On most Sunday mornings for the last few years, KREM Radio and Television have broadcast a show called Sunday Review, which is hosted by Ya Ya Marin Coleman and co-hosted by Bill Lindo. The show is definitely not a money maker for KREM, and the reason is that Ya Ya is a female version of the late Argentine revolutionary, Che Guevara. Ya Ya supports all regional and international movements which represent the masses of roots people, which is to say, movements which stand in resistance to corporate interests and neoliberal capitalism. Because of Ya Ya Marin Coleman’s positions, Sunday Review is not supported by advertizers.
My personal feeling is that the Ya Ya/Bill show has a ton of listenership/viewership, both at home and abroad, just as many KREM productions have enjoyed in the past. But the matter of Nielsen ratings, which is to say, listenership/viewership, is not a major concern for most advertizers in Belize, apparently. The priority appears to be that one supports their business philosophy if one is to benefit from their advertising dollar.
Well now, as United Democratic Party (UDP) leadership convention (February 2020) and general election (sometime in 2020) energy slowly build in Belize, more and more clashes between Ya Ya and Bill have been occurring on Sunday Review. Ya Ya is a revolutionary purist, whereas Bill Lindo, who joined the then ruling People’s United Party (PUP) in 1973 when the UBAD Party split in two, at the beginning and the end of the day is a PUP loyalist, even though his paternal uncle, the late Dean Russell Lindo, was the first Leader of the UDP, founded in that same tumultuous year of 1973.
The long and short of this philosophical tension between Ya Ya and Bill is that Ya Ya decided on Tuesday this week to remove Bill from his slot as Sunday Review co-host. She called me early Tuesday afternoon to inform me, as chairman of KREM Radio/Television, that she had made this decision and had informed the Hon. Bill Lindo.
A couple hours later, William Arthur made contact with me and we had a brief discussion Tuesday evening. The solution to the problem appeared relatively simple to me. Bill has been a participant in KREM Radio/Television discussion shows since 1994, when the Kremandala Show was introduced. He also writes regularly in Amandala. I suggested he speak to the KREM Radio management and seek to have his own show.
Most Belizeans probably believe that Bill and I, who are cousins on both our fathers’ and mothers’ sides, are so similar as to be identical in our thinking. But I will give you an example of how much Bill is his own man, as opposed to being a clone of myself. At the time of the dangerous G-7 Cabinet upheaval in August of 2004, Bill Lindo went publicly with his very good friend, Hon. Florencio Marin, Sr., in support of Prime Minister Said Musa and Finance Minister Ralph Fonseca, whereas everyone knew I had to be supporting G-7 members, Hon. Cordel Hyde and Hon. Mark Espat, my son and son-in-law, respectively. The G-7 period was a serious time in PUP and Belizean politics, the adjective I used in a previous sentence being “dangerous.”
So, I will never “swear for” Bill Lindo. He grew up as one of the wealthiest Creole children in Belize City, his maternal grandfather, Alden “Swaapy” Tillett, being the one in control of the Belize City waterfront, which was very, very lucrative back then. Growing up, I knew Bill and I were related, but we lived in two different worlds.
When I went to Brooklyn in late August of 1965 on my way to college in New Hampshire, I stayed with my grandaunt, Gladys Lindo Ysaguirre, on Rutland Road. Bill Lindo was living with his late mom, Myrle, two blocks around the corner on Midwood Street, and he was finishing high school at George Wingate High School, which you could actually see from my grandaunt’s home on Rutland. So Bill and I became acquainted, as I did with his younger brother, Michael, who had moved out of his mom’s home.
I spent three years in America studying before returning home in 1968. I think Bill came back home sometime in 1971. He became a UBAD officer under my leadership in 1972, then joined the ruling PUP after the split in UBAD in 1973. Bill Lindo is my relative, and I guess he is my friend, but, bottom line, Bill Lindo is his own man. Respect.
There is a lot more to say on this matter, I suppose, but this is my column for today.
Power to the people.