Belmopan party takes their campaign nationwide
Saying its time for a changing of the
guard and an end to flip flop elections with
the People's United Party and the United
Democratic Party appearingtobethe only
viable choices, Vision Inspired by the
People, the VIP, has launched their
national election strategy.
During a press conference atthe Belize
Institute of Management, BIM, on
January 17th in Belize City, VIP leaders
addressed the Belizean people via live
radio on KREM and LOVE FM and
fielded questions from the print and
television media on everything from
campaign financing to political reform.
Dressed in their signature yellow t-
shirts, the members introduced
representatives from all over Belize
including Max Sho ofPunta Gorda who
spoke in Maya to his people, "From
Corozal to Benque to Punta Gorda," and
Mateo Polanco who gave his address in
Spanish, aiming particularly to
communicate with immigrant groups in
Belize. Among those at the head table
were Patrick Rogers, who ran as in
independent candidate in Lake
Independence in Belize City in the 2003
General Election. Although he is leader
ofthe Commoners group, he says he is now
also fully aligned with VIP and preparedto
runin any divisionthey require his presence.
Chairman Paul Morgan and Public
Relations Officer Bobby Lopez say they
are also prepared to run, wherever they
can best serve. Both men are well known
to the communities surrounding
Belmopan, having done well in two
successive Belmopan City races. In the
municipal election of 2006, the VIP
garnered some 20% of the vote in the
Now the Party believes the time is right
to take their movement countrywide.
They say while they are preparing for
elections in 2008 if the General is called
earlier, they will respond and run with the
candidates they already have, even if it's
only five distributed over key
Morgan put out a call for volunteers to
help VIP give the PUP and the UDP a
run for their money: "We want all ofyou
listening outtherewhowouldliketo input,
even run, to contact us. We have not
finalized our entire slate of candidates. We
are looking for the best people out there.
can we be?
The real story behind the $565 Million bond issue
Cornelius Dueck National Reform Party
Our current administration and the Prime
Minister, AreaRepresentative ofourpeople,
and we, the Belizeans must rank among the
stupidest peoplein the World!
Why is this a fact? Why are we stupid?
Well, imagine you borrow $10,000 from a
friend and he is charging you 2% interest.
You are to pay him back over a 30-year
period, with monthly payments of only $37
You borrowed the money from your
friend to build a small business which will
certainly make you more money, overtime,
and you can easily afford the payments.
However, somehowyou didn'tinvestthe
getting ready, it turned out that itwas easy to
enjoy itwithnewfiiendsandtousethe funds
Meanwhile, you were paying the loan
Cornelius Dueck, Leader, National
back with the same money you were
supposed to invest.
At the tum of a few short years, you ran
outof money and endedup withnobusiness
that could produce revenues to pay the loan
and provide you and your family with a
Then, you went to another friend to
borrow more money in order to pay your
your new lifestyle. Pretendingto invest in a
more lucrative venture that would produce
yet more money, this time you borrowed
$20,000 at 6% interest, for 20 years. You
would pay off the first loan and keep the rest
(about $10,000) to invest.
be only $144 a month, you figured that it
forthefirstloan, andkeeptheffull $20,000to
invest. Now the payments are $37 for the
first loan, plus another $144 for the second
loan... Only $18 I/month... andnowyou
have $20,000 in your pocket. Butwait! All
the new friends you made with the money
from the first loan, now have plans for you
and have figured out what you should do
withthemoney from the secondloan... And
(Please Turn To Page 13) M '
Until we do put out our final slate, we are
still of the opinion that perhaps the best
(Please Turn To Page 13) E -
Inside this Issue
An Act of God
City deserves its
Paul Morgan, Chairman VIP (photo William Ysaguirre)
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2
Leave Belize alone
Leave Belize alone
protection); safety and security (police and
This way, conuption will be starved, per-
haps not completely to death, but at least to
some reasonable extent The savings achieved
by cutting the national government to these
basic functions will be passed down to Dis-
trict Councils, Towns, and Villages for local
folks to administerwithout the interference
from national government.
Maybe that's a little too extreme, but it
would be a refreshing change. Iremain op-
timistic about the future ofBelize. Despite
the disappointing performance of ourpoliti-
cal leaders, the people of Belize, forthe most
part, take things as they come with a good
sense of humor and continue on in their daily
struggletoputfoodontheirtables and make
ends meet. Belizeans are by no means
workaholics, so we'll never be able to com-
pete with China and India, where the politi-
cal situation, population levels and competi-
tion to survive drive masses of people to toil
under harsh conditions down to the very
Belize shouldn't striveto compete against
these nations. We need to accept who we
are, what we have, and set an example for
the world that there is enough for everyone
to go around so long as we set limits on the
greediest few and feed the hungriest poor. I
knowthat smacks of socialism, butl prefer
to think ofit as capitalism tempered by a so-
cial conscience. Tome, thatisthetrue role of
government not to stifle nor direct free en-
terprise, butto standwatchfully aside, forthe
most part, and skim off the profits generated
by the economic engine only in a sufficient
amount to take care of some basic public
goods and compensate for public costs of
private production that the free enterprise
system is not particularly suited to address.
It is a delicate and difficult balance to
achieve, but if ever there were an environ-
ment where it might be achieved, Belize is
for its small size and has avery manageable
population and geography.
Signed: M arioLara
Sometimes a do-nothing government is
the best government. I would vote for a
third party that pledges to do nothing.
Seriously, the manifesto of an ideal third
party forBelize shouldread as follows: Our
solemn pledge, should you vote us into of-
fice, isto do nothing forthe next fiveyears.
We won't tax you, we won't hire you, we
won'tpursue any fanciful schemesto achieve
faster economic growth.
We will leavethe economic development
ofBelize in the hands ofentrepreneurs and
the business community, and we won't in-
terfereby puttingup impossible hurdles and
offering certain individuals and entities that
qualify an exemption from those hurdles.
Every industryinBelizeisanational priority
industry. Ifyouinsistwe do homework, we
pledge tocarry out only theverybasic func-
tions ofgovemmentlimited to thefollowing
areas: public education (up to high school);
public health (primary and emergency care
facilities only); public infrastructure and envi-
ronment (roads, bridges, and environmental
FEBRUARY 10 & 11, 2007
ALONG THE SIDEWALK IN
ALL ARTISTS 11WELCOMIE.
PHONE 523-32,94 OR 523-3137
1"' Aimual Sidewalk Arts Feslival
P.O. Box 2666
BcIi/c (Cil. Beli/e
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Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3
Vision Inspired by the People, VIP
Statement by Paul Morgan, Chairman
January 17, 2007 Belize Institute of
Management, Belize City
Ladies and gentlemen ofthe press, special
guests and Belizeans listening to us across
ourbeautiful jewel and abroad, on behalf of
the Vision Inspired by the People and with
deepest sincerity I say to you this morning
Thankyou foryour attention.
OH Belize, there is so much we would
like to share with you today, but in thispress
conference, time is of the essence. So, it is
strength that I now, with the permission of
my team, share with you, the reason whymy
party has embarked onthispolitical campaign.
Iam also assignedtotellyouaboutthe qualities
ofthis, ourpolitical directionthatmakesitthe
only viable option for our national prosperity
atthiscriticaltimeinourhistory. Andfinally, I
will initiate discussion with you, focusing on
what we as a people can do together to
escape this terrible forecast that stares our
unborn generations directly inthewomb.
Brothers and sisters, there was atimein
our nation's humble past, when most
Belizeans had a generally positive outlook,
was not so long ago! Today, only 25 years
after independence, that positive outlook
which allowed us to be a happy people has
all but totally disappeared, leaving us the
majority, God loving Belizeans, broken in
Yes, we know when we are broken
because we are an intelligent people. And
deep in our sub-conscious minds, each ofus
know exactly what plagues us. We know
untold, miss-education, poverty, crime and
disease subdueusundera solid choke hold".
And ohwhat painful choke this one is.
Some of us blame it on "Political
Victimization"; where ourpoliticians have
caused suffering on ordinary citizensjust
because oftheirdifferingpolitical preferences.
Some say it is because of "Political
Patronage"; where once again, ourpoliticians,
give to a few citizens more of our nation's
resources than they deserve or even need.
But we have of late observed with total
admiration forthe wisdom of the Belizean
people, thatthe problem has been skillfully
also observed, with heightened alert, that our
mainstream politicians have been skillfully
hammering into our heads, howthey would
like us to define CORRUPTION. And you
knowwhat; they have been able to convince
some of our brethren that corruption is all
Butifyoulookin any common dictionary,
youwill findthattheterm conuptionliterally
means "to destroy". Corruptioninpolitics
brothers and sisters, speaks tothe destruction
ofourpolitical systembytheabuse ofpolitical
power. It is a behavior that opposes and
disregards basic morality which is based on
God's laws. Corruption opposes tradition,
law and civic order. Ohyes! Belizeansare
indeed wise whenthey say that ourproblem
is political corruption. It is only when we
empowered to evaluate the differences
among politicians who come knocking on
our doors, seeking ourvote.
