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Homie — “A voice crying in the wilderness”

LettersHomie — “A voice crying in the wilderness”

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 20, 2023

We will use the occasion of this Friday’s Amandala issue to give a platform to a veteran footballer and activist in his own right — Emerson Guild, a former member of the legendary Berger 404 football team of the 1970s, who was among a group of pioneers who staged a community protest and rebellious action against what was then a planned conversion of what is today the Berger Field into house lots for a political agenda. Known to many of his friends and acquaintances as “Homie”, Emerson is proud to recount the time he and a few others spent in the “Piss House” for daring to uproot the construction pegs marking out the planned “housing development” on their neighborhood playing field.

A leading member of “Singers and Players of Instruments”, a musical group that has given voluntary performances at different activist events over the years, playing mostly reggae music, Emerson has also long been a member of the Marcus Garvey-inspired UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) group in Belize, and says he is currently the “3rd Assistant President General UNIA-ACL”. The group is not very visibly active on the Belizean scene, and there may not currently be any “legions” to demand attention to their message. But every voice is important if the objective is desirable and the messenger is sincere. We choose to respect the sincerity of Emerson’s vision, although his scathing criticisms of government policy may not provide a lot in the way of specifics for them to mount a defense against his charges.

Above we share some excerpts from a lengthy email he titled, “Letter to the Prime Minister of Belize”, dated December 14, 2023. (It is not clear if the Prime Minister received the letter.)

LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE

“Mr. Prime Minister, I am writing to you as a human being. I am, and I am sure many others are absolutely outraged at the GOB’s SQUANDERING OF THE BELIZEAN PATRIMONY taking place UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP…

I was the Central American Black Organization Secretary for education and research for four consecutive two-year terms, working with others to enshrine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in our education planning and capacity development program for African Descendant populations [in] Belize and the region. During that term, the Central American Black Organization [CABO] and Fundación Universidad Popular de Desarrollo Sostenible de Las Américas (UNIPOP), which were established to promote development in ways that were not being attempted, and to meet needs not being met by others, did research in three countries: Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In 2011 with the assistance of the ONECA Secretariat of Sustainable Economic Development, UNIPOP started a process of creating Commissions of Sustainable Development to complete master plans for Sustainable Economic Development in each country.

UNIPOP and the Economic Development Secretariat of CABO presented this initiative to the annual meeting of CABA, where it was adopted. At that meeting the Initiative was given the name, The Garvey / Satuye Regional Sustainable Economic Development Initiative…

… In Belize, UNIPOP works through EmergentCorp and its university without walls, the Beatrice Kingston Smith University (BKSU), which is named after a long-time educator. The purpose of the BKSUW is to make African history and culture evident and visible in the contributions of Belizean youth and adults, taking them from their education floor, regardless of what it is, to an educational ceiling of dignity, identity and self-sufficiency. The UNIPOP memorandum of understanding with a consortium of Universities, that was prepared to stream first degree curriculum for capacity development in Belize and the region, is still an important milestone we must achieve.

“I accompanied the Central America Black Organization’s Economic Secretary, Dr. Waldaba Stewart, as one of the team members presenting the African Descendant Plan for the region (The Garvey / Satuye Regional Sustainable Economic Development Initiative), which included the Belize draft Master Plan document, to SICA in Antigua, Guatemala 2015. Because of the work already done, I must say [that] the continued neglect of the Belizean patrimony by Belize’s colonial methods, and agents exploiting Belize’s resources for the benefit of multinational companies, continues the international political economic system’s profit-before-people scheme, and is unacceptable…

“Mr. Prime Minister, in many of your speeches the words you use to the Belizean population are disempowering. Under your leadership, Mr. Prime Minister, you have advocated a Belizean society to believe [that] they are intellectually inferior as disempowered minorities, for what purpose???

The Secretary General and members of the United Nations are directing a global program for change. Is Belize a part of the program directed by the United Nations Durban plan of action, the decade of African Descendants 2015-2024, the Permanent Forum for People of African Descent ??? Please show the Belizean population [that] you appreciate the use of their $$$$TRUST$$$$, and pledge to prepare the Belizean population to support the Belize Government as it joins the global family in the global rebuilding process…”

“One God One Aim One Destiny!!!”

L. Emerson Guild,
Marcus Garvey Disciple,
3rd Assistant President General UNIA-ACL

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