Title: Independent reformer
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 Material Information
Title: Independent reformer
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Independent Publishing Company (of Belize) Ltd.
Place of Publication: Belize City, Belize
Publication Date: June 15, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00028
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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S


S


New Foreign Minister "International Velvet"
Extremely rough political plays are dominating the
current political scene in Belizet. There have been nu-
merous cabinet shuffles, at least 10 since Musa/
Fonseca took control of the country's affairs in 1998.
And there have been public hearings into the highly
disturbing "money matters" that dominate the admin-
istration, especially at the Development Finance Cor-
poration (DFC) and the Social Security Board (SSB).
Elsewhere in this edition we have a long list of former
ministers who have been shuffled out of the inner circle
deck over the past nine years (see page 5). But it
doesn't begin to tell the true story of the Courtenays'
losses in 2007.
First it was brother David, Vice Chairman of the
DFC, who died in few weeks ago in a rather mysteri-
ous accident where a diesel SUV exploded in a ball
of flames and consumed the lone occupant. Police


forensics assured the public almost immediately that
the dental records confirmed the identity of the occu-
pant. See photo of the vehicle the diesel burnt... pro-
vided by an official and credible source.
Then, at the General Assembly of the Organization
of American States in Panama, in front of all the for-
eign ministers and US Secretary of State (not to men-
tion the international media), brother Eamon is uncer-
emoniously defrocked of his lofty ministerial position,
representing Belize, the member state.
What's next? The former foreign minister says he
may run for elected office as a PUP but after the
elections next year. He insinuated that the PUP would
lose in 08 and he would then have the political latitude
to stake out an electoral division. That is our infer-
ence anyway.
Lest we forget, it was former Belize Ambassador
to the USA, Lisa Marie Shoman, who as Chairlady
of the SSB (above), informed the Chief Justice that
the SSB was no longer interested in enforcing the high
court's ruling to collect a $3.34 million that the law
firm ofW.H. Courtenay & Co owed. Public percep-
tion was that this was a favour to the Courtenays,
immediately after the PUP took office in August, 1998.
Or was it?
Mr. Eamon, the honorable gentleman he is, suggests
in his local TV interviews that the Honorable former
Chairlady ofBTL (fourth cap) will have a difficult time
at the Ministry given all that lies ahead. The lady it
appears, is ready for the challenge her uncle Assad
assumed on more
than one occasion
and also the position 10 0 e s
her ex, Hon Godfrey
Smith, assumed in HumI m
between. Seems like
she was tailor made


Pish kill on the New River near the Tower Hill sugarfactory has alarmed Orange
Walk environmentalist. (See story in Tidbits on Page 3)


Despecho? Not at all, says former Foreign Minister.
for the post. Or least, well groomed for it.
We have every confidence the lady ambassador will
do well as Foreign Minister with the level of support
she is expected to get from: Uncle Assad, Godfather
Said, ex Godfrey, and the host of"Assadistas" in the
Belize Foreign Service, specifically and at the minis-
(Please Turn To Page 2) E '

cape death on

ingbird Hwy


FC Belize MVP goalie Charlie Slusher (striped shirt) carries his infant daughter as he
clambers from Leslie Rogers' bus, which ran off the Hummingbird Highway on
Magnetic Hill at mile 27 at 10:30 PM Sunday night.
(See Story on Page 3)







Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2 |


SMonster Balls


Avoid Camel boy slurs

Dear Editor,
I live in Norway and read your paper
every week online. Great graphic and
generally great paper. This week I take
issue with the Meb Cutlack column,
however, viz:
..on page 9 above the zoo ad, lose
'camel' in "camel boy", or, apologize
in a meaningful way to your Muslim and
Arab readers.
..keep in mind "we the Europeans"
have all the nukes in about the same way
the Nazis had all the gas at Auschwitz,
and any sane person looking at the sh-
t going on in Iraq and Afghanistan can
see who is waging war on who and
what.
I see no need to pitch the Indepen-
dent-Reformer against any religion nor
any race. So fix what you can,
promptly, this will help ease and cure
the damage done. Mistakes are for-
givable when fixed. Racism is not.
.then, carry on going after Said Musa.
..med vennlig hilsen,
with kind regards from Arnt


David Courtenay's Toyota Land Cruiser was charred to a crisp after it is alleged he ran
off the highway and hit a light pole.


