One of the moves taking place as I pen this article is the massive protest by the unions, which was called for and spearheaded by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). There was full union force behind the impetus which led to the protest, because it seems that the recent disgrace surrounding John Saldivar has unleashed a series of events. Saldivar’s disgrace is only the culmination of the festering of political corruption of an administration ushered into office on a promise of transparency and accountability and institution of anti-corruption laws and policies — none of which have been carried out thus far! Gazette!
Patrick less petty
In regard to what to me is a coup d’etat by Patrick Faber, I would say he was most strategic in giving the green light to the teachers to go out and protest against his own government. The declaration of a non-school day on Thursday, February 20, 2020 pursuant to sub-rule 133(2) of the Education Rules 2000, is an indication that the Minister of Education backs the much anticipated demonstration against corruption in the Dean Barrow/John Saldivar administration.
This move, I opine, is most strategic and timely for many reasons. Firstly, for the first time in my recollection, Patrick Faber is not fighting against the teachers …. hallelujah! For the first time he is not calling them names, not threatening retaliation for striking and not deducting money from their salaries. This is what he should have been doing all along to show he is leadership material — allowing teachers to exercise their lawful right to associate and protest. He instead alienated them, and when the chips were down on him they would not stand with him, because he always made it about him against them. I pray this is the beginning of a new way forward for Patrick as he quickly matures to take over leadership of a failing UDP.
Secondly, the powers that be in the party seem to stand against Patrick Faber, if there is any truth in the thrust of the letter of Shyne Barrow against Patrick Faber. Therefore, Patrick does not have any large block of the party willing to stand up and go to bat for him. Thus, by supporting the BNTU’s call to strike he is strategically utilizing the power of the teachers to send a loud and resounding message to the corrupt Dean Barrow\Saldivar administration without having to sound his own bugle call.
Thirdly, Patrick for the first time is not visibly spewing his vitriol against anyone in the name of his party. Just recall that his name might “stink dah road” because he always acted as the political whip against the BNTU, the only organized force able to survive the systematic dismantling of institutions by the UDP! I hope he realizes that to be a leader is to be tolerant and respectful of dissent, and there are really classy ways to stand against an issue without appearing to be in a pig fight in mud!
Saldivar stench nuh end
Now I think it is rather an alignment of stars against John Saldivar, which not even his best obeah woman or bush doctor can undo, that finally revealed what kind of person and politician he really is.
We began to realize that John Saldivar’s name “stink dah road” some weeks back when Rhenae Nunez first posted on social media the impending doom of Saldivar, whose name had already surfaced in court documents in Utah, USA. Even with that dark cloud welling up, he stared at us in our faces and boldly lied that he was not the Belizean politician who got bribed by Lev Dermen per testimony of Jacob Kingston!
But we now know that since 2014 Saldivar was figuratively in bed with Lev Dermen, a scammer and criminal who wanted to be an ambassador for Belize, so that Dermen could shield his deeds behind a diplomatic passport. Now if Saldivar had done his due diligence, he would have known that he was really selling out Belize’s integrity and goodwill, which are expendable currency for those needing to create a safe haven for nefarious activities.
When the USA rejected Lev as a viable diplomat for Belize, Saldivar there and then got notice of the kind of fraudster and reject he was dealing with. However, instead of then shunning that relationship, he opted to get his monthly tranches of money in the sum of US$25,000 which were undeclared and accounted for. Ironically, he says now that those funds were campaign contributions, which is an admission that, yes, he did take money —dirty money, because he was already placed on notice of the kind of character he was dealing with.
It is a horrible thing when we, the average Joe, realize that John Saldivar is so self-absorbed and just cannot admit wrongdoing. Those are traits of a narcissist, and those of us who study these personality types know that these are the most dangerous types of leaders, because with power in their hands they will stop at nothing to get their way, at all costs.
In his arrogance and self-centeredness, Saldivar has done a series of acts that must give pause to us, the right-thinking few, who have come to the realization that he should never be elevated to the highest office of this nation.
For one, we know he has the goods on other Ministers in Cabinet, including the Prime Minister. Firing Saldivar would have been a powerful denunciation of his misconduct. However, it is noted that Dean Barrow allowed Saldivar the more dignified route of tendering his resignation from Cabinet — that is, he, as an employee, was allowed to keep his name intact to the extent that his record will show a resignation and not a firing!