Now ifyoulookback at our 25 years of
independenceyouwill findthattwo and only
twopolitical parties have ever administrated
our national interests. It is not our aim to
negate the good things that these
administrations have accomplished. But
hindsight now allows our nation to see the
net effect ofthesetworegimes on ourpresent
conditions and on our future. Andwhatwe
undeniably see is an overall failure; both
regimes being equally responsible. This is
switched regimes at almost every chancewe
Please allow me nowtobring this all into
perspectiveby chronicling ourvotinghistory,
and then together we will see how we as a
people, arrived at this corrupt/destroyed
In 1984, only three years after achieving
independence, thebluemachinewas kicked
out of office for the offence of PRIDE; for
disrespecting the base roots that brought itto
power. The red machine was by default,
thrustintopower. Butonly 5 yearsthereafter,
in 1989 the red was booted out for adopting
blue pride and for initiating its own trick;
ARROGANCE; refusal to be checked or
held accountable. And soby default Belize
once again turned to the blue regime hoping
that its favorite party had learnt a lesson.
adopted their twin's arrogance and
introduced its own new scourge called
contracts. So once again in 1993, elections
were called andthe people swung decisively
theirrod of correctionbut again hadno other
option but red. And was the red machine
reformed? No! The cormption escalated into
INSENSITIVITY which did set the
environment for that Great Christmas
Retrenchment. To no surprise, that red
machine was once againbooted outin 1998,
making way forthe dreaded blue machine.
and simply leftthat regime in place, hoping
fortheir change of conscience. Andwe all
now knowthe result ofthat gamble.
Well, such is the endeavor and faith ofthis
humble but determined VIP team. Let usbe
clear on the VIP's mission. This party shall
not setup another color oligarchy in Belize.
Ourmissionisto rebuild the integrity of our
government and return control to the rightful
owners, the people. In the new social order
there shall be room and a positive role for all
Belizeans; PUP, UDP or VIP, Catholic,
Protestant or Muslim, Asian, African or
Our leadership understands this mission
well. Though we are a party, we aim to
reducethe dominance ofpolitical parties over
our governance, thereby arresting the real
source of corruption. This will take much
Inspired by the people is able, willing and
ready to answerthis call.
I say to you my fellowBelizeans, though
at thistime we see little hope ofus getting out
of this terrible political mess, obey your
conscience and like Moses in the desert,
"strike the rock, and water shall come out of
itthat the people may drink". After all, we
are the ones who make the final decision as
to whether we continue this old, red-blue
sea-saw politics or we move in a new,
positive direction. What sayyoumybrothers
and sisters? Willyoulanguishinthismessfor
(Please Turn To Page 15) lE "
Announcing our new internet host:
For an online version of the
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4
By: Trevor Vernon
tobe waitingfor the
Election as if
somehow its going
everything, get us
out of the mess we
are in. But Belize doesn't need free & fair
elections; what weneed is an act of God!
Nothing less, it seems, can dismantle the
mafia running this country and derail the
D6 tractor-like political duo in
Despite the rumblings in certain
quarters, I don't think the Carter Center,
the International Federation of Electoral
Systems (IFES) or the Organization of
American States (OAS/OEA) can help us.
All their hands are tied too. They can only
monitor elections in democratic countries
and ours stopped being a democracy ages
ago. Our political drama is but a farce, the
players manic-depressive leaders who
alternate between a frenzy of activity and
total stupor, bi-partisan and bi-polar at the
Sometimes it seems our national leaders
are leading some other nation, so steeped
are they in sophist traditions or driven by
phallic Middle Eastern politics that they
don't see how far removed they are from
But Mr. PM, Belize's Middle East
conflict is being played out between the
gangs and drug dealers, our Gaza strip,
ourborderwith Guatemala. You seem to
forget ourboundaries were surveyed and
authenticated, with time honored
technology, by giants among us and
before us: Messrs. Gibson, Waight,
Fairweather, Longsworth, Flowers, et. al.
This area is not any damn buffer zone or
adjacency zone. Yourpartnerin the D6's
drag acquiesces to your creative
conundrums because we know he is fully
briefed and has finger-picked
representation at all levels of this charade.
His excuse is "the British made me do it."
Why isn'tthere any true representation
in the Guatemalan negotiations of the
people who settled that Eurocentric
political line long before Columbus learned
to sail? Why is there no Maya
representation in those negotiations, Sir?
Are you are now a Rios Montt convert,
too? With a handful of exceptions it seems
our Maya leaders have all been silenced
like Julian Cho. Those hyphenated Maya
who were part of the failed negotiations
would rather identify with their European
bloodline, however imaginary. "My
ancestors came from Spain... Greece..."
Did they now? Or was it Italy? Hard to
keep the story straight.
Meso-America is such anotherjumble.
Almost as messed up as the Meso-
American reef, formerly the BelizeBarrier
Reef Now we hear no less than 60
trawlers from foreign lands are raping our
southern waters and that's perfectly okay
with both D6 drivers. Drag those nets,
drag those chains, and pull up some stray
way shrimp and some more tax money
from the poor while you can...
Is this how we treat our Barrier Reef,
our gift from God to the people of this
land? What will be left of it when the
commercial fishermen, driven from
Honduras and Guatemala, get through
with it andthe cruise ship visitors' break it
all off as they stroll along?
Belizeans are fed up but seemingly can
do nothing to stop the chain gang, hold
back the tidal wave of excessive taxes,
the sneaking in of new unpublicized laws
over religious 'holidaze', confiscation of
private property for public purpose, the
misrepresentation of the wishes of the
people ofBelize internationally, and heavy
handed intimidation tactics locally.
But perhaps God has not forsaken us
entirely. Perhaps he is whispering in our
ears, if we would just shut up and listen. I
was fortunate this week to have been at
the leading Third Party's launch of their
campaign. The VIP Party laid out its
positions as it relates to the local issues.
They are on record and for the first time I
was reading a de facto political manifesto
that wasn't the euphemistic "sweet
(Please Turn To Page 15) el"
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5
Karla Heusner Vernon
First the ship Farley Mowat gets
stripped of its Belize registry as it attempts
to stop Japanese whaling; now Belize City
Mayor Moya has her own blockade
By the leadership of her own political
party no less.
Ijust don't get it, isn't it time the Belize
City Council took some serious action to
try and get some of the revenue generated
by cruise ship visitors? Doesn't the City
take the brunt of the wear and tear from
the buses and supposedly get the benefits
of trickle-down tourism?
Taking the wind out of her sails might
have seemed to be good sportsmanship
in terms of keeping relations with GOB
and the BTB cordial. Promises to
introduce legislation in the House to more
equitably share the pie might sound
promising. But they might also be pie in
the sky. Something that never happens,
orifit does, is blocked by the ruling party.
I do believe City residents would have
supported a street blockade to stop the
buses; I think everyone is fed up enough
with thepotholes, ifnothing else. Yes, some
taxi drivers and others would have lost a
day's sales, but they indicated they were
willing to make the sacrifice if it meant
more money for their town down the line.
Perhaps its time for a little drama, even
confrontation, in this town. How much
abuse does local government have to take
from central government? From private
developers and investors who make their
profits on the back of our municipalities
and put almost nothing back into them.
The cruise lines are all complaining how
terrible Belize City is, yet they continueto
profit terribly from kickbacks on their own
head tax. Someone needs to kick them in
the head. Or at least the shins.
The Belize Tourism Industry
Association, BTIA has tried. Their
application for judicial review of the
contract which allows $4 of tax to go back
to the cruise company and ports is
languishing in the court system with almost
no hope of it getting a hearing. And what
if they do get it? Will thejudgment bejust
like that of the Print Belize contract?
"Sorry, it is wrong, but it would adversely
affect government business to change it
now?" Come on.....
The municipal mayor and her council
have tried, over and over, to negotiate a
better deal by appealing to common sense,
civic pride as well as social obligation and
justice. Butit seems these values are foreign
concepts to our national leaders and the
foreigners whobringtheir ships here.
Thus anillegal contractcontinues to cause
hardship for members of the industry and
the destination itself, and there seems to
be nothing anyone can do about it.
In the meantime new projects at Stake
Bank and the Carnival terminal on the
Southside seem poised to commence,
which only means one thing: millions more
dollars per year diverted away from a
country its own politicians describe as
"poor" when they are soliciting
development funds abroad, trying to stop
environmentalists from stopping pork
belly projects and self enrichment schemes
for members of government.
While the British Prime Minister Tony
Blair invites regional leaders to a
Caribbean Investment conference and tells
them tourism is the region's best bet for
development, Belize's leaders just
continue placing their bets. Regarding
cruise ships as little more than floating
casinos, making offlike one armed bandits
every time a ship docks on our shores.
Logwood and mahogany are no longer
extracted in the Bay, but the head
hunters sure know how to extract
As one maj or player told a maj or US
newspaper, cruise tourism in Belize is like
a gold rush and who no ready fi cash in,
wen just lose. When the Mayor ofBelize
City cannot even get the support of her
own party as she tries to support her
municipality, it makes you wonder just
who's been panning for gold behind her
back. And who is the latest player to hit
the mother lode.
Conversations for the way
Patrimony and justice
La Ruta Humana
You are Welcome
The Liberty Hall #86 Barrack Road
@ 2:00 p.m, Sunday January 21st., 2007
Patrimony and Justice are the Pillars which holds i
a Society together in Harmony
Place an ad in the
"Belize's leaders just continue placing
their bets. Regarding cruise ships as little
more than floating casinos, making off
like one armed bandits every time a ship
docks on our shores." I
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 9
30 ears of Destructive Education
The manner of selecting school books
and the frequent changes of required
books has resulted in excessive costs
putting the cost of education beyond the
ability of the poorer families and straining
the purses of others.
Although Belizeans have been aware
of this situation for the past 30 years, for
some reason there has been no solution
The most serious effects on the students
who would wish to attend high school; it
persists from the first thruforth forms. The
costs of textbooks books is often the
greatest single expenses for students and
their families. It is so exorbitant it prohibits
many hundreds of children from obtaining
an adequate education and imposes great
economic hardship on others.