.InJ.(Continued From Page 1)
try. Expect however to see the CEO,
Amalia Mai, sent out to an insignificant
Ambassadorial posting. And only the
Lord knows what will happen to former
UN Ambassador Stewart Leslie.
The new Foreign Minister had indi-
cated to thej oumalist Nathan Gothman
from El Haaretz in 2002 in Washington
that she is anxious to tackle the Israel/
Palestine issues if ever provided the op-
portunity. We hope she remembers
Belize, the country she lives in, should


come before the country her family
comes from...


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Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3


Gas Prices at the Pump increased again
Super Regular Kerosene Diesel
Cost of Fuel $5.4129 $5.2991 $4.8206 $4.5988
Import Duty $0.4496 $0.4496 $0.0000 $0.2665
RRD $1.7619 $1.7967 $0.0032 $0.6354
Environ Tax $0.1040 $0.1018 $0.0923 $0.0879
Freight $0.0700 $0.0700 $0.0700 $0.0700
Additive $0.0019 $0.0019 $0.0019 $0.0019
GST $0.8149 $0.8069 $0.5186 $0.5911

BCPump $10.00 $9.90 $6.35 $7.30


International Velvet
She's smooth as silk, or should we
say velvet? Ambassador to the US Lisa
Shoman slid right over to the chair next
to her in Panama last week and took
over Belize's Foreign Ministry when
Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay
"resigned" in solidarity with his old col-
lege roommate and cabinet ally DPM
Johnny Briceno. It all happened right in
the middle of the OAS General Assem-
bly. The moves left no doubt in the
minds of the entire assembly about
Musa's inability to keep his government
together and his desperation at having
to recruit relatives of his best friend and
advisor Assad Shoman to step into the
breach. What those on the outside
don't know is that Lisa Shoman, as
Chairman of the Belize Social Security
Board, told the courts SSB had no fur-
ther interest in trying to recover $3.4
Million from W.H. Courtenay and
Company. ..Immediately after the 1998


elections. Now she is collecting...
fancy shoes to walk all over former bud-
dies? Lets see how soon the CEO gets
stepped on, again.
Trying to unseat the
King?
The Northern Caucus powerhouse
was coronatedd" last time around at the
PUP Orange Walk convention. But now
the dastardly duo have decided to dis-
cipline him for voicing objections to the
carte blanche way in which the British
Lord is allowed to rule over the PUP.
Johnny is standing up for core party
values so it's a silly move to give him
the rinse. Johnny's media empire has
as much clout in the north as the Hydes
have in the City. To take Johnny down,
they'll have to take down the radio &
tv stations and SMART. And this is
precisely where the British Lord may
be of assistance. What he has been
doing to KREM is child's play....


The Environmental Protection Soci-
ety, NEPS, founded only a year ago is
reporting a fish kill in the river between
the Orange Walk Toll Bridge and Or-
ange Walk Town. It is believed pollu-
tion from the sugar processing plant is
responsible. NEPS has spent the past


several months on a cleaning campaign
in San Jose Nuevo Palmar, Tower Hill,
Chan Pine Ridge, and Louisiana Na-
ture Park all in the Orange walk Dis-
trict. NEPS is a non-governmental and
non profit organization which sustains
itself through fundraising.


100 escape death on


Hummingbird Hwy


100 FC Belize players and fans re-
turning home to Belize City after win-
ning the 2007 RFG Cup championship
in Dangriga, narrowly escaped tragedy
when the bus in which they were travel-
ling ran off the Hummingbird Highway
on 'Magnetic Hill' around 10:30 PM on
Sunday night.
The bus driver lost control when his
brakes failed as he reversed down the
hill. The bus had been pushed to the ex-
treme, as in addition to being over-
loaded with 100 passenger; it was also
towing an empty 20-seater tour bus,
which the bus owner Leslie Rogers in-
sisted on towing to Belize City. The
transmission of the 20-seater had failed
as it returned to Belize City with an un-
der-12 boys team, who were to have
played an exhibition match before the
semipro championship.