The optics of this is critical, because the second thing to note is that Saldivar lied in a barefaced manner to his colleagues, his fellow Cabinet members, to the PM, to the media and to the nation! However, if we take lies that lightly, it is a reflection of our own moral compass and the standard we accept of those in whom we place the public trust.
A third point that must be noted is that Saldivar issued not only a very misleading first press release, but also a subsequent statement saying he did no wrong — imagine! That is a man with no remorse and a man fighting to hold on to power at all costs. Plus, he has his constituents — his needed voting block — on lockdown, and he is now pandering to them.
Therefore, he had the audacity to go on national television — giving an exclusive one-on-one to Love FM, during which his arrogance and self-centeredness took center stage. This man who lied and said that his name was not in those Utah court documents, despite knowing all too well that he did take thousands of dollars on a monthly basis from Lev Dermen, had the face of brass to continue into a leadership convention knowing he was pulling off a deception. Do you, my people, see how dangerous he is????
Now he is saying that the money, at least $100,000 as far as we can confirm, was just campaign financing. Then he used his government’s failure to pass the promised campaign financing as his justification for saying there is nothing illegal about taking such money. And equally scary is the fact that there are those people in his party and supporters who have been brainwashed into using this as a defence. However, to admit this was campaign financing is to admit that those monies came to our shores to be used in his campaign.
This therefore brings us to the issue of the legality of this from the perspective of the money laundering legislation of Belize, which requires a person to declare to the authorities the sum of $10,000.00 or more. Not to make such a declaration is an offense. So Saldivar brought in ten times the legal amount, and there is not a bit of proof that a declaration was made! This calls into question so many things, including the displayed incompetence of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which the PM, in defending Saldivar, said had done its own investigation into these allegations in the Utah Court and found no proof to support that report. Did they interview John Saldivar and he lied to them too? Will they now launch an investigation into all his finances? Can he account for the assets and wealth he has? Have they delved into the finances of the Belmopan Bandits, John Saldivar’s football team (he also has a basketball team, and lately, I believe, a cricket team), to see whether there is a possibility that it could have been used as a vehicle for money laundering?
I don’t know who advised Saldivar to blatantly lie on national television and who helped him come up with this version of his ever-evolving lies, but if these actions reveal nothing else, they have shown me that John Saldivar is dirty and not to be trusted. I know he should be having a “Lev or love John” rally, and the turnout at that event will reveal how much our electorate embraces wrongdoing and do not question the source of money spent on them, just as long as they benefit from it. See, Saldivar’s corruption serves as a measure of us, the people. If we, the people, accept this corruption, then we know that no anti-corruption campaign will get anyone elected. I sit back now, and will see!
Dean not any better!
It is a tragedy in my books that the Saldivar saga has as its backdrop the recently concluded case brought against Dean Barrow for his violation of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act and the Chief Justice’s ruling that he acted illegally. The outcome was as follows:
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin found that over one billion dollars was spent illegally and that the Prime Minister had violated the Constitution. In the unprecedented ruling, the CJ found that the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance was in breach of the Finance and Audit Reform of Act when he did not get the required parliamentary approval for the over a billion dollars in expenditure. The CJ also ordered a constitutional amendment to correct the matter. For this to happen, the PM will need support from the Opposition because he needs a “yes” from twenty-two House members.
Proven illegal and unconstitutional conduct by the PM, who is always saying he wants the evidence before he makes a decision, is what the court handed down. Well, even when the evidence of corruption by Saldivar was staring him in the face, Barrow called a press conference and supported Saldivar. Clearly in my view, this is because he needs Saldivar to defend him against attacks for his own illegal acts.
The inner circles of the UDP tell you clearly that Patrick Faber says there is no room for this kind of conduct nor for the Barrow clan’s reign of self-interest over national interest. Remember, Santi said that Faber is the cleanest of the 19, and that he is still clean, even with his personal issues that surfaced. What does this tell you, my people?
It matters not the verbal hifalutin attack he makes against Johnny Briceño or Patrick Faber or any politician: Dean Barrow’s name “stink dah road,” and he goes down in history as having been proven guilty and liable for breaking the Constitution of Belize!
So why would anyone expect Dean Barrow to fire Saldivar? Combined, the stench of Barrow’s and Saldivar’s deeds have the UDP in deep decay! Dehn name “stink dah road!”