Amid the ongoing immigration and nationality scandal, the powers that be held a press conference on Thursday, 10th October 2013.
In my humble opinion, it brought to the fore, a level of: arrogance, haughtiness, self-righteousness, indignation and outright support of malfeasance as per the standing powers that be. I make no bones about it, I am a supporter of neither of the major political parties in Belize and my view, in no way, seeks to endorse the current Opposition. Nonetheless, as they say, “heavy is the head that wears the crown”.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am certain the party hacks of the current administration certainly will not agree with mine. On the same token their opposite number(s) in the Opposition probably won’t fully embrace my viewpoint either. Yet to be honest, after seeing successive PUDP administrations come and go and, in particular, witnessing the utter display of pompous self-indignation demonstrated by the actors at yesterday’s press conference, I am suffice in saying that once neither the PUP nor the UDP like what you have to say, it is a clear indication that you are on the right side of history, in terms of calling a spade, a spade.
With that said, I wish to categorically state that I found the entire press conference to be of very little worth. I don’t know about you, but as a concerned Belizean who is determined to see all who willingly contributed to the degradation of our Belizean identity, by prostituting our citizenship in such an unfettered fashion, the press conference proved nothing more than an exercise in political posturing coupled with an extremely weak attempt to further deceive the people of this nation. First things first, my immediate interest is not in what the Minister and his brain trust plans to do, now that the proverbial horse is already out of the gate. Needless to say, not only has the horse absconded, but it is apparent that the political will does not exist to conduct a transparent, forensic investigation into: (1) the evident perpetrator, (2) anyone of his cohorts/operatives nor (3) any additional illegal activities that may very well have been perpetrated within the Immigration and Nationality Department. Even prior to the press conference, the “leader” of government made it resoundingly clear, that in his opinion (both as an attorney as well as his substantive post), that a successful criminal case could not be brought against the main protagonist in this sordid saga. Irrespective of his personal opinion, given the deference afforded the Office of the PM, by virtue of stating such; it cast a prejudicial view on the substantive matter, at hand.
To this I simply say that, for the “leader” of a nation (albeit he is also the leader of his political party), to utter such self-serving words, is a complete and utter embarrassment. It highlights the fact that at the helm of our government, we do not have an individual who is either willing to or capable of separating the goal of maintaining control of the government, from doing what is inevitably right in terms of setting an example of good governance, for Belize. I make particular mention of this, for if the PM were to have taken the road less travelled and simply allowed for the recall mechanism to take its natural course, without rallying his political troops, it would have demonstrated that indeed he engenders leadership qualities that extend beyond that of a partisan agenda. I hold true this sentiment because once the recall mechanism is engaged and if the people of Cayo Northeast decided to recall the sitting Area Representative, the next step would involve a by-election, one in which the sitting administration would be obliged to field a new candidate. This is instructive, for by allowing the mechanism to run its course, without political interference, it would not have placed the current administration at a disadvantage. They inevitably would have had an equal opportunity, like any other entity, to contest a by-election.
The political decision to have their supporters “circle the wagons”, so to speak, is not only indicative but is also demonstrative of the petty, small-minded scope of those whom the electorate have chosen to govern this nation. Here, I must be judicious in saying that, although they are not the ones in the position of influence at this time…based on the political culture of the PUDP, I am left to presume that the sitting Opposition would inevitably have taken the same course of action. Let us be real people, the system of governance to which we adhere, fueled by a lack of conviction by our so-called “leaders” (and their minions) to do what is right for this nation, provides an overly abundant environment in which the manner of political dysfunction that we witnessed via the press conference, is allowed to persist. In other words, Belize remains in a stagnant quagmire in which the principles at yesterday’s gathering have the gall to sit at the head table and attempt to reassure us that they are taking adequate steps to ensure that such an occurrence can never again, resurface. To this I say “shame on you”. By now, hopefully, a majority of our people can realise that a promise is a comfort to a fool. The PUDP have demonstrated this on numerous occasions, especially during five year cycles.
So there it was, primarily the PM and the Minister of Immigration, were basically providing “assurances” that this will never happen again. Meanwhile neglecting to share any meaningful information as to what is being done in order to uncover and bring to justice not only the deservedly beleaguered Area Representative and former Minister of State, but also anyone else who was part of this elaborate scheme. Indeed, once reporters were afforded the opportunity to take part, they were made to at least acknowledge certain elements. But in my opinion, neither of the principal presenters at the press conference provided any indication that they are willing to do what needs to truly be done, in order to bring those who hustled our citizenship, to the full extent of the law. Instead it proved a round-robin of basically passing the buck involving the substantive matter. The option to defer what were primarily straightforward questions, to yet another authority, whether the: Minister of National Security, the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Commissioner of Police, was prevalent. I found this rather revealing, especially based on their disposition from the onset, in which virtually unbridled arrogance and contempt were the order of the day, when presenting their way forward. On more than one occasion both felt compelled to borrow from the playbook of one of their Cabinet colleagues and basically chastise those gathered by uttering phrases such as, “…you must understand how things work”, “…you must understand how we are governed”, etc… The condescending attitude exhibited by some of the presenters, although not unexpected, needless to say proved unpalatable.