The team players, their wives, girl-
friends, children, and fans had already
got off the bus twice and walked up
two big hills when the bigger bus was
unable to climb the hills while towing
the smaller bus. They count themselves
lucky to have escaped with their lives
when the bus partially flipped on its side
in the gully beside the road after it ran
off the pavement.
FC Belize striker Jerome "Jaro"
James suffered a blow to the head and
number of other passengers suffered
numerous contusions as the panicked
passengers scrambled madly to exit the
bus, which they feared might overturn
and fall further. Two U-12 players were
injured exiting the bus. Some suffered
leg injuries as they jumped from the
windows. The passengers were
stranded for hours until help arrived.


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Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4


enthusiasm and zeal to serve their coun-
try, some of the senators are beginning
to realize there are limitations on what
they can and can not do. They have


"People who are r

are bankrupting th

\


By: Karla Heusner Vernon
If you had told me four years ago that
in 2007 Belizeans would be passion-
ately debating whether or not this coun-
try should have an elected Senate, I
would not have believed you. When
Godwin Hulse and Francis Gegg and
Hipolito Bautista, and a few others, (and
forgive me for omitting you) were put-
ting forth their positions on the radio and
print media, most Belizeans either
yawned or tuned out. I admit, I was
one of them.
Perhaps it took some flares being
set off in the Senate itself and the
broadcast of the proceedings to alert
us to their plight. It was shocking and
eye opening to discover despite their


n

e


begun to chomp at the bit a bit and pon-
der the possibilities of better governance.
To ask themselves how they might per-
form, if their performance was not al-
most predetermined by their very ap-
pointment and the interests which ap-
pointed them.
They have caused the rest of us to
wonder too.
As heartening as this all is, it has been
equally disheartening to observe those
senators who rise and support motions
and bills they do not understand, have
not even read, or asked to read. It is
disturbing to hear some senators dismiss
the concerns of their fellows or imply that
it is not their job to question, but rather


their duty to pass anything that is
put in their hands. Shut up and do
as you are told....
It is a testimony to our increas-


orally bankrupt

nation."



ing political maturity that Belizeans,
both inside and outside the Senate
chamber, now want more from this
important component of the legis-
lature. A movement that now has
grassroots support as well as the
of a few elite intellectuals.
Amazingly, the debate has be-
come so intense it now consumes
a good portion of time on the
morning talk shows, and some of
the evening ones. People are even
getting personal with each other
over it- one host last week im-
plying another was an Uncle Tom
for not supporting an elected sen-
ate, and wondering aloud whether


Belize was "had the political maturity
to handle it." (I believe the same cau-
tion was voiced about Independence.
)
The leader of the Opposition is un-
der intense scrutiny for his own posi-
tion against an elected senate and all
of the aspiring alternative parties have
been forced to state their own stance
on the issue. Interestingly, the Prime
Minister appears to have escaped any
questions about how he feels. At least
I have missed it if he has.. .No doubt
they will get around to it, or he will
get around to issuing an official posi-
tion, as the real election campaign
begins. For make no mistake, the
elected Senate issue will be a cam-
paign issue in 2008. (Yes, it appears
the PM is going to hold out on
us.sigh!....)
My own view, if you care to know
it, is that yes, an elected Senate may
serve an important role in terms of
checks and balances in the system,
and having these elections in between
the General would be key, BUT un-
(Please Turn To Page 13) BE*


X
MOO








Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5



What Dreams Are Made Of


By: TrevorVernon
The People's United Party was
founded in the last century by some gi-
ants of the time who had to stand up to
the colonial masters. This was their rea-
son for banding together and harness-
ing the anti-colonial energies in the
colony at that time. Or so it seemed.
They so passionately disliked the En-
glishman they rushed to go study in Lon-
don and marry the Englishman's daugh-
ters. Hell of a paradox.
Most thinking people could be sup-
portive of the early PUP's cause: Home
Rule. But although Belize is now inde-
pendent of Britain, some things have
remained the same. We are still con-
trolled by one man with all the powers
of the Governors of old (and then some)
who operates with the bold and unre-
pentant blessing of a political party that
controls the land under the direction of
UK trained lawyers, with British born
wives and children possessing British
passports while they are acquiring for-
eign owned properties in the US, UK
and elsewhere.
Today's PUP hardly resembles the
one created by Goldson, Richardson,
Price & Pollard. This is no longer the
PUP that drew its support from the
unions of the Colony. This modern day
PUP has no use for the labor unions.
Absolutely none. They, not unlike other
fascist leaders, have turned their backs
on their own roots and taken deadly aim
at their own history. Those early PUP
founders would never be cutting self-
enrichment deals with the British Lords,
much less flying in their private planes.
Or would they?
For we hear that even Mr. Price,
Belize's first PM, recently accepted spe-
cial lifts from the overbearing British
Lord to go pick up awards in the Car-
ibbean. We don't believe it but that's
what we hear. Hell of a thing. Can you
believe that? No disrespect to Mr. Price
intended.
But Rt. Hon. Price has been retired;
enter the self described Kipling's man
of Palestinian ancestry, Musa. He mas-
saged the process to become Prime
Minister with Fonseca, the after dark
PM, at his side. One hell of a leader
they have been within their little cabal.
It couldn't have been an easy task to
climb that far and that fast. Lots of sac-
rificial offerings litter that road to glory
and now we have more bodies falling
by the wayside as their old school,
Panamanian styled political training,
kicks in fully.