Most of Belize's children from
disadvantaged families who have been
able to obtain the limited assistance
available from charitable sources have
excelled in school, and a number have
become valedictorians of their classes.
But their struggle is great and we can
only wonder at the others who did not get
help and had to drop out, perhaps before
they even enrolled. Belize is losing the
potential of some ofthe finest young minds
in the country. Minds that could
productively assist in the future
development of the nation.
We say, over and over, that Belize's
greatest asset is our children. It is
necessary that they be fully educated and
become employable or this asset is lost.
The major problem results from the
failure to standardize the required books.
Different schools require differentbooks,
even though they are all teaching the same
subjects. The required texts are also
frequently changed. So much so that
sometimes a text book is good for only
one semester and a new or different text
or edition is required for the next. The
student having purchased abookthatwas
usable for only one semester cannot trade
or otherwise profitably dispose of it.
Education has basically been left to the
churches, which is exactly what they want
for the classes provide them with the
opportunity to teach their religion.
Unfortunately, in attempting to do so, some
of them contribute to other social
The Belize Council of Churches has had
conferences on issues respecting crime
increase and corruption. Those who
attended apparently did not realize the
obvious, which is, that their church is part
of the problem. Without an adequate
education a child may not be employable
in an occupation where he or she can
obtain the necessities of life. As he or she
grows older, the young person will notjust
sit around and starve. He or she will seek
those necessities-and luxury goods-
elsewhere. Such actions might involved
thefts, burglaries, robberies, or otherillegal
activities such as the selling of narcotics,
The amazing aspect of the book
problem is that the President of the Belize
Council of Churches, the Reverend
Canon Flowers, has brought the school
book problem and its severity to the
attention of both the public and the
churches. There has been no meaningful
response. His efforts have either fallen on
deaf ears, or there are those who profit
from the problem and do not want to see
it done away with. To so profit at the
expense of the children and to the
detriment of the country ofBelize, though
not criminal, isimmoral and form ofgreed
that has disastrous results.
Why are the ears so deaf? Is it because
the different denominations each feel that
they are superior to the others and insist
on their own decisions as to books and
will not adjust to the will of others? Is it
lack of concern? Or just plain ignorance
of the problems that have been created?
There are many serious problems
resulting from the failure to standardize.
Aside from the excessive costs, is the
frequent lack of availability.
If the text books were standardized
throughout the school system there
would be more of the chosen books
printed. This would drive down price
due to the increased volume. These
books could be utilized for years to
come without reprint or replacement.
They could also be owned by the
schools and rented to the children at a
nominal fee or used on a contract basis.
Or, if the students had to own the books
they could resell them to a student of
the next class at the end of the semester,
as the books would still be valid
There is no advantage to the present
situation- it is entirely detrimental.
The current costs of books is so high
poorer families simply cannot afford
them. When annual tests are given
countrywide it is difficult to propound
questions and answers that are
absolutely fair to all as students taking
the tests. Some students have been
subj ect to different approaches to the
issues for they have been taught from
different books that approach the
subject in a different manner.
The failure to standardize and retain
also increases the burden on teachers
and can hamper their effectiveness.
Continually changing texts for a subject
requires constant refreshing and
changes in approach.
Mothers are also the victims of the
failure to standardize. Many have to
come to Belize City from as far away
as Cayo, and Toledo in
an attempt to obtain the
.required books for
their children. Often the
women have to shop in
'-' three or four different
obtain all the books.
There are times when
all of the books cannot
be purchased, as they
are not available.
Students who cannot obtain books,
whether it is from lack of funds or that
the books are unavailable, are on
occasion precluded from taking the class.
On one occasion young student was sent
to the Principals office for discipline as she
had not completed her homework. She
explained to the Principal that she could
not complete the work as she did not
understand some of the words as she did
not have a dictionary. The discipline was
that she was sent home with instructions
not to return to school until she had
acquired a dictionary! Unfortunately her
family did not have the funds for such a
Another frequent complaint is that
students are sometimes required to spend
a considerable sum for a book that is
never used in the course studies. Is this
away of getting rid of excessive or out
dated books? Or are teachers simply
unable to keep up with the amount of
Three years ago the Bishop of Los
Angeles, confirmed the apparent fact
that a primary reason people are on
earth is to help each other. If the people
have such an obligation, then it follows
that the Churches have a greater obligation
to help God's poor children. It is difficult
to believe that some of the matters that
have transpired in Belize's education
system occur in the name of Christianity.
Other countries have advanced their
level ofeducationby standardizing books.
They have improved their children's
education and reduced the book costs to
where they are loaned free to students who
return the books at the end of each
semester. Why hasn't Belize, after 30
years of the same problem, standardized
books? Is it a church or political decision?
Is there a profit in what is being done
that leads to greed?
The political parties both appear to
ignore the fact that the poor are being
denied an adequate education. Not all
politicians are tarred by the same brush.
There are some who have helped
education. The Honorable Mike Espat is
one that the country can be proud of. He
helped tousherin solar lighting forvillages
that were without electricity, increasing the
opportunity for home study. He has
provided computers to villages to provide
a means of study where students had to
be bused back to their village at such an
early hour that they could not engage in
computer practice at school.
If the Honorable Mike Espat can help
educate the poor, why can't the other
ministers join in and remove the
problems? The correction of the problem
is crucial to a country where 30% of the
population lives below the poverty level.
Leaders of all political persuasions, at both
the national and local level, should get
together and resolve the problem. If they
do nothing, it should indicate to the
electors they have no leadership skills and
should be removed from office.
Ifthere is some impediment to lowering
the cost of school books such an
impediment should be removed
Action, not promises and posturing is
what is needed, now not later. The
educational future of our children is at risk,
our greatest asset being lost. Stop the
greed before it impoverishes us all.
or want to
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bedroomed, H&C water, AC
apartment in Ladyville.
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Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7
i s i h
By Meb Cutlack
There is no doubt at all that the Belize
City Council, and the city itself, needs
and deserves a share of the cruise ship
passenger revenue. The city is expected
to bear the burden of thousands of visitors
every week and does not have the funds
to improve the city's image or even to
keep abreast of maintenance needs.
The crux ofthe problem is that although
there is Ahead tax of $7 per visitor (which
incidentally is the lowest in the region)
more than halfofwhich goes straight back
to Carnival Cruise ships-because of an
arrangement made when they bought the
tourism village from Mr. Feinstein. This
was not envisaged when the original deal
was made because 'Belize' as a whole
was supposed to benefit, not the cruise
This money, by the Feinstein deal, has
been hijacked from Belize and the city.
The City council, due to politics and
personality clashes, is not given enough
funds to even keep the city clean.
Again and again it is the same story of
the Government selling out to it's cronies
and denyingthe citizens ofBelize any share
ofthe spoils oftheir exploitation ofBelizean
Now, when the Government cries that
it will hurt Belize City dwellers if the
A third of
January 15, 2007
Alvaro Colom is the most popular
contender in the early stages of
Guatemala's presidential race, according
to a poll by Borge y Asociados published
in El Peri6dico. 34.6 per cent of
respondents would support the leftist
National Union ofHope (UNE) member
in this year's election.
Otto Perez Molina of the Patriot Party
(PP) is second with 15.6 per cent.
Support is lower for Fritz Garcia Gallont
of the Unionist Party (PU), Luis Flores
Asturias of the National Advancement
Party (PAN), former head of state Efrain
Rios Montt ofthe Guatemalan Republican
Front (FRG), Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Rigoberta Mench6i, and Francisco
Arredondo of the GrandNational Alliance
SU \ Ie b 1 I recourse than to call on the residents of
this city to join us as we undertake
whatever actions we must undertake to
was to pay off a three million dollar loan. pressure the government into releasing
They have paid that off from lastyear, so those funds. We will not refrain from
Council undertakes a protest and blocks what gives them the right to dictate how taking any action that is necessary to
the streets, what they are really saying is much money this elected body should secure these funds for the city of
thatitwill hurttheir special relationship with receive? They have received other money Belize."
their favourites. Almostwithout exception clearly fromthe cruisetourism industry and She added: "We have authority to
most Belizean will support a' strike' if it from other areas. We know as it pertains do certain things in our power to show
brings finance and better days to the city. to the hotel tax, they received over nine this government that we are serious
about getting that US$1. Rest assured,
the repercussions that may be had from
iz m y a the F i eo ing des ha such an uprising may leave the central
n h l and n g t e he h government hoping that they had in fact
given this UDP Belize City Council that
Cit y c o l d e te ps aled pafrseon lity measlyUS$1."
Aclashies is Cnnelt givenu M r ta ds toU.n And: "We will ask the residents of
Belize City to note that there may be
kfeelt p] ra fm t g an ct ct some inconveniences .......... that for
them to be aware and to acknowledge
that Everything and anything that will
The real question is not about giving million dollars in 2005 and in other tour be done, is being done on their behalf
Belize City $1 towards the expense of guide operating licences and in other to secure a US$1 Of US$7 head tax."
thousands ofvisitors traipsing through the another onemillion dollars. So we are From a legal point ofview the Mayor
town and littering and needing toilets etc., showing you how easily the has every right to take any action she
it is about the dollars which go back to govemrnment-inthecaseoftheBTBthey pleases right down to blocking the
the cruise ship line. have already paid for the commitment streets and therefore not allowing the
According to Channel 5 Mayor that they said this U. S. one dollar and buses to pickup the cruise ship visitors.
