like. When the government listens to the people, even when it might be to the detriment of the economic well-being of the nation. We are lucky to live in the Jewel. Now if we could only have the Mayas allow us to live wherever we wanted to, it would be a beautiful thing. A paradise instead of a demi-one.
We always call out the government when they stray from their purpose; we should also always give them praise when they do the right thing, when they listen to the voice of the people! As a capitalist at heart, I secretly wonder what is out there, unda da sea; as an environmentally conscious person, I am overjoyed by this law!
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar.” Lord Byron.