Price in his time was a one man show.
His deputies came and went like a
change of underwear. Now we have
Musa & Ralph, inseparable, like
Siamese twins joined at the head (or is
it the tail?). This brings us to the drama
we face in Belize today with constant
change of the generals and troops. Min-
isters and ranking supporters (elected
or not) have been dropping like konkas
since the twins took control of the party.
A brief body count:
1) Chanona, A (not a minister yet; was
roughed up at a convention to favor
Moises Cal aka Panama briefcase man)
2) Aranda, Ted (former UDP leader
who had turned PUP)
3) Canton, Henry (retired after one
term as PUP Minister to take up job in
citrus sector)
4) Silva, Dan (walked off into the sun-
set)
5) Marin, F (retiring next year, after 8
years on the back bench)
6) Burgos, Dave (sunset bound)
7) Espat, Jorge (remember him?)
8) Hyde, Cordel (owns Lake Eye
Division)
9) Court, Eamon (party animal who
owns street & court muscle)
10)Espat, Mark (former popular
tourism minister)
11)Briceno, John (owns the entire
OW divisions)
12)Samuels, Maxx (sunset grill)
13) Dolores Balderamos Garcia
(made AIDS ambassador while losing
ministerial rank)


14) Dickie B (never won at the polls
but got high posts anyway)
15) Cawich, Agripino (deceased, RIP,
a decent man but ran for PUP even
though dying)
16) Sylvester, Louis (now UDP;
former PUP party chairman)
17) Hunter, Federico (still loyal pup;
ex- business senator, former works min-
ister)
18) Castillo, Valdemar (gone to the
free zone in latest shuffle)
19) Urbina,Lito (kicked out and
turned UDP, like Sylvester)
20) Carlos Diaz (he rents out portable
toilets now; party animal)
21) Sam Waight (whatever happened
to him?)
22) Shoman, Assad (on scholarship
in London with incredible perks
courtesry the Belizean taxpayer, former
Foreign Minister)
23) Senior Minister Price (forced re-
tirement compliments of G Smith. No
portfolio but who needs none with the
punch he packs?)
24) Patricia Arceo (a charming lady
"disappeared" from cabinet 7 shuffles
ago)
25) Hon Remijio Montej o,(a people's
man... pushed out before he passed
away)
26) RAYLightbum (never a minister,
but squeezed out .. .after running hard
for PUP against the super successful
political M. Finnigan nee Myvett)
27) We still have Hon Hector Silva
(off and on PUP senator in Musa admin


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but retired from elective politics. Does
he ever have stories to share. He needs
to write a book.)
28) The Great San Perdomo (still
alive and kicking but retired from elec-
tive politics. Has businesses in
Belmopan.)
29) Moises Cal (retired before the
race started because of Panama inci-
dent, despite beating Chanona in a con-
vention)
30) Glen Godfrey (formerAttorney
Gen & Tourism Minister who oversaw
the offshore laws that made Michael
Ashcrofti King almost two decades ago.)
31) Big man Polo Briceno (truly
Kipling's man, now retired.)
Now after all this, the PUP issues a
government release to say that their
party will be holding a national conven-
tion on July First, 2007, to do what we
don't know and don't really care. Let
them figure out it on their own for as
they say: politics is the art of accom-
modation.
Who will rise and who will fall isn't
even public spectacle anymore. We've
seen enough and had enough of it. The
people deserve to be treated better;
they've had enough of the charades and
the parades, lower the damn consump-
tion taxes, get rid of all these usurious
fees on utilities and set the people
free... or the body count will grow ex-
ponentially come zero eight. You don't
need to have a heart to know this, just
check up on what's left of your soul,
Mr. Party Animal.