Zenaida Moya said: "This Belize City sixty cents was earmarked for. I need She could also, no doubt, go directly
Council is an elected body. We do not to state categorically that we will not at the core of the problem, pass a local
feel that we should be receiving a portion refrain from taking any action that is council act, and simply announce that as
of what the BTB feels they should give necessary to secure these funds for the from a certain date all cruise ship visitors
us. We already informed that the whole City ofBelize." entering Belize City must pay a head tax
reason they got aU.S. one dollar and sixty She told channel 7 viewers: "The of $1 to the council. She can do these
cents in the first place for 2005 onwards Belize City Council has no other things, butwill she?
Guatemalans would back Colom
GANA candidate Oscar Berger won
the 2003 presidential election in a run-off,
defeating Colom with 54.13 per cent of
all cast ballots. Berger is constitutionally
barred from seeking a new term in office.
On Jan. 4, Giammatei-the director of
Guatemala 's prison system-was
announced as GANA's presidential
nominee. Giammatei vowed to enact
tougher regulations to deal with crime,
declaring," Guatemalais caughtin battle
between the good and the bad, and we
need to generate leadership to ensure that
the good people participate because there
are more of us."
The presidential election is tentatively
scheduled for Sept. 9. If no candidate
gamers more than 50 per cent of all cast
ballots, a run-offwould take place onNov.
Who would you vote for in the
Alvaro Colom (UNE)
Otto Perez Molina (PP)
Fritz Garcia Gallont (PU)
Luis Flores Asturias (PAN)
EfrainRiosMontt (FGR) 1.8%
FranciscoArredondo (GANA) 1.1%
Harold Caballeros 0.7%
Nineth Montenegro (EPG) 0.5%
Alejandro Giammatei 0.2%
Source: Borge y Asociados / El
P e r i 6 d i c o
Methodology: Interviews to 1,008
Guatemalan adults, conducted from
Dec. 26, 2006, to Jan. 7, 2007.
Margin of error is 3.1 per cent
T ropical I x I'
Opening Hours ,
Monday Saturday 6 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Sunday & Holidays 7 a.m. 7:30 pm.
Breakfast Lunch and Diner
Mile 31 1A
BELIZE, Central America
Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
or want to
Email us at
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8
Of course 'global warming'
l But..the storm
which has swept the
USA is looking like
a lot of the other
afflicting the world. Storm Highlights
Ice as thick as four inches in parts
California's citrus crop devastated
by cold weather
Death toll rises to 46 from Texas to
Missourians might not have power
until late Wednesday.
Oh well, carry on Mr.Bush! The
world is your toy!
Will Musa now slice oil prices?
The price of crude oil has plunged to
just over $50 a barrel more than 16
percent drop. And that is just since the
beginning of the year.
This drop should translate into a
reduction in oil prices for Belizeans of
up to 1.60 cents and therefore bring the
price for gas in Belize down to about
8.30 a gallon.
Will it happen? The last time oil
prices dropped Mr. Musa actually put
the price up!
Southern highway to be
Mon Jan 15, 1:58AM ET
GUATEMALA CITY- Guatemala's
president declined to read his state-of-
the nation speech to Congress, instead
sending a written version to lawmakers
after violent clashes erupted between
protesting teachers and police outside
the legislative building.
President Oscar Berger's action on
Sunday drew criticism from opposition
politicians including Guatemalan
Republican Front Rep. Aristides
Crespo, who called it "a lack of
"To say that he was not coming for
safety reasons only demonstrates that
they haven't been able to make the
country a secure place," Crespo said.
Hundreds of members of the nation's
teachers union and other labor groups
that oppose Berger's administration
came to blows with police outside the
Congress after the protesters tried to
break through a police cordon.
Four police and five demonstrators
were slightly injured in the clashes, in
which protesters hurled rocks and club-
wielding police fired rubber bullets.
The demonstrators wanted to reach
the Congress to denounce what they say
is Berger's failure to fulfill his promises.
In broadcast messages to the nation,
A local web page reports that, "The
last 9 miles of the Southern Highway
will be paved this year (the bids are being
prepared). It was held up due to a
dispute with the OPEC fund which was
"The Central American Development
Bank (CABI) will fund the building of a
link from Dump, on the Southern
Highway to Jalacte on the Guatemalan
border to complete Belize becoming a
part of the Pan-American Highway
system and to fulfill our agreements with
Plan Puebla and Mundo Maya."
Our information was that this project
was stopped In the first place by
$100,000 going missing!
A friend of the oil company informs
us:" .activists are playing games with
Belize's future economic prosperity by
the oil industry. This is happening from
all sides. It is unbelievable how much
was made out of a 3-5 GALLON oil
release recently. And of course no one
knows about the 600 gallon spill the
Mennonites released into the Belize river
that BNE cleaned up for them.
"Reading the World Watch bit -you
have Greg Choc writing about Dynamite
explosions (incorrect) and petroleum
exploration in very misleading terms.
"Responsibly conducted, oil
Berger outlined achievements including
economic growth, social programs forthe
poor and the recovery from the damages
caused in 2005 by Hurricane Stan.
Berger's term ends in January of next
year. Presidential elections to replace
him are scheduled for September.
exploration had the potential to create
thousands of jobs, and to provide
sufficient income to the country to
eliminate taxes on fuel, and pay for the
foreign debt. Yet very little activity is
actually taking place in Belize thanks to
the political grandstanding of politicians,
sensationalism of the press and
obstructionism of some regulatory
Belize reef endangered!
For years warmer waters off the
Australian coast have been destroying
coral reefs by 'bleaching'. Now is hitting
the Caribbean and
temperatures last year.
According to National Geographic
News, coral reefs in the Caribbean
experienced more heat stress in 2005
than the past 20 years combined.
Projects such as Ara Macao with
massive sand shift and pollution will
only add to the woes of Belize's
precious reef. The powers that be don't
care and just want the dollar in their hand
no matter how dirty that dollar is.
Belize National Reform Party
It's a long assessment by the NRP
about the "real"story behind the $565-
million bond the Government of Belize
They state: "For the first time, the
entire Offering Memorandum, only
available to "friendly" bond holders is
revealed to the world for analysis and
to discover the level of corruption
of the administration of Belize
Prime Minister Said W. Musa and
his "friends" in power.
Bear Stearns is the brains behind
this bond issue. If you are a
bondholder... watch out! Belize
will be again in default before the
elections in 2008. All Belize
creditors will be left holding the
For an online version of the
visit us at
IImmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmImImImImImImI I I II II II
&NatmuW Way Gw
4^e come To Nature's-ueas
Central'oCation Sea Front/ Ir:,
gga SI 23BZD DoSle 33
4 4il4$t8BZD- I
Man & Ch h Streets w
p, il75 yards to Guesthou
_ "- : .
refuses to read speech
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9
Caricom is once again the predicted failure in 2008 deadline!
By Ray Auxillou
There are still a lot ofPh.d's and other
academic intelligentsia in the different civil
services throughout the Caribbean island
countries, that envisage and struggle to
form a new nation out of distant isolated
small island governments. The old
arguments of"through group cooperation
we would be stronger" is quite true. But
it will never work with CARICOM and
any self educated fisherman can tell you
The maj or problem is distance, small
scattered markets and lack of
transportation. If these educated
gentlemen would take time to study the
many old Mediterranean civilizations of
antiquity, they perhaps might get a true feel
for the transportation and logistics
problems with their utopian dream.
Distance and small markets are the large
part of the CARICOM concept. The
CARICOM governments are nationalists.
The larger countries for instance, each
waste hundreds of millions of tax revenue
dollars year subsidizing their own airline,
in competition with other CARICOM
national airlines. We in Belize are a rim
state, on the periphery of the region with
two thousand miles of water to cross in
order to connect ourselves to other
Caribbean countries. From the viewpoint
of any Belizean civil servant, or business
person, the idea and expense of having to
dog leg over a thousand miles on each leg
to Miami, Florida and then back to the
Caribbean, just makes any idea of doing
business financially impractical.
If I could fly one way for $50 from
Belize, to Jamaica, or Cayman Islands, it
would be different. Integration is but a
pipe dream when you cannot fly direct at
cheaper rates. A Belizean, or a
Guyanese, would have to be able to fly
internally within CARICOM as easily as
he, or she, can fly within their own country,
without having to resort to entering third
party countries like the USA, or Cuba.
This current need is a serious security
violation for internal political cooperation.
What made the USA so vibrant a
country was partially the interstate freeway
system. But in CARICOM our only
available transportation routes are by
water, or through the air. I'm sure that if
all the money lost by CARICOM country
airlines attempting to be the chosen
subsidized air carrier couldbe put into one
serviceable airline, a common country
might be workable. This is unlikely, not
from practical considerations, but because
of politics, expense and greed. Each
nation wants to be the CARICOM
national airline. Barbados, Trinidad and
Jamaica are the heavy players in this
marriage of convenience. At the moment
it is unlikely they will stop competing with
each other for control of CARICOM or
a CARICOM future airline.
The CARICOM intellectuals are not
calculating on human psychology. What
looks good as a Federation on paper,
runs into a brick wall when you are up
against nationalistic aspiring politicians
who want to control everything.
Especially when any CARICOM
national airline would of necessity have
to be subsidized. Who would pay?
Currently the maj or players are losing
hundreds of millions of tax revenues on
existing competing airlines. Smaller
island countries do not have the numbers
of business and civil service traffic, or
the GDP to subsidize such a
CARICOM airline carrier. Connecting
through Miami is impractical financially,
if not politically, from a security point of
view, as is the current case. Before you
can talk about free movement of labor,
you have to have free movement-
connect the different island countries of
CARICOM by ONE airline. As a
fisherman, we would say you are standing
on the deck of your sailboat urinating
upwind from a practical sense.
