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Like leaving a child alone on a dark street at 2:00 a.m.

FeaturesLike leaving a child alone on a dark street at 2:00 a.m.

by Colin Hyde

In his piece last week, titled “No!”, Glen with one “n” said he had read somewhere “that a child with social media access is comparable to your child being downtown alone at 2:00 in the morning, susceptible to all the dangers that present themselves, especially predators and con artists, with no protection!”

It’s an incredible thing happening before our eyes. Some years ago, when the PUP da mi PUP, even movies for adults were censored. Now, lee children, nowhere near puberty, are seeing images and are hearing things that blow away their innocence. For various reasons there’s a daily hours-long gap where the little ones are being “supervised” by television and other electronic devices, a period when they are at the mercy of foreigners, many of them unwholesome.

We all come short of the Glory! Along the way individuals will stumble, and some of us will fall. But the collective must always stand tall.

I think poet Erwin Jones called the big tube, “tell-lie-vision”. Well, that tell-lie-vision has spawned a number of electronic babies that are just as layad. Collectively these gadgets have our children hooked morning, noon, and night. In the world outside they are passing laws to restrict social media’s access to young people. Here we carry on in ignorance, with no restrictions, while foreigners without scruples trample on the innocence of the young ones.

My wager is that Bel Ams would have voted NO to the ICJ

We see the PUP government over there in the US, stepping up to make Bel Ams (Belizean Americans) feel they are more than welcome to come home. It’s a good thing to reach out to our brothers and sisters over there.

In the self-government days, the Bel Ams were more red territory. Some old stories are that in its heyday the PUP was tough on Belizeans who didn’t support the blue party, and people got discouraged and jumped ship and went to America. Matters about race usually come up in this discussion, but I won’t touch that in the few sentences I have here.

It was red territory out there. Just 20 or so years ago, the story is that Dean Barrow bested Richard Bradley at the polls with several plane loads of Bel Ams. Those two brothers are reportedly from the same street, and they both went abroad to study law and came back home with some slick defense tactics that made our justice system look like shish. I’ll leave that for another time too.

In the race against Dean, Diki saw the value of sex, and he trotted out voluptuous girls, girls who got a kick out of titillating man of the male kind with gyrations and skimpy clothing. Some guys who were so old they could barely see, could only think about it, flocked to Bradley’s camp. Coming down the stretch, some smart money said Bradley was in; and then the planes started landing on the tarmac, one, then two, then so thick and fast additional staff had to be hired to process the home-comers, who were here just to vote red. I’ve told you the rest of that story. With the Bel Am vote behind him, Barrow ascended, eventually to the highest seat in the land; and a disappointed Bradley, who had already called home to his wife to go to market for the complement of ground food, well, there was no fish in his boil-up.

Bel Ams who remit funds do so for love or because they are obligated. Bel Ams who invest in Belize do so for love, because they want to help their country, or because we are a good place for business. Bel Ams contribute much to our economy, and some think Belize isn’t reciprocating. Bel Ams see Salvadorans and Americans living here, and voting for presidents in the land of their birth. There is a facility for Belizeans abroad who want to vote in our elections. If they live here for 2 months prior to an election, they can vote. Bel Ams want that requirement brushed aside.

I checked out this very interesting story, “Expat Voting Rights: British Citizens Living Overseas Regain Right To Vote”, by Inez Cooper, the managing director & founder of William Russell, a company that provides international health, life and income protection insurance for British Expats.

Cooper said, “As of the 16th January 2024, British expats who have been living abroad for more than 15 years have regained their right to vote in UK general elections.” Cooper said, “this change to the law could allow roughly 3 million additional British expats to register to vote, according to government estimates … if you haven’t lived in the UK for 15 years or longer, then you will need to apply to register in the local authority of the last address where you lived or were registered to vote … in addition to voting in general elections, long-term expats will also be able to vote in some referenda, with rules varying for each vote.”

Some Bel Ams were particularly upset that they weren’t allowed to vote on the existential ICJ matter. Interestingly, this blocked participation in the ICJ referendum made Bel Ams more fertile territory for the PUP, because it is the UDP that led the charge to keep them out of that vote. Wholesale, the UDP was for voting YES to the ICJ, which in my opinion was a necessary vote, because we had backed ourselves into a corner. The day Foreign Minister Elrington signed the compromis, we were committed to vote YES. The PUP had a little split over the ICJ, but don’t forget, they were at the head table throughout. If you have doubts there, check the number of PUP ex-foreign ministers who were pro-ICJ. Note that Assad was into the ICJ hook, line and sinker.

I am not certain that former PM Said Musa was completely honest when he expressed surprise at the signing. If he wasn’t, I would excuse him, because few men in the position he was in at that time would have been capable of complete honesty. Said had taken a battering, within and without his party. Briefly, he had fallen too in love with laissez faire and had made the terrible mistake of trusting that Lord Ashcroft really wanted to do right for Belize, his adopted country. And the UDP had taken him to court for diverting funds, largesse from Venezuela and Taiwan. Said has his strong points. I’m just saying I’m not sure of his surprise over the compromis.

The PUP was split over the ICJ. But Belize was locked into a YES. We exist as an independent nation because of the United Nations, solely because of the United Nations. We are their baby. I don’t know if only people who drink rum listen to Judy Boucher, but you can tip it off as gospel when she sang, If I could turn back the time. Maybe in another dimension we will back and forth, but noh ya.

I believe all Belizeans knew Sedi had tied us to a YES, an embarrassing thing, but with no real jeopardy from the Hondo to the Sarstoon, Benque Viejo to Halfmoon. I bet the friends of Belize, which includes our Caribbean family, must still not believe 45% of us said NO, emphatically! We do have a little stubbornness. It is why we exist as a country, and will continue to.

I said I believe Bel Ams would have voted NO. Belizeans in America, if you haven’t noticed, they take on some of the “invincibility” of their new home. Putting up our country at the ICJ is preposterous in its conception. No one in the UDP had the clout to tell Bel Ams to vote yes to that.

It is likely most Belizeans wanted Bel Ams to vote in that referendum, felt they had the right to. Most of them aren’t that in tune with Belize; they have their own world over there in their new home; but how could they, baan ya and hope to return ya, have been denied. Maybe 60 years after self-government, 2 decades into this century/millennium, and more than 3 UDP governments that didn’t transform Belize into a land of milk and honey, Bel Ams aren’t as red as they had been before. But they were still there in numbers. It is some irony that Dean spurned this “diaspora” that helped him get over Diki, essentially vaulted him to the highest seat in the land. He had to. The UDP, which was in control of the ball, couldn’t trust them.

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