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Latinizing Belize

LettersLatinizing Belize

Thurs. Feb. 22, 2024

To: Amandala

Dear Editors,

It appears that the nationalization program for the registration of illegal immigrants fell short of expectation. Only around 15,000 persons took the opportunity to become citizens of Belize.

This result shows that it’s much easier to migrate and live in this country illegally than to become registered within the government system. This should not be surprising, as most people, including businesses, prefer to live and survive under the radar within the parallel economy.

The concern for many about this immigration exercise, however, was about the Central American immigrants and refugees that were being targeted to be nationalized. Many thought that this was the government’s subtle way of Latinizing the country, which had a predominately black population before the 1960’s.

The demographic shifting of the population of Belize to a more Latin culture has been in effect for many decades. The ship has sailed, for those who believe that they could turn back the hands of time. The African descent population was never the favored group to inherit these former colonies.

The migration of Black people from Belize started from around early 1900’s. The major surge of Belizeans moving north to the USA was after the 1961 hurricane. Back then, people took full advantage to move north, as the U.S. was considered greener pastures and a place of milk and honey. The alternative was to face the wrath of the devastation from the destruction caused by the category 5 hurricane Hattie. Since then, the number of people of color that live in the country fell drastically. This process continued unabated thereafter, as people were catching this epidemic called States fever.

Eventually, it was the people from the neighboring republics who filled the void of those Belizeans who decided to go and live in the U.S. These immigrants merge well with their Mestizo counterparts, and today have become the predominant culture in the country.

The plight of the Black population continues to be uncertain, and is spiraling backwards to our own detriment. After independence, when the reins of power were given to Belizeans, it was the Creole population that dominated and controlled the public service. Every decision made since then in the government corridors on behalf of the people of Belize is to the demise of the Black population of this nation. The Caribbean flavor of Belize is slowly fading.

Today, we could see where the halls of government are saturated with mostly Hispanic people. It is not hard to believe that this country is being Latinized if you look at our local media and government leaders and officials. However, we should also look at our recent past when the last administration was in power. It was mostly people of color who were at the helm for over a decade. Apparently, they were only about themselves. To improve the lives of those who have similar physical features was not even on their agenda.

It is an unfortunate situation, that the Black population of this nation has been reduced to what it is today. The only group of people in this very diverse cultural society that does not look out for themselves are those of African origin.

Belize will never return to the days when the Black population will be in the majority. Let’s not be naïve. Hence, when the slogan came out (all a we wahn win), the people of color were never part of that equation. Just keeping it real.

Concerned citizen
J. Alvarez

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