I would be remiss not to mention the significance embodied by the Minister of Immigration, as it relates to the manner in which we are governed. This is important to highlight especially given a recent post on facebook, in which someone touched on what they seemingly perceived to be a misnomer concerning the use of the term PUDP, to describe the reality Belize’s political milieu. I make mention of this because the person stated, “The PUDP… What is that? The third parties are referring to it as both majority parties as being the same. Has it ever occurred to them that these two parties are following the BELIZE CONSTITUTION? Yes, to their convenience. Especially the ultimate lawyer who leads us all. It is hard for a third party to win an election in Belize. ‘Both’ parties would like that we remain fragmented like that once they keep their base. Do these third party leaders realize that the only way that can affect the BELIZE CONSTITUTION is to align themselves with one of the major parties after constant dialogue and discussion on their agenda??!! That way they could be elected to House of Representatives and influence changes on the standing orders , the CONSTITUTION and other laws. Just making noise out here will just strengthen especially the UDP to do what it wants and justify it regardless of what Belizeans say. WE will only be told to “Get Over It! “
To this I say, apart from the fact that he was not elected to the House, but is a member of Cabinet, the current Minister of Immigration, via a comparative analysis of his once fervent critique of government and its dealings compared to his current stance, in the capacity of a government insider, all but negates the rationale that aligning with either of the two, major political parties is the only means by which to effect the necessary change. If one were to be brutally honest, in relation to his past forays versus present disposition on critical issues, I believe there is no escaping the fact that, being a member of the proverbial “old boys club”, at least in this instance has resulted in an categorical difference. So to my fb friend, I submit that although not a clear-cut example of the existence of the PUDP, the mere change in this gentleman’s perspective and actions certainly gives credence to the fact that joining them, is not necessarily the only, nor even the best means by which to effect the changes necessary to move Belize progressively, forward.
Belizeans and true friends of Belize, what I witnessed on display at yesterday’s press conference was basically a political side-show, concocted with the expressed goal of conducting damage control. Honestly, I saw no effort by the principles to address the essential question concerning the investigation of activities attributed to the embattled Area Representative. Instead of seizing the moment and demonstrating a commitment to govern in an equitable fashion, yesterday’s show only served to reinforce the fact that our nation is devoid of true leadership. If anyone begs to differ, I draw your attention, once again, to the fact that instead of allowing the appropriate recall measure to take its natural course, the “leader” of this nation made a conscious decision to place political interests over the much-needed and almost non-existent practise of good governance.
Therefore to the people of Cayo Northeast, I humbly submit that each of you understand that you have before you, a golden opportunity to place a higher value on good governance, in Belize. The apparatus involved in the recall measure is where you can advance this concept, by setting aside your political leanings, whether ‘red’, ‘blue’ or ‘otherwise’ and place Belize first. Please, take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, whether the outright prostitution of our Belizean citizenship and the apparent lack of conviction by the powers that be, to ensure a full, unhindered investigation, is enough for you to exercise your franchise and make your Area Representative accountable, by recalling him. The PM talks of people being afforded “second chances”. Think for a moment and ask yourself if you truly believe that given his overt transgressions and attempts to cover them up, whether he deserves an endorsement to continue to represent you. Also please, closely consider the depth of your personal conviction. On this unique occasion when the power is squarely in your hands, and by virtue of your vote, you can make the powers that be, hear your voice…are you willing to relinquish it and allow he who has deceived you and placed a price tag on our Belizean patrimony, to continue with business as usual? In my humble opinion, you…we…Belize deserves better.
Please don’t get me wrong. This is by no stretch of the imagination, a plug for the Opposition; because the Lord knows I have equal concerns with them. This is first and foremost a call, by a fellow citizen who is concerned with the downward spiral of governance in this nation, who is asking for you to set aside any pre-existing allegiances and think solely of what your decision on this matter will yield for the future of our nation.
Kindly give this serious consideration.
- Dirty Scandal… No Action (fiwebelize.com)
- Belize Immigration Smuggling and Corruption (fiwebelize.com)
- Why South Korea, Taiwan and Belize can’t let this Big Man blow over like wah lee breeze (fiwebelize.com)