My forecast is that the federated
idea of CARICOM will die it's slow
death once more, as it has often, over
the past forty or fifty years as Creole
Royalists in the larger Caribbean
countries of Jamaica, Trinidad and
Barbados try to float their dominance
intellectual concepts against the trade
wind. Like building a house, you must
have the foundation first well set.
Limited CARICOM connections as
we now have, particularly in the political
and international realms has something to
offer all countries whatever their size
though. Telecommunications is relatively
cheap and that continues to work. But a
larger country? No way Jose!
In the meantime in Belize here, new
roads are being paved and extended by
our Central American neighbors to the
West, South and North along the
Caribbean coast and Mexico to ourNorth
is still a dynamic trade partner. Trade with
Salvador and Guatemala is increasing
incrementally. With the end of civil wars
and the exit of Central American generals
into the organized Mafia criminal
organization games of our neighbors and
real peaceful governments working in
Guatemala and Salvador on infra-structure
and indigenous participation in politics, our
future lies with Central America. Not
Population demographics indicate that
Belize is steadily turning into a white and
Mestizo- Maya majority country. The
Creole ties to the Caribbean are becoming
weaker and weaker as our Creoles
migrate to the bright lights of other northem
Sir Ronald Sanders disagrees...
Mr Auxillou makes a number of
important points but none of them
would justify Belize abandoning
regional integration with the Caribbean
Community and Common Market
Belize 's future ought not to be a
choice between Central America or
the Caribbean Belize has an
important place in both groups.
Dealing first with his point about the
inadequacy of regional air and sea
transportation to cater for the
participating countries in the
Caribbean Single Market (CSM), he
is absolutely right.
Insufficient attention has been paid
to the vital importance of
transportation for the movement of
goods, services and people within all
of CARICOM. In particular, the
remoteness of Belize and the Bahamas
from the rest of the CARICOM
countries is especially problematical.
But, the absence of ships dedicated
to moving goods between
CARICOM countries is a problem
for all of them, and a constitutes a
considerable restraint on trade. There
is a vital need for a policy by
CARICOM governments that gives
incentives to a shipping industry in the
However, the inadequacy of
transportation did not stop Belize
from enjoying a positive balance of
trade with the rest of CARICOM of
US$3.11 million in 2003, and
US$10.8 million in 2004 (CARICOM
Secretariat figures). Indeed, apart
from Trinidad and Tobago, Belize
was the only CARICOM country to
enjoy a balance of trade surplus in
those two years with its other
One can therefore imagine how
much better Belize would have done,
in trade terms, if regional
transportation were better.
Belize also benefited from cross-
border financial services from within
CARICOM. Financial institutions,
particularly in Trinidad and Tobago,
made investments and loans to both
the Belize government and the
private sector amounting to millions
of dollars in the last ten years for
infrastructural and other
development. Holders of Belize
bonds came not only from Trinidad
and Tobago, but from several of the
smaller Eastern Caribbean
countries. These investments were
made precisely because Belize is a
member of CARICOM and
CARICOM investors were satisfied
that Belize plays by the same rules as
their country of origin.
Incidentally, even when Belize
floats bonds through US financial
institutions, a significant amount of the
paper is taken up by institutions in
CARICOM countries, again because
Belize is regarded as a partner
On the matter of the changing face
of the population. A similar
phenomenon is occurring in other
CARICOM countries, and of course
in Guyana, Surinam and Trinidad and
Tobago more than half the
populations are not what has been
described as creoless". Ethnicity has
never been a consideration in the
integration of CARICOM.
It should also be recalled that in
the fight for the protection of Belize
's territorial integrity, CARICOM
countries have been at Belize's side
at every international forum.
Further, in the cause of its sugar and
banana industries, CARICOM has
stood with Belize in challenges from
Central American and South
But, at the bottom line, nothing
prohibits Belize from developing
practical and beneficial co-
operation relationships with its
Central American neighbours while
maintaining its membership of
CARICOM. Indeed, in these days
where the interests of small
countries are shunted aside by
international agencies and bigger
countries, there is need for an
alliance of interests between Central
America and the Caribbean and
Belize is well placed to act as a
bridge between the two groups.
The Best Little
Zoo In The World
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10
Venezuelan plan shakes investors
- excerpts from The New York Times
CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 9 -
President Hugo Chavez ofVenezuela, has
threatened to nationalize the country's main
telephone and electricity companies.
Investors reacted with alarm here and
in markets in the United States and
throughout Latin America on Tuesday as
they measured the impact of the plan by
Mr. Chavez to nationalize crucial areas of
the economy. Memories of past
nationalizations during anotherturbulent
era, in places like Cuba and Chile, helped
drive down the Caracas stock exchange's
main index by almost 19 percent.
Markets across Latin America declined
Tuesday, but the drop was modest in most
other countries, with the Bovespa index
in Brazil and the Bolsa index of Mexico
each falling 1.9 percent. The measured
reaction appears to reflect the belief of
investors that Mr. Chavez, in spite of his
words, has limited influence on the
economic policies of other governments
"It has not turned into a widespread
contagion," said David Riedel, president
of the Riedel Research Group, who
follows emerging market stocks.
Compared with the 1990s, "you have
a more sophisticated base of investors that
understand that Mexico is different from
Still, investors sold shares inAmerican,
Argentine and Mexican companies
vulnerable to the move by Mr. Chavez to
take control over entities that had been
privatized by previous administrations.
Owners of Venezuelan steel, banking,
cement and hotel companies even the
cable car operator that takes tourists to
the top of the Avila mountain here -
could be affected by the push toward
nationalization, analysts said.
"Chavezis deepeninghis revolution, but
in doing so will he follow the law and
compensate the companies whose assets
will be nationalized?" said Miguel
Octavio, executive director of BBO
Servicios Financieros, a brokerage firm,
who calculated the costs of taking over
companies in the telecommunications,
electricity and oil industries, as well
assuming their debts, at more than $15
"It doesn't seem like the government
has thought this project out yet," Mr.
Octavio said. Tony Snow, aWhite House
spokesman, said on Tuesday,
"Nationalization has a long and inglorious
history of failure around the world. We
support the Venezuelan people
andthinkthis is an unhappy day forthem."
Mr. Chavez further intensified worries
with his request for vastly enhanced
presidential authority from his Congress.
If successful, those new powers would
Venezuelans President, Hugo ( i ,. :
allow him to decree measures into law for
one year, bypassing any debate in the
legislature, where in any case all 167
deputies are his supporters. On top ofthat,
he made a request to abolish the
autonomy of Venezuela's central bank.
The Venezuelan government did not
immediately contact the American
companies, which declined to discuss
"There are many ways in which the
Venezuelan government could proceed,"
said Peter Thonis, a spokesman for
Verizon. "Since they have not discussed
specific plans, it would be
premature for us to comment now."
In April, Verizon agreed to sell its
28.5 percent stake in Compafiia
An6nima Nacional Telefonos de
Venezuela, or CANTV, to America
M6vil and Telefonos de Mexico, for
$676 million; the deal has not closed,
so Verizon still owns the stake, and it
was unclear how much the Chavez
government would be willing to pay to
take control. Neither America M6vil or
Telefonos de Mexico would comment.
Since taking power eight years ago,
President Chavez has imposed stronger
political control over the state oil
company and has ordered the
government to exert greater authority
over several ventures with foreign oil
Stopping short of Mexico's
nationalization of foreign oil companies
in the 1930s, the Venezuelan
government has aimed to reach
partnership agreements with foreign oil
companies while raising its tax rates and
royalties on foreign oil companies.
At the very least President Chavez's
pledges Monday to nationalize
companies in the telecommunications
and electricity industries represented
another retreat of the trend toward more
private control of national economies
and free market policies that
swept Latin America in the
Mr. Chavez has led that
reversal, which has taken hold
to one extent or another in
Argentina and Ecuador, as well
"We have said for a while
that if you are operating a
domestic business in
Venezuela, you are chronically
at risk for something like this
happening," said Thierry A.
Wizman, a managing director
and global emerging market
strategist at Bear Stearns in
New York. "This is not the first
time he has changed the rules
for domestic businesses.
"Still, Mr. Wizman notes Mr. Chavez
cannot afford to seize assets brazenly
without compensating corporate
owners, because Venezuela owns
assets in the United States like Citgo,
the energy company, that could be
frozen by United States courts.
"He is unlikely to give a fair price,
but it won't be outright seizure without
compensation," Mr. Wizman said. "He
doesn't want to offend everybody
Not all investors are as sanguine, and
two American companies, Verizon and
the AES Corporation of Arlington, Va.,
suddenly face the potential of hundreds
of millions of dollars of losses. AES
declined to comment Tuesday.
The abrupt policy and market jolt in
Caracas came amid surging interest in
Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe
by investors around the world. Last
year, investors in the United States
poured $20.3 billion into emerging
market funds, up 47 percent from 2005
and accounting for 15
percent of all the money invested in
stock-based funds, according to AMG
Mr. Chavez's pronouncements
prompted expressions of awe and
surprise among many of his new cabinet
members at their swearing-in ceremony
on Monday, suggesting that even they
were taken aback. Mr. Chavez also
lectured Venezuela's clergy, which has
been critical of his plan to refuse a
broadcast license to an outspoken
television network. He recommended
that they read the works of Marx and
Lenin, as well as the Bible, "to learn
what socialism means."
