Love for country
There are many things we can love. The first and greatest commandments say ‘love thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul and thy neighbor as thyself. ‘ Clearly we are called on to love God … but also to love others. It is the love for others that will propel us to build our country out of love so that when the country prospers – so will the rest of us living in it. That is why a country’s development is measured by yardsticks such as: mortality rates; poverty rate; unemployment rate; amongst others. It is the love for people that will allow us to love the country in which these people must live and survive.
I have met so many Belizeans who love this country and I am so proud to have met them…they come from all walks of life. There is one thing that seeks to divide us and rob us of that love for country as a priority, and that is party politics. But from my vantage point it seems that people are wising up and realizing that they can support a party, but not above the country and its national interest. To all my hermanas and hermanos (sisters and brothers) across this country we love…keep taking off the blindfolds and colour-tinted glasses and join the voice of the people to demand better for Belize.
More will realize that the love of our country, Belize, above party-fanaticism will get us ahead. We cannot continue this yoyo-system where a set of people get rich and fat when their party is in, while the others go through ‘magah-season’ and vice versa…no! All regardless of political affiliation should be allowed to live by the principles embodied in the preamble of the Constitution of Belize and by the freedoms and rights given to us under said document. Then stocked in the middle are those who are absolutely no fanatics either way, but whom just want better and so must suffer under both parties….thus now the demand for a credible and viable third and fourth party is even greater.
Love and respect
Now this brings me to the issue of me being declared ‘persona-non-grata’ [literally meaning “an unwelcome person”, is a legal term used in diplomacy that indicates a proscription against a person entering the country. It is the most serious form of censure which one country can apply to foreign diplomats, who are otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution- wikipedia] by the PM whom with all due respect cannot make these national issues personal. I want the record to reflect that even in the face of all adversity, the personal attacks on me as a woman on Wave radio and even my Oceana request being ignored and not responded to by either the Prime Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources, I have remained true to my issues of offshore oil drilling. I remain persistent and willing to speak the truth and talk, write and discuss the issues.
I will always respect the office our Prime Minister, and knowing Dean Barrow personally makes it even easier for me to do. Even if said respect is not reciprocated, I just know life too short to be distracted from the true issues of national development. My love for my country very often keeps me anchored as to what it is the bigger picture and no matter how many stones are thrown I will not flinch. Let’s be real do I not have the right and obligation to write and call on the office of the Prime Minister on the matters of offshore oil?
Some say that the PM’s remarks on Love FM seems to be calling on Oceana to reign me in and if needs be remove me if Oceana wants to remain involved. I think the record needs to show that even if I was not at Oceana I would be involved in this issue and more… and that as a matter of fact, it is only because I must respect the office I hold and the job I am hired to do that I have self-controlled what other issues I would be involved in. So for any government, my remaining at Oceana should be a blessing because I am forced to work within defined parameters. But out of respect for the folks at Oceana – I would never jeopardize the work they do and continue to do for our oceans… but when I do chose to step out… beware I will get even more involved in other national issues of my country which I love! Thank God I decided to stay living here otherwise as ‘persona non grata’ I would have been denied entry… he he he
Now as to the aspect of being rude to the PM, well, all have their views and all know my style and those who knew me during my time as a Senator with the UDP will tell you I have surely tamed down. Of course those were the days when the PUP wanted to throw me in jail at all cost, and tried to attain against me at least a conviction of 12 months so I can never be a member of the National Assembly and cannot continue in my role as a Senator. I remained firm then and the UDP loved it, and I remain firm now, and the UDP hates it… well can’t please anyone! But to date I remain firm with my position on many issues that are of a social nature, especially crime and children and women issues… I hold these close to my heart and will continue. But to me the issues of oil exploration near, around, or along our magnificent barrier reef is just too dear to my heart!
