Talk about raining on a good parade. Most of the people of Belize, a country desperate for heroes, were proud of Belize City mayor, Bernard Wagner, and his deputy, Oscar Arnold, and Belize City Council administrator, Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt, too, for giving the stiff arm to a rather sizable piece of chum that was reportedly left on the desk of the administrator by a too-generous person. The purest among the good were calling for court case, and maybe a hanging, but the sober rank-and-file good people were satisfied with the return to sender.
Well, the UDP, in their Guardian newspaper, saw an angle under the table, and while on one end we have to acknowledge their recognition of all the possibilities, on the other end we cannot fail to observe that it takes a certain kind of mind to go there. Indeed, as a man thinketh, so is he.
The old NIP, the way we were, could never have seen the possibility of evil where there was so much good. Wholesome minds just won’t indulge their minds in the baser expressions of human nature. It says a volume that the Guardian went low. I believe Ms. Claudia would say, only one who had been there and done that, could think that.
Okay, we NIPs did get a little suspicious about the Guatemala business. But that’s because it was existential. We experienced seven beautiful days of freedom. And then those oligarchy bohgaz overthrew Arbenz. We were to cut the ties right then and there. What were we to do when we were made privy to British intelligence that that there was more to the continued dalliance than met the unsuspicious eye?
Troubles abound around us. There are not enough jobs for our people. Ouryouth express their hopelessness in painful ways. From slavery to colonialism to neo-colonialism, it’s as Black Stalin sang: the same oal ting. Really, we are not that far away from joining that north-bound caravan.
My, we so desperately needed an uplifting story to ¯ raise up our spirits. And this story made our spirits soar, up, up and away to the stratosphere, to where we were breathing the rarefied air alongside the elegant frigate birds. Bah, ghouls in the red party weren’t happy with the silver lining in the dark cloud they have cast over our existence. Low philistines saw regular Belizeans feeling good and they said, kaput,and threw mud at our wings so we couldn’t fly, so we lost our high and fell back into the doldrums of our daily grind.
Their lesson was clear: there’s no chance of salvation, no point in good works. It is not easy to escape the message they sent to all who serve the public: tek di money bikaazn yu wahn geh daab anyway.
I say that we cannot allow that kind of rain to fall on our little parade. Even if one thought, or were convinced of suspicious beans – and one would have to be some low form of curmudgeon to be so swayed, a real mud digger – conscience and common sense dictated, directed that for the national good the motives of our new heroes not be questioned.
These high standards set by Bernard and Oscar, not all of us have that kind of resistance. For a very personal reason, I respect, cherish people who betta than me. I learned it in the Bible. The Bible says that as long as God can find a good person, He will not lower the boom on the rest of us. Me, I prefer praise to smear job. That’s why I say none of that kind of rain on this parade.
I am prompted to say something red/blue political today. I’ve written in my column a number of times about an essential reason why Belize must go to the ICJ to settle the Guatemalan claim. Our little country has very serious internal problems with pettiness, vindictiveness, and greed, and we cannot address the sickening problems within until we settle the problem without. It might take a bloody revolution. But we have to wait until the Guatemalan oligarchy is forced to step back.
I am a roots NIP. I have tremendous respect for many of the initiatives of the old PUP and their leader, Father of the Nation George Price, but PSWG is my number one hero. I have no plans to become a PUP. But I expect I will vote for the PUP in the next general election, if they have a manifesto for the people. And if they win, and in my judgment they are absolutely spectacular for the 4-5 years, absolutely spectacular, I might vote for them again. But I believe in democracy so it is nigh impossible that I will vote for three terms for ANY party.
The fact is that a party only needs a third term if it FAILED to implement the programs and systems it should have put in, over its first, second term in office.
More “The British over there”
In my next column, God willing and the Amandala has space and ink and paper for me, I will look at two Guatemalan victories. These victories might help explain their wild insistence on pursuing a claim (on us) which is completely unjustified. Of course, they will not have that third victory.
Today, it’s more American discontent about the love the British were throwing Guatemala’s way in the 1800s. The following excerpts are drawn(again) from a paper, “American Policy in Guatemala, 1839-1900”, written in 1954 by Warren Albert Beck, B.A., M.A.
“Throughout the decade of the fifties American interest in the isthmus as a transit route caused the diplomatic agents of Washington to be continuously on the alert for examples of British influence … We have already noted how the Carrera government of Guatemala was accused of being simply a front for English economic and political interests, and this was an opinion held not simply by one ofthe American diplomats, but by most of them.
“The State Department, which hitherto had paid little attention to the problems of its diplomats in Central America, suddenly became interested in that area. Because of the concern for the transit route to California, the Taylor Administration determined to check further encroachments ‘by a stiff policy toward the British …’
“Squier [American diplomat] reported that British influence was strong in Guatemala but could be lessened by a little display of power. He recommended that if an American man-of-war would ‘be about,’ British prominence could be counteracted … various activities of English agents to cut off the transit route were enumerated … To Squier these activities were ‘a diversionin favor of Carrera, the tool and instrument of England, who has lately secured an English loan …’
“Britain was accused of fomenting trouble between Guatemala and Honduras, of encouraging the former to ‘gobble up’the latter so as to extend British domination in Central America. Britain would certainly have profited, as Guatemala was reported to be so completely under Britain’s thumb that she was referred to as ‘alias Great Britain.’ The frequent bitter attacks on the United States and upon democratic institutions in the official newspaper of Guatemala was likewise blamed on the British. ‘No one doubts that they were written by an English hand, or at least, dictated by an English heart,’ the American Minister to Nicaraguareported …
Clarke [American diplomat] accused the British of using the Walker episode to undermine the American position in Central America by stressing that if it were not for English protection the Central American states would be flooded with filibusters from the United States. Perhaps the recent English loan prompted Guatemala to surrender so much of her sovereignty,or perhaps it was because over one half of Guatemala’s imports came from Britain’s traders, he suggested …
“Though hardly a year passed in the 1840’s and 1850’swithout some activity on the part of the Central Americans themselves to recreate the federation, all were to fail. President Carrera of Guatemala was accused of blocking such plans at the dictates of the clerical group supporting him.
“In addition, Costa Rica was hostile to federation proposals. However, in the eyes of the American diplomats the real ‘villain’ preventing union was Britain. The dark hand of ‘Perfidious Albion’ was depicted as being everywhere; bribing,threatening, and stooping to all vile deeds to prevent the United States from creating a Central American federation…
“The British agents were accused of fomenting revolutions to that end. It was alleged that British gold financed Guatemala’s invasion of El Salvador in 1849, so as to halt the latter nation’s attempt to effect union.”