July 3, 2019
Long Distance Advisors Commentary
Why are there still Belizeans who do not believe in the ability to compete on an equal footing with the white establishment?
In a recent article in The Reporter by Mr. Neri Briceño, he chastised the Government for repossessing our utilities; emphasizing that in the past, governments were not able to manage these facilities. I am sure Mr. Briceño is aware of the disastrous trickle-down economics which was introduced to small economies when they were coerced to sell their utilities to foreign conglomerates. Well, Sir, can I inform you that Belize is one of the few countries which has recovered from that disaster.
Do you remember the occasion when these foreign owners refused to comply with the decision of our regulatory bodies, refused to allow interconnection, and refused to upgrade or allow competition? Grant you, we paid a high price for the renationalization of our utilities. I quote from the Briceño article: “The renationalization of BEL, BTL and BWS which I was also against brought us no relief in terms of rate reduction, but rather gave us massive levels of corporate corruption, nepotism, pilfering and the state having additional control over a large number of employees.
Can Mr. Briceño reveal those instances of MASSIVE corruption, nepotism or pilfering? These are inflammatory accusations. Today, BTL, BEL and BWS are 99% locally managed, contrary to what Mr. Briceño says. These utilities are private sector/public sector owned. All profits remain in Belize. Contrast that to what used to happen before nationalization.
Outages are minimal. Expansion is ongoing. One of these utilities has been awarded an international award. Are there shortcomings? I would be stupid not to admit.
To those Belizeans abroad: Come home – get involved! The air is 100% pure and you can still get 8 oranges or 10 bananas for US$0.50.
If you don’t see life as a challenge, you are not living.
Mr. Briceño, please continue to write, objectively.
Henry V. Young, Sr.