Mr. Barrow who knows me personally and knows my passion and commitment for an issue when I take in on, knows that I will remain relentless, but surely now rude I am not… but then again who defines rude? I don’t throw a tantrum when he or nay of his peeps are rude and disrespectful to me. As Mose Hyde told me Berris Hammond has a song that says “warriors don’t cry” and Bob Marley says “No woman no cry”
It is not rude to write your PM before he dissolves the National Assembly to ask that the law be used for the benefit of the people and thus ask him to table a resolution that we hold a referendum, in time for elections on March 7, 2012. In his interview on Love FM he said if he is re-elected he would do it then once it passes cabinet… hmmm just my point it could have been done and monies and resources saved. .. but I guess as he said on Love FM “ I was never in favor of their trying to manipulate it so that it would fall on election day.”
I view it contrary, that nay government would want an early mandate on this issue and given the economic crisis would have wanted not to have to pay for a separate and distinct election process for an issues that could have been lumped on the same day… it’s like the rational for holding both elections that very same day. He said On January 31, 2012: “two elections are going to be far more costly than one….we have to bear in mind the question of cost and so I certainly thought that doing the general and municipal in one would assist us to cut down the cost”. Readers can reason this for themselves.
Keeping to that same philosophy Oceana relied on the very amendment of the Referendum Act, which the PM so proudly takes credit for to suggest yet a proper and legal window of opportunity to get the referendum on the ballot and thus saves tax-payers money.
Under the Referendum Act it states: Sec. 2(1) subject to the provisions of this Act, a referendum shall be held in any of the following circumstances:– (a)where the National Assembly passes a resolution declaring that a certain issues or matter is of sufficient national importance that it should be submitted to the electors for their view through a referendum…”
I love my Reef
However, let’s not lose sight of what the issues it’s all about – surely I am not larger than the issue and neither is the PM. The matter of offshore oil is of such importance that we cannot allow the usual political footballing with it. This is an industry if not properly placed in check will bring more damage than good and not even in a way that will ensure the individual upliftment of our people.
I propose that if we cannot even control and monitor the onshore oil exploration properly how we can even start looking offshore. Let’s be practical… why not do the onshore exploration and exhaust that before we even look offshore, should we ever decide to go that way centuries from now.
Case in point is the big announcement that Treaty made about finding oil in Southern Belize – they sent out a press release and put it on their website and wow their shares went out. But when inquiries were made the government, even the PM said it was bogus. Yep and Andre Cho in an interview with Seven news said “The government’s official position is that that is not true. We inspected the well on Monday 30th of January. Treaty drilled into this limestone on Friday, and they immediately put out a press release that it is commercial. Common sense tells you that something is wrong there. They had informed us and we went down and inspected the well. We looked at the rock cuttings that they say have oil.”
The point here is that we have not heard anything about sanctions against them for this irresponsible act, no reprimand, nor no stop order, fines or some form of punishment to dissuade them form ever trying this stunt again. I am informed that as a result of this announcement their stock went form 3.5 cents to 11 cents… and I assure you some people made millions as a result… and yes – none of that yet comes to Belize because they are merely at the exploration point.
Belizeans should not take this a light casual matter – because now internationally it makes us look like a banana republic – where anything goes and it goes unpunished. Let’s not forget that Treaty is exploring under a Princess onshore concession and so should not have by-passed the major concessionaire. One these seemingly little things are left unchecked it sets the low standards under which the might oil companies will use as the threshold form which they operate.
In the case of offshore – ponder it… do you love your reef enough to take stand for it and against the oil companies the leaders that facilitate them?
Share the love… it is a wonderful feeling – to my haters, critics, opponents and detractors be assured I still love you… it takes too much to hate and I just got to put all my energy in ensuring NO offshore drilling. I appreciate all of you… with your biases and nuisance and agendas and issues and problems, and humanness, rage, anger, imperfections – after all none of us are perfect …..one love!
- GG Tells OCEANA No-Go On Referendum Enquiry (cayobuay.wordpress.com)
- WikiLeaks – Update On PetroCaribe (fiwebelize.com)
- Petition against Offshore Oil Exploration & Drilling in Belize (fiwebelize.com)