Mr. Chavez has suddenly moved
forward with a revolution that seemed
to unfold in slow motion in previous
years. He pushed for socialist-inspired
economic policies like price controls to
slow inflation and the assembly of
alliances with Latin American nations
with leftist leaders that now include
Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
Since his re-election to the presidency
in December with a 23-point margin,
Mr. Chavez has quickly accelerated his
efforts to remake Venezuelan society.
He has dismissed moderate cabinet
ministers and his vice president. He also
has begun speaking of the need to reform
the nation's public schools to focus
more on socialist ideals, and of guiding
the Venezuelan consumer away from
"luxurious consumption" of imported
With 80 billion barrels of conventional
crude oil, or about 7 percent of the
world's reserves, Venezuela remains the
fourth-largest oil supplier of the United
States. Much ofMr. Chavez's ambitious
project to move Venezuela toward
socialism will depend on petroleum
revenue, with oil by far the country's
It was no small surprise that even as Mr.
Chavez announced his startling
assortment of economic policies this
week, his oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, was
calling on OPEC to hold a special meeting
to discuss falling oil prices. On Tuesday,
oil traded near an 18-month low at $55.64
a barrel in New York, down nearly 9
percent since the start of the year.
Simon Romero reported from
Caracas, Venezuela, and Clifford
Krauss reported from Houston. Vikas
Bajaj, in New York, and
Elisabeth Malkin, in Mexico City.
For an online version of the
visit us at
II II II II II II II II II II I
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11
_______ 3rd&r 4th, 2007
and ,nnm !l
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service you want to sell?
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o Mile 5 Western Hwy, Belize City
Time: 9am 5pm
Marine products & services Companies offering charters for
Outboard engines snorkeling, fishing, sailing
Inboard engines Intro to scuba diving
Fishing supplies Safety equipment
Boat Manufacturers New and used boats for sale
BIRDS THE WORD! THE JABIRU STORK
- by Sharon Matola, Director of the Belize Zoo and
Dr. Gil Boese, Foundation for Wildlife Conservation
The maj esticj abim stork!! We all know thej abim, and love that the tallest flying
bird in all of the Americas calls Belize its home. But are we aware of the current
profile of our resident jabirus?
Methodical population surveys, carried out by OmarFigueroa, who is currently
at the University of Florida, and known in Belize as one of the foremost authorities
onj abiru stork ecology, have shown that no more than 200 jabiru storks remain
in our country!
At one time, our jabirus would nest here, and then fly off to Mexico, spending
their summers lazing about in wetlands. But a large amount oftheir favourite Mexican
wetlands habitat has been altered, and as a result, ourj abiru storks are now year
'round Belize residents.
A major development project has impacted greatly upon our jabiru stork
populations: FreshCatch Belize, Ltd., a thriving tilapia farm located offthe coastal
road in the Belize District. And what a unique situation!! For we humans, FreshCatch
Belize, Ltd, under the direction of Mr. Joe Mena, provides tilapia for both the local
and foreign markets. Farm-reared tilapia is noted as being an "eco-friendly" fish to
eat, and is a popular item on many restaurant menus, here in Belize and worldwide.
But for aj abiru stork, FreshCatch Belize, Ltd is an "all you can eat" stork cafe.
During certain times of the year, this fish farm becomes a critical stop-in for many
j abiru storks. From December until way into April and beyond, jabiru storks are
nesting and raising their young. Keeping fit and full is important, and so is feeding
FreshCatch Belize, Ltd, in conservation partnership with the Foundation for
Wildlife Conservation, FWC, Birds Without Borders, BWB, and The Belize Zoo,
understands that protecting thej abiru stork populations of Belize is an important
Rather than being vexed at the giant birds for tiilapia-snatching, FreshCatch
Belize,Ltd, allows them to enjoy their tilapia treats, and takes caution to ensure that
thejabirus are not molested for their thieving!
Due to the kind understanding of Mr. Joe Mena and his crew at FreshCatch
Belize, Ltd, the diligent monitory of stork populations in Belize by FWC and BWB,
we are certainly positioned to look towards a future where the elegant j abiru stork
will always be present here in our nation.
Stay tuned for more updates as we follow thej abiru actions in this area ofBelize.
And a big "thumbs up" to FreshCatch Belize, Ltd, FWC, BWB and The Belize
Zoo for their conservation partnership on behalf of thej abiru storks ofBelize.
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12 |
Lake Gardens, Ladyville
"Chalet d' Eve"
Beautiful 2900 sq foot home on acre property
in highly secure neighborhood, 10-12 feet above
sea level with on site hurricane shelter
5 bedrooms (ac unit in each)
4 full bathrooms
3 fully screened porches
breakfast room/ study/ games room
s Hurricane shelter with metal windows
and ferro concrete roof
1000 gallon water collection backup cistern
reverse osmosis water system for potable drinking
decorative plants & 20 fruit trees
external electrical outlets and faucets
6' security fence
motion detector spotlights
off street parking for one or two cars
privacy ofcul-d-sac living on private estate
Just 20 minutes from Belize City, 7 minutes to International
Airport close to grocery shopping and 2 banks
Taxes-- approx BZ $200/year property taxes (fully paid up) VIEWING
PRICING by appointment only
property appraised at $ 420,000 but ask for details by appointment only
Please call Trevor @ 600-1627
1/2 acre lots in 10 acre plots in 12 acre plots in
Burrel Boom Burrel Boom Ladyville
starting at $10K starting at $50K starting $120,00050K
Call Call Call
600-1627 600-1627 600-1627
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13
SAVE BELIZE sas VIP...
i-ME(Continued From Page 1)
person is out there to take this struggle
on. Thisis people's struggle." (forthefull
text ofhis speech see page 3 this issue.)
VIP Secretary General Hubert Enriquez,
widely known forhis union activism as well
as from previous VIP campaigns, says a
weak labor movement makes for a weak
nation democracy. "Itis abundantly clearthat
the solutions to our problems are not
necessarily goingtocomefrom ourpolitical
leaders. The solutionwill only comethrough
a process of workers' employment by
education, democratic representation, and
unionization. We require strong and
democratic unions to invigorate our
process of unionization as a central
In terms of financial support, the
members claim they will notbe influenced
by big money interests. Bobby Lopez
says donations of all sizes, or even
contributions of time and labor, are most
welcome, but any and all financial backing
must come no-strings-attached.
Particularly from high rollers, "We are not
n E (Continued From Page 1)
the payments forth first and forthe second
loan, and for the third loan also. And then
another, and another... vicious cycle.
rate is higher. After a few short years, the
newloans arejust forpayingthe previous
thatinvestmentthatwouldhave madeyou a
better and happier person... You just got
Unfortunately, afterjustafewloan cycles,
you're no longer dealing with friends who
would gladly lend you money at cheap
interest rates so that you can prosper.
You are now dealing with sharks telling
you exactly what they want you to do and
what to sign, and they make you sign deals
and make promises, and take actions that
will go even against your own family, kids,
property, and even against your own God
and againstyourown health... Yes, against
your own health!
...They own your soul and you now
realizethatthe only way outistopass onthe
responsibilitytoyour children, ortothenext
This is certainly the case of our country.
he will no longer be responsible for the
payments. Heis serving Belize on a silver
platterto the loan sharks ofthe world.
The UDP is no differentthanthe current
administration, theyjustneed achanceto get
us deeper in the slaughter hole. Belize will
neverbecome prosperous ifyoukeep voting
for the same parties that are nothing but
elected ineptignorantandgreedy individuals.
by Musais being criminally negotiated. Its
terms and conditions blatantly disregard the
opposed to anyone who wants to give us
$10 million but rest assured they already
know from our policy which we produced
in the municipal election that there is no
political patronage here. Don't come
knocking at VIP's doors expecting any
compensation and we have to dance to
the tune as other parties have done."
But Lopez says they envision a
campaign that is low key and low cost,
"There ain'tgoingtobe no love fests, there
ain't going to be no free beers or dollar
beers, there ain't going to be no t-shirts.
We have already made adecisionthatifyou
can affordt-shirtinyourconstituency finebut
it is not the t-shirt that wins an election.
Thousands of dollars are spent ont-shirts and
we are not going that route. So rest assured
you are looking at prudent spending from
The members ofthe VIP said they donot
wantto diminishthe good doneby any ofthe
maj or parties but that anewway ofthinking
is required if Belize is to move forward.
Amongtheir slogansis"VIPwill stoptherip-
off and return control to the people" and
"Clean the system now! Vote VIP! Save
Belize!" (seepage 16fortheirfullmanifesto.)
can we be?...
interests of our country.
The UDP has washed it hands from this
dealbyvoicing softly their objections,justto
be contrarian to the ruling party, they keep
clear oftheirresponsibility atthis time and
have no certain idea of what's to come to all
ofus. The UDP failsto analyze, or event
ofwhatthe PUP is gettingus into, the UDP
to understand it.
The UDP offers no single fact orfigure to
explain us what's going on, and why we are
headed at full speed into a brick wall. The
UDPhasnobrains, no analysts, isunableto
comprehend the depth of the reality of the
Belizeans. It has no heart to care about us,
just like the PUP. Their greedis even worse
than the greed ofthe PUP
Forget about corruption, this is even
worse! Itis evidentthatMusaandhisteam,
and the UDPforthat matter, actually work
for the bankers as exclusive agents to rape
our country, and this constitutes treason of
the highest order! Yes, TREASON! Try this
thought forachange and Musa and histeam
canbeprosecutedandvery easily foundguilty.
