Elsewhere in this issue I’ve included an insert from Cedric Grant’s book on “Modern Belize.” The insert gives you an idea of the almost absolute nature of white supremacy in the colony of British Honduras during the 1930s.
Belize became a self-governing colony in 1964, and achieved political independence in 1981. Our electoral politicians, however, after the eras of Rt. Hon. George Price and Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, started to depend on the huge financial donations of people like Sir Barry Bowen and Lord Michael Ashcroft. And so, today we have to wonder if it is not the case that we Belizeans have returned to a status where we roots are almost as helpless as we were in the 1930s.
The late Barry Bowen achieved a feat which seemed impossible in the 1970 and 1980s, when he became as influential in the United Democratic Party after its initial victory in 1984 as he had become in the People’s United Party during its post-independence period in the early 1980s.
I have never met Sir Barry’s children, whereas, as I have mentioned before in these pages, I had extensive talks with Sir Barry in 1993 in the presence of Mr. Said Musa, later Prime Minister and Right Honorable.
Sir Barry, Lord Michael, and I were all supportive of the PUP’s successful 1998 general election campaign, but, as big time businessmen, they knew what they wanted and where they were going. Personally, I still thought I was an aspiring writer, after my investment/experiment with the semi-pro basketball Kremandala Raiders had been derailed by evil forces in both the UDP and the PUP. So much for that.
Here’s the point of this essay, before I become caught up in a bad period of my life. Sports is supposed to be an avenue where the playing field is level, and those from the roots part of society have a chance to excel and to improve their status. When sports become primarily the tool of corporate marketing, and how that happened is its own story in little Belize, then you will experience some of the dysfunctions we are seeing in Belize today and have been seeing for the last three decades.
And so, what happened to Kaina Martinez, happened to Kaina Martinez, and nobody anywhere in the UDP Cabinet had anything to say, not even the sanctimonious Sedi. For me, Kaina’s story is one which I will never put behind me, because there are many other, less high profile, victims of this open injustice which rules Belizean sports, in which some are more equal than others, and nobody says anything except Kremandala.
Sports in Belize is controlled by the same people who still have a development concession after more than a half century and more than 1200 employees. The sin is not the people’s who exploited the feebleness of Belize’s politicians: the fault lies in our PUDP politicians, and in us, the Belizean people.
Still, and forever, power to the people.