Editorial — 24 March 2009
Life is a competitive proposition, and information plays a key role in competition. When competition becomes war, then we refer to information as “intelligence,” universally appreciated as vital to the outcome of conflicts. We need to know various things, and our sources of information should be reliable, and the information should be as confidential as possible.
Bad information/intelligence leads to bad decision making. In war, bad decision making costs lives. Kingdoms have been lost because of faulty information/intelligence. Consider the case of Atahualpa, the king of Inca Peru, in 1532. Atahualpa has just defeated his half brother, Huascar, to take absolute power. Atahualpa used 140,000 men to defeat Huascar’s 130,000. Atahualpa is at the top of his game when Francisco Pizarro, perhaps the most brutal of the Spanish conquistadores, is marching south with 180 men, horses, artillery and muskets.
Francisco Pizarro meant to wage total war against Atahualpa. On a trip home to Spain from Panama in 1528, Pizarro had met Hernan Cortes, the conqueror of the Aztec king, Moctezuma, in Mexico a few years earlier. Moctezuma fell because Cortes had better intelligence (from Mexican tribes which were enemies of the Aztecs) than he had, and because Moctezuma and his priests were distracted by religious legends and myths which confused them and weakened their resolve. Cortes, according to Hubert Howe Bancroft, told Pizarro how he had conquered Mexico and gave him many valuable hints in empire-snatching.
At the height of his power in November of 1532, then, Atahualpa left the seat of his kingdom, Cuzco, to visit and dine with Pizarro in Caxamalca. Pizarro’s ambush in Caxamalca, featuring the Catholic priest, Vicente de Valverde, is completely successful. Atahualpa’s Indians are slaughtered by the thousands. The Spanish suffer only one minor injury. Atahualpa is captured. His kingdom immediately begins to weaken. Pizarro puts Atahualpa on trial, and the Spanish soldiers vote for execution.
Atahualpa was informed and advised differently from what he should have been. He paid for flawed intelligence with his kingdom, and with his life.
In the modern world, the ruling classes control the flow of information with their ownership of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, telecommunications and satellite systems. These various media systems are expensive to own and maintain, so the masses of the people in the vast majority of so-called free societies are at a great disadvantage where their information and knowledge are concerned. The masses of the people get their information from those who are, in real financial terms, their enemies.
This is not the case in Belize. Over a period of 40 years, newspaper, radio and television capacities have been built on Partridge Street, comprising a media system which is not owned or controlled by the local oligarchy or foreign transnationals. The foundation of the Kremandala system was laid in 1969 by a roots organization named UBAD. Over the years, Kremandala has moved from black nationalism to Belizean nationalism, and has, gradually and consistently, established a formidable credibility amongst the people of Belize.
The value of the Kremandala system to the Belizean democracy has been appreciated by Belizean professionals, such as top ranking lawyers and accountants, who make their services available to Kremandala at bargain rates when the Partridge Street system is under attack from the local oligarchy and foreign transnationals.
15 years ago, Lord Michael Ashcroft spent $25,000 to acquire 10 percent of KREM Radio. The transaction was never legally completed, the main reason being that it was not important to Market Square to interfere with KREM for many years. In 2007, however, it became important to Lord Ashcroft to confine and control KREM, hence the March 2007 legal/financial attack on Kremandala by the Lord’s Sagis Investments Limited.
When the Chief Justice of Belize ruled that the dispute should be settled by KREM’s returning the 1994 $25,000, with the relevant years of interest, the Sagis attorneys refused the KREM check! Their client did not want back his money. Lord Ashcroft wanted 10 percent of KREM Radio, because that 10 percent would empower him to interfere in the day-to-day running of KREM Radio. Ashcroft’s lawyers took the case to the Court of Appeal.
We know that when Market Square loses, then they go to the Privy Council in London. The significance of London is that this is where all the slavery, colonialism, and white supremacy we have known in Belize, began. London is where it all began. The symbolism of all this is awesome.
Since 1969, UBAD, Amandala and then Kremandala have been in many fights. The most important part of our battles is the informing of our people. The people of Belize are considered docile and passive by some scholars, but that is not our real history. Inside the Belizean education system, controlled as it is by white supremacists, a false Belizean history of servile submission has been taught. Beginning in 1969, the real history of our people began to be told outside of the schools. That is the reason for all the vicious attacks on Kremandala over forty years of struggle. The enemies of the Belizean people want to misinform our people the same way they have miseducated many of our children for many years.
This is a fight which will not end until the philosophy which makes one race superior, and another inferior, is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned. Respect, Haile Selassie I.
All power to the people.