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What Biden must do to have a chance at the polls in November

FeaturesWhat Biden must do to have a chance at the polls in November

by Colin Hyde

I don’t know what percentage of Belizeans-who-turned-Americans prefer the Democrats to the Republicans over there, but my sense is that overwhelmingly our people in that foreign land favor the donkey over the elephant. The Bel-Ams, they are the reason why our concern when the Americans are voting for a president, as they will in November, goes beyond the perceived ramifications at home.

At home the majority of us are Democrats, for sure starting with JFK, the US’s first Catholic president. Even though we learned after he was assassinated that JFK was making wild promises to the Guatemalans, we still have warm feelings for him. The information we have is that JF Kennedy helped forward the rights of Blacks in the US, and his brother, Bobby, who was on his way to the presidency when he got shot, was a fan of ML King, Jr. Since we share a common root with US Blacks through slavery it’s a natural for us to line up in the corner of presidents who help the cause. Another Democrat, LB Johnson did his part to help cement our love for the party. We can’t ignore that the Democrats controlled the presidency from 1960 to 1968, so they were the ones who opened the borders to Belizeans after Hattie devastated us.

R Nixon, a Republican, was too extensively involved in the horrible Vietnam War, his anti-marijuana program put many innocent non-white people in jail, and he was exposed before the world as a cheat. Jumping to Jimmy Carter of the Democrats, hands down the non-white non-American world considers him the greatest of all US presidents. Leapfrogging to Trump, a Republican, he found favor with quite a few people in Belize, to a great extent because the aggressive gay lobby over there has become a super force with the Democrats.

It was a worry when Biden of the Democrats won, that he would force us to endorse gay marriage, and because he hasn’t, he and his party still had our favor, but alas not as much now, since October came.

All presidents in the US are in Israel’s corner, especially due to that country’s strategic location in the Middle East. When the Israelis reacted violently after their defense was breached and several hundred of their people slaughtered on October 7, it surprised no one that the US supported their returning fire. But surprise has turned to shock and sadness because Israel’s revenge has no end. Past three months now, with no letup, Israel has pummeled the people and physical structures in Gaza.

Biden wants Israel to put down its weapons, but Israel’s president, Netanyahu, refuses to do so. Sadly, the US hasn’t made a serious attempt to get Israel to end its barbarity. Like semi-reluctant sheep, the US barely bleats as it is dragged along. Israel’s ugly ambition to destroy the people in Gaza won’t succeed, but they might succeed in changing the government in the US.

Biden and his party are taking a beating from their usual supporters back home. There are recordings which show Biden to be unapologetically 100% supportive of Israel. His support of Israel is blind, but his party’s support is not.

The Democrats support Israel giving back to the Palestinians all the land they took from them in the 1967 war. Netanyahu and his crowd reject giving back that land. The Republicans support Netanyahu’s savagery. They do not support the Palestinians having a separate state, or getting back that land they lost in 1967. During his presidency Donald Trump proposed a two-state solution which was so disappointing that the Palestinians flat out rejected it. Trump allowed Netanyahu to move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem, a move that insulted the Palestinians, a move that the Democrats had rejected.

It’s ABC arithmetic which party Netanyahu and his crowd want to win the presidency. The more Netanyahu and his far right friends pound Gaza, the more the ratings of Biden falls. The Republicans are saying very little. Why should they complain when effectively Biden is doing their bidding?

As it stands right now, any Republican other than Trump can easily beat Biden. Trump would win in a landslide in a head to head with Biden if there wasn’t the embarrassment of the insurrection on January 6, 2021. But Biden could turn the tide if he ordered Israel to stand down and end this genocide. They would have to, because without US support Israel can’t wage war for too long. He could save himself if he declared the two states and moved on implementing it.

If you looked at the math, you’d understand the government, Ms. Cristina

Notably, Ms. Cristina Coc did not appear on the WuB on Thursday. The three representatives of the MLA who came were capable, but because Cristina had openly challenged the government, most expected she would face the nation. I think it was good strategy for her not to show. I go further than that. I think it might be that her work is done as it relates to the negotiations with government to implement the FPIC.

Cristina was a mere 17-years-old when her brother-in-law, the freedom fighter Julian Cho, fell from his roof floor to his death. Julian’s bio in the Julian Cho Society webpage says that while he was studying at St. Louis University in Missouri his “educational mission crossed paths with the Society of Jesus …[and] he contemplated becoming a Jesuit priest.” On returning to Belize he joined the TMCC … he “brought international attention to TMCC as a force for indigenous rights” … and he was inspirational in the “formation of the Toledo Alcalde Association and the Toledo Maya Women’s Council.”

On November 25, 1998 Julian Cho signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PM Esquivel “to negotiate a solution to the Maya land rights struggle.” On December 1, 1998 he fell to his death, a man still in his prime, with so many achievements for his people and country behind him, and so much before him. At the time of his death, in 1998, Cho was leading the fight against a company from Malaysia that had been granted a license to take logs from 500,000 acres in Toledo. Casual observers and Cho’s enemies said he was intoxicated when he fell. But Cho’s family and friends said that was a lie, and suggested that there was a hidden hand up there with him, and he was pushed.

We expect Julian was a very happy man when he died. We expect he had enemies among the supporters and employees of the Malaysian logging company. That’s what we believe.

Observing from the outside, it’s obvious that Julian’s death hit Cristina particularly hard. Apart from the natural pain because of the family connection, she admired her educated, freedom fighter brother-in-law, and on top of that he supported her ambitions for higher education. The Wikipedia says Cristina graduated from TCC in 1998, and thereafter she “applied to St. John’s College, Junior College (SJCJC) and was accepted but had to leave school because of financial and personal hardship.”

Cristina was at the fore, along with Greg Ch’oc and other leaders of the Maya in southern Belize, and their brilliant lawyer, Ms. Antoinette Moore, when the great victory was won in 2007. Ah, it is so sometimes that the captain that takes you through the storm on the sea is not the best captain in the calm onshore.

The negotiations to implement the decision have become too bitter. The passion that drove Cristina to glory might be blinding her from seeing what is best. She seems to ignore that private landowners are as offended by being taken over by communal landownership as the Maya were by the indiscriminate logging in Toledo.

Readers of this column know where I stand. We must pay attention to the math at all times. If the government yields to all that the MLA wants, it would be a bad decision all around. Could all of Belize go under communal land tenure? Hey, there’s a cost here. Communal land tenure is a luxury if you also want a part of the modern world, some or all of its alluring trappings. This corner loves communal land tenure. But let’s not go overboard.

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