The UDP and its people are equally traitors.
TheUDPhas enoughweightto stopthePUP,
WilltheUDP, let alonethePUP, overcome
out oftheir closets and provide you with full
disclosure and analysis ofa deal like the one
we are facing right now? No, they haven't
or clarity to any ofus. It is not in their best
interest. They seek power for their own
Continued next week..
or go to www.nationreformparty.com for
thefull article and financial charts.
Public Statement on Universal Health Services 'Mess'
Association of Concerned Belizeans, January 17, 2007
The Trustees of the Association of Concerned Belizeans (ACB)
join the Belize Medical and Dental Union and the general public to
reject the contradictory positions coming from the Cabinet of Belize
and pen of Minister Godfrey Smith, in respect of the $44 million
dollar debt which Universal Health Services (UHS) was left free to
rack up at tax payers expense.
Firstly, here is another flagrant example of this Government's in-
eptitude in managing public finances and treating the national trea-
sury as the private domain of Cabinet ministers. In normal business
arrangements shareholders are asked to give their personal guaran-
tee when their company receives a loan. In the case of UHS the
Government appears to have taken over this responsibility from the
shareholders and substituted a public guarantee of this private debt.
It seems to ACB that the Belize Bank, on the strength of the
Government's guarantee, allowed UHS to rack up more and more
debt and must have known that at the end of the day, the Belizean
people would have to pay.
The Government of Belize should not have guaranteed the debt
of UHS, and this wrongful act should not be swept under the carpet,
as Minister Smith would want.
Secondly, to give an open-ended guarantee supported by public
monies where UHS was left unchecked and permitted to draw down
at The Belize Bank without limit, is nothing less than misfeasance in
public office by the Cabinet. Government had a duty to monitor
UHS' expenditure and performance and the owners/managers of
UHS, having accepted a public guarantee, had a fiduciary duty to
taxpayers to manage the utilization of such a publicly guaranteed
facility with extreme care and financial prudence.
The ministers in Cabinet who made this decision should all be
held accountable and the owners of UHS should be made to surren-
der their full equity in this failed company.
Thirdly, having already lost $32 million of public monies to the
Belize Bank, it is sheer financial madness for the Government to
borrow through UHS another $14 million from the Belize Bank in
order to pay off other UHS debts, and for the DFC to write off $8
million (tax payers money again!). The ACB regards this as a con-
voluted and irrational scheme from the Government; throwing good
money after bad.
Thus, there is major public resentment against the Government,
UHS and the bank because of this guarantee, compounded by the
giving away of thousands of acres of land at North Ambergris Caye
to satisfy a 'crony' debt; and for now preparing to take up more debt
from the Belize Bank, while the failed owners and managers of
UHS walk away untouched.
The ACB is of the opinion that this whole sordid scheme requires
a thorough independent forensic audit. Further, the country and people
of Belize would be best served if Government cuts its losses at
UHS, pursues the defaulting owners and managers and directs pub-
lic funds towards improving the existing facilities and services of the
national public health sector, especially the Karl Heusner Memorial
Hospital. We therefore call on all Belizeans to join in the rejection of
this scandalous Government scheme.
**** ** ** **** ** *
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14 |
(Mar. 21- April 20)
Your charisma will no doubt attract a lot of attention.
Quarrels will empt if you get into philosophical debates
with friends. Try to keep your opinions to yourself.
Involvement in groups will be favorable. Business
partnerships will prove lucrative.
(Apr. 21- may 21)
Added knowledge will give you the edge when dealing
with peers. Someone you care about may let you
down or criticize your methods. Get involved in
activities that will bring you knowledge about foreign
land, philosophies, or cultures. You have to believe in
yourself and your talents.
(May 22-June 21)
Mingle with those who can further your goals. Look
into joining groups that can give you hands-on advice
about business. New romantic ties can be made;
however, you must make sure that your motives are
not selfish before you make your move. It's time to
reevaluate your own motives and make changes to
(June 22-July 22)
You should feel a little more stable about your position;
however, don't be surprised if a job offer comes your
way. You will need to work diligently in order to
accomplish even the smallest amount. You can make
new friends by taking part in social events involving
colleagues. You will be able to close any deals
(July 23-Aug 22)
You'll have amazing ideas, but superiors may try to
block your attempts at implementing them. Don't try
to hide your true feelings from your mate. You will be
able to get along well with colleagues. Be sure to take
time for old friends or relatives you don't get to see
(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Put your efforts into making constructively
improvements to your environment and to your state
of mind. Be aware of any deception on the part of
those you deal with. You can pick up valuable
information if you listen to those with more experience.
You will do well if you mingle with the brass this
(Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Don't trust others with private in formation that could
be used against you. You will be best suited to doing
things around the house or inviting friends over for a
visit. Your intellectual wit will bring greater popularity
with your peers. Pleasure trips will be favorable and
bring about possible romance.
(Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
You will be emotional about family matters. Those
close to your heart may be difficult to reason with. Go
after your goals and don't be afraid to ask for assistance.
Spend time with friends or family.
(Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Be precise in your communications to avoid any
misunderstandings and arguments. Your efforts will
be rewarded handsomely. You could come into extra
cash. Some of your new friends may not be that
(Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Dario's Meat Pies
33 Hyde's Lane (Tel: 203-5197)
While not technically a restaurant, this Belizean institution deserves to
be reviewed. As Polio Campero is to El Salvador, Dario is to Belize.
His meat pies are always hot and belly filling. They are world famous,
and the number one request from those we go to visit all over the
world (Dukunu probably comes in 2nd). In fact, the local Paparrazzi
has been dodging the Prime Minister for his mugshot at Darios. He
often has his "tree dalla pie attack" on Saturday mornings, where he
can be spotted in casual gear. Now, where else in the world can you
stand in line with the Prime Minister behind you, ordering through
"wan lee hole?" Say what you want for politics, but at Dario's every-
one is equal. Just be forewarned, if you get there late, you might not
get any, and yes, contrary to what some believe, there is a method to
eating them without the gravy spilling on your shirt...ask the PM.
Open Daily. 750 each, BRUK UP pies available at discount.
Take a look at yourself and prepare to make those
changes you've been contemplating. If you work in
conjunction with someone else you may find they're
trying to steal your thunder. Creative pursuits should
payoff Clear up domestic chores that have remained
undone for some time.
(Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Your mate may be distressed if you refuse to make a
commitment. Later in the week your boss will pat you
on the back for a job well done. Things aren't as they
appear. It's doubtful anyone will try to stand in your
way or cut you off at the pass this week
(Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Your involvement with children will be most
rewarding. Go out with close friends who
understand your situation and your needs.
Unexpected events may be upsetting. Help
an older member with a problem that faces
To be shown at Cayo CET (Center for Employment Training)
Wednesday, January 24, at 7:00 pm
Admission Price: an open mind
Fidel Castro is one of the most influential and
controversial figures of our time.
"Fidel" offers a unique opportunity to view the man through
exclusive interviews with Castro himself, along with historians, public
figures, close friends, and well known people like Alice Walker,
Harry Belafonte, Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Ramsey Clark
and a former CIA agent PhilipAgee, with footage from the Cuban
Family members and close friends, including Nobel Prize-
winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, offer a window into the
personal life of Fidel.
"Fidel" tells a previously untold story and presents a new
view of this powerful and compelling figure along with a history of
the Cuban revolution and the fight to survive the post-Soviet period.
If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ymt tor 0((.)d
With Anthony Hunt
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15
Vision Inspired by the People, VIP...
i-"E(Continued From Page 3)
the rest of your lives or will you make the
Sobrothers andsisters,this newgeneration
of politicians bid our nation to move in a
direction thatblends the good things of the
past with new concepts of governance. A
directionthatwill reform our destroyed, our
conuptedpolitical system. Thisdirectionbegs
ourpeople to standup andbeginthe work
to entrench 5 pillars ofnationbuildingthatfor
thepast25 years ourpeoplehavebeenflatly
In pursuing this new direction, we
Belizeans will build for ourselves a sense of
National Unity, that will keep our spirits high
as we suffer togetherinthe process of nation
building. Itwillbethat same sense ofNational
Unitythatwill setthe stage for our rejoicing
together as we enjoy our earned rights and
freedoms. In pursuingthisnew direction, we
for ourselves a Culture of Productivity, in
which our people will innovate to improve
the nation, while government maintains the
This New direction will establish for our
people aFamily Life Environment inwhich
our children are recognized as the precious
lifeline of our nation and their families,
supported in providing for their needs.
Happy families will rear happy children.
Happy children will become productive
strong nation. Pursuing this new direction
will bring us real Social Justice where the
personal dignity ofevery citizens respected
and the poor ensured their civil rights to
survival and progress; Social Justice is only
possible when as a society we recognize that
like a chain, we are only as strong as our
will set the stage for fair representation in
governmental affairs, wherethe composition
-n. (Continued From Page 4)
nothings" we are used to hearing in hushed
tones. For the first time, the nation was
treated to a realistic, practical roadmap
to get us out of this mess the D6's have
gotten us in. And, all their gatherings start
with a prayer. This is a good sign. We need
The people ofBelize have had enough
of meaningless rhetoric, premeditated
broken promises. Only the select few live
the life of the rich and famous while the
rest struggle to stay above the poverty line.
We know where the other D6's bread is
buttered; he boasts about it on TV
interviews; but, Mr. Musa has said his only
Lord is to "followthe money". When will
they file their assets declaration form as
the law requires? As lawyers, they must
know they are breaking the law Mr
Esquivel had written. Naturally, there will
be no "witch hunt" we are assured by the
"mass party" PM in waiting. No
accounting on the day of reckoning.
But the countless marginal families are
counting are they not? Dependent on you
like US Welfare recipient families.
of government reflects the wishes of all the
people. The people will have the powerto
recall elected leaders who betray their trust
whileourbrotheisand sisterswholive abroad
shall be encouraged to participate more
Brothers and sisters, this new direction is
moderate anditisvisionary. Itstrikesatthe
power to you the people. It seeks no
retribution but demands accountability and
fair compensation where necessary.
Even now, we are engaged in
consultations with quality Belizean
professionalswho stand ready to supportthis
directionwiththeir expertise. We invite your
participation. Please feel free to contacts if
you wish to lend a hand. Today we present
you with our direction. This document
exposes theprinciples and concepts thatthe
VIPupholds. Inthenext2 months, we shall
theissues. Fromthisconsultationwill emerge
Wemaintainandlwill state very frankly,
that this task cannotbe done without your
financial support. Ourbank accounts now
open for donations. You may contact our
headquarters at #1 Cardinal Street in
Belmopan, Tel: 802-2926, or email us at
email@example.com. OurWebb pageis: http:/
/www.vip.org.bz. Yourcontributionwill be
acknowledged and handled with proper
Finally brothers and sisters, though it is
a common adage that money talks, we
think that your personal input is even more
critical because money does not vote,
people do. Most importantly, we ask for
your continued prayers. Pray for Belize
that our Creator will bless us on this
journey into nationhood.
Thank you for your attention and we are
now open for questions.
Strapped. Both D6's have mentally
enslaved a significant number of families
in their divisions through weekly handouts
to guarantee their seat in the House of
Representatives. Is this legal? Apparently
so. Apparently, these families and poor
people all overBelize cannot see that while
they may receive little gifts in one hand
under the table, they arejacked every time
they go to the shop (and gas stations) with
massive consumption taxes that hit their
socio-economic bracket the hardest.
No, this country is in such a mess no
election can getus out ofit No international
observers will seethe slight-of-hand tricks
that will take place on election day; and
they won't stay around long enough to see
the chains-held tightby the leader of the
government and the leader of the
opposition-dragged over us again for
another three to five years. Nope, what
we need is something really drastic to set
Nothing short of an act of God. So pray
Belize, pray. Pray someone sees the light
before all the lights go out and they move
to Miami or Houston.
for your copy of
We currently have the following
distributors Countrywide and are looking
Peoples Store, Del La Fuenta
Hangout El Che, Celinas, Venus
Juan Chuc (Bullet Tree Road)
The New P Wang Super Store (Benque Road)
Hua Yong Store
Benque Viejo Del Carmen:
Long Lucky Super Store
Natures Way Guest House
Hyde's Mini Mart
Albert & Queen Street Stalls, Twin
Supermarket and Slingshot on St. Thomas
Street, Water Taxi Terminal, Shell Service
M1. 2 1/2 N. Hwy.,
El Ca's Supermarket, Jonze Salon, Celinas
Grocery, Highwayman Service Station,
W. Thompson, Seidy's Store
seeking a distributor
New Distributors are being added every
week so look out for increased
availability. You can also join our mailing
list, see page 2 for details.
Friday, January 26, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16 |
THE VIP DIFFERENCE
VIP will STOP THE RIP-OFF and
RETURN CONTROL TO THE PEOPLE
1. Reduce the power of that "all mighty CABINET"' by remov-
ing from its financial control; the Director of Public Prosecu-
tions, the Auditor General, the Contractor General and the
Elections and Boundaries office.
2. Create a State Department under the office of the Governor
General to oversee the fore- mentioned offices.
3. Amend the Referendum Act to allow the people to vote di-
rectly on local and national issues.
4. Introduce a Recall Referendum to end the term of elected
leaders who have lost the public trust.
5. Introduce Proportional Representation for General Elections.
6. Facilitate the strengthening of trade unions as partners in the
democratic process, to combat political victimization, patron-
age and social injustice.
7. Facilitate discussion on the issue of allowing Public Officers
unpaid leave to participate in electoral politics.
8. Facilitate born Belizeans who reside abroad in the exercise of
their birthright, to vote in general elections, subject to refer-
9. Amend the Constitution to give Belize an elected mixed
member, proportional representation Senate with half the
members elected at mid-term,
10. Amend the constitution to allow the Prime Minister to choose
his Cabinet from the public at large.
11. Amend the Constitution to limit the size of Cabinet to a maxi-
mum of 9 ministers and place a consecutive 2 terms limit on
the office ofthe Prime Minister.
12. Enact stiff campaign finance laws to regulate the financing of
13. Amend the Freedom of Information Act to expedite access to
14. Reinforce the autonomy of the police in fighting crime.
15. Enforce UN and OAS anti-conrruption laws.
Clean the System Now!
Vote VIP! Save Belize!
All Must Benefit!
A New GeneratiO
Contact: #1 Cardinal Street, Belmopan
Belizean Brothers and Sisters:
During our first 25 years of independ-
ence, both mainstream political parties have,
each in their terms of office, postponed Be-
lize's national development by their failure to
establish for our people, five required pillars of
1. a sense of National Unity
2. a Culture of Productivity
3. a Family Life environment
4. social Justice
5. fair Representation in governmental affairs
Because of this failure, we ordinary Beizeans must now endure
a substandard quality of life. Though nature has blessed us with wealth
untold, miis-education, poverty, crime and disease subdue us under a
solid choke hold. Our people live in fear of political victimization that has
damaged their self esteem and broken their confidence.
In response to the tears and fears of our people, the VIP invites
you and all Belizeans at home and abroad, to join in our struggle for real
national development. Together we must shed the fear that has for dec-
ades enslaved our minds. Institutions and systems that continue to fail
us, we must abandon. Let us instead work to build new, positive and
progressive national institutions that will fil our people's needs and sat-
isfy our common desires. It is time to re-educate ourselves to eradicate
poverty, crime and preventable disease from our everyday lives. Our
land is rich, our population small and our capabilities high. United with
purpose, we will make Belize a better home!
With this spirit, the VIP declares its commitment to return control
of our country to you, the people. In so doing we shall cement the fore-
mentioned pillars of nationhood into the fabric of our governance. The
VIP party offers competent leadership in this direction. Our leadership is
humble but determined, receptive but focused, open but decisive. We
ask only for the opportunity to work with you for our common good and
that of our next generation.
Your financial support is needed in this process. Even more
necessary are your ideas and your involvement. Please contact our of-
fice to make your offer. Finally, we ask for your prayers, that our Crea-
tor will bless Belize on this our journey into nationhood.
Yours in service
Paul M. Morgan Sr., Chairman
VIP PROMOTES rn
A people become a nation only when they struggle
together upholding their responsibilities and rejoice together
enjoying their rights.
* Belize's Territorial Integrity and the right of Belizeans to Self
Determination must never be compronused.
* Belize's natural resources and environment are entrusted to each
generation for future generations. Any use thereof must be in
accordance with sound policies of conservation and sustainability
* All Belizeans must benefit equitably from the use of Belize's
* Communities must take primary responsibility and authority
within their own environs.
* Citizenship records, healthcare, education, legal representation
and other government services must be afforded to all Belizeans
regardless of economic means.
* Belize's national symbols must represent the consciousness of all
* Belize demands from every Belizean, good citizenship and full
personal effort to develop our nation.
* Belize demand responsible accountability from all who serve the
* Belize demands social responsibility from all private sector op-
* To achieve sustainable national development, the government of
Belize must pursue a common Belizean AGENDA that sets out
national development targets.
A CULTURE OF PRODUCTIVITY
With appropriate education the people will innovate to
improve the environment while Government must moti-
vate and maintain the environment,
Human capital development must become the key strategy in Be-
lize's move towards productivity.
Belize must move first to produce what we consume.
Government must ensure that Belize's resources and services are
directed toward the production of quality goods and services for
local and foreign markets.
Government must invest in production and business research.
The productive capacity of Belizeans living abroad must be har-
nessed and directed towards Belize's National Development.
Government must treat producer as partners in business and not
merely as tax beasts of burden.
FAMILY Y LIFE
Our children are the lifeline of our nation. The family unit
provides protection for their survival and development.
* Belize's sustainable development demands that we rear children to
their best possible physical, mental and spiritual health. The fam-
ily institution must be supported in doing so.
A parenting initiative emphasizing fatherhood must be started.
A National Family Safety Net must be established to ensure that no
child falls victim to parental misfortune, delinquency or abuse.
The right to food, safety, healthcare, housing, and education for
children must be prominent focal points in formulating govern-
ment's national development policies.
Economic prosperity andpolitical power are meaningless ff
not accompanied by personal dignity.
* Belizeans must have equal rights and treatment in accessing na-
tional services and resources.
* Protection and empowerment of the most vulnerable; THE POOR
of society, must be a priority in the distribution of our nation's
* Political victimization and patronage must be vigorously combated.
* Campaign fairness laws must be passed and strictly enforced to
bring equity to our political system.
* The INTEGRITY of the Public Service must be restored to make
government effective and efficient.
Government must reflect the People's will.
Voting to elect our government is a Belizean birthright.
Representatives of the people must be accountable to the electorate
or lose their mandate.
Proportional Representation must replace the current "first past the
g o" election system.
The people must be facilitated to vote directly on national issues by
way of Referendum.
Belize's governance must be intensely studied at every level of
Belize's formal education.
The right of the Press to government information and to responsi-
bly infonn the public must be upheld.