king

75,000

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dent Weekly


HOUSE FOB SALE


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Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 |


Oil brings No Money just ill Effects


Spanish
1. Too much oil greed
2. Too much pollution
3. Too much sickness
Since BNE drilled the first well over
a year ago and discovered oil in Span-
ish Lookout the flow of oil has not
stopped, neither has the polluting smoke
that makes the people sick. To date NO
money has been paid for the roy-
alty fees from the oil, even though
promises were made from the very be-
ginning when BNE moved in and occu-
pied the land. The pollution has affected
approximately 12 families seriously on
a daily basis. BNE does not yet know
the extent of the health damage to the
public.
For those that are not informed about
oil business, here is some information.
They will drill a hole over 3000 feet in
the ground and put a pipe in and when
they hit oil, they put a valve on top. There
is a tremendous amount of pressure that
pushes the oil out of the ground into a
holding tank. From here it goes into
the oil truck and is hauled to Big Creek
port and sent to a foreign country in a
barge. There is an excess of toxic gases
that comes along with the oil flow which
evaporates into the air by means of a
pipe coming up which is lit fire to mini-
mize the danger of "pollution". The
flame is approximately 10 to 20 feet in
height and throws off a dark cloud of
toxic smoke that bums day and night.
This has been going on for over a year
among the residents of Spanish Look-
out. Those that live nearby have had to
move away. Many complaints were
made at the BNE's office and Govern-
ment offices. At the very first when they
opened the first well, they tried it with-
out burning the gas, and that experiment
almost killed two close-by residents in
one night. Then they started to bum
the gases. But the smoke attacks adult
people's health to where they get ner-
vous and affects the children in differ-
ent ways. It also pollutes the rain water
in the whole area so people can't use it
for drinking anymore.
One of the most serious problems is
when the wind shifted at nighttime while
the people are asleep. The smoke
blows into their homes, and they would
not have time to evacuate. Every time
people complain at the BNE office, they
say, "We have checked with the proper
authorities and we have the rights to do
what we do. You guys complain too
much." Other times they say, "The
smoke will stop next month when we


Lookout Gets Hit


Oil in Spanish Lookout but no royalties yet for this hard working community.


put a pipe in to pump the crude oil fur-
ther away." Other times they say they
would pay a certain amount each month
for the damage. This went on month
after month until the year ended. Now
word goes around saying they will not
pay anything because they have moved
the flame two miles out of Spanish Look-
out. But now the eastern breeze blows
it right back over the area again. At this
point no one knows the extent of per-
manent damage is being done to the
people's health. Slow working toxins
take a while until the disease appears.
Many have been going to doctors in
the process but no money from BNE is
as yet visible. The toxins of a well are
called organic toxins, which are the
worst and are known to cause cancer.
It seems like the Government can-
not afford to hold the company to
restrictions and regulations on pol-
lution. What about citizen's rights
and protection?
According to talks it's more about
saving Belize from going bankrupt. An
oil expert from the US visited Spanish
Lookout. He explained that the gases
should go back into the well to keep up
the pressure, or the gas could be used
to run a gas powered light plant; not
wasting energy nor causing pollution.
The BNE did run a light plant for a
while, then stopped it for some rea-
son. There is also a special apparatus
to put on the pipe where the fire bums
to minimize pollution which cost some
$3,000 but apparently BNE does not
want to spend that money. It would
seem that BNE is running behind on
common respect and regulations.
They came in as a small company and
seemed to be friendly people, kindly
asking for permission to access and
possession of the land. But then their
attitude soon changed. Now lately


they have sped up production to the
point where record keeping is ques-
tionable. At present they are hauling
some 25 semi-trailers loads of oil a
day, a market value of 5 to 6 hundred
thousand dollars a day.
While searching for oil they do seis-
mic testing. It is not a rare thing to
see how they invade any property. At
times they move their machinery over
people's land all over the place. When
they meet up with an obstacle, such
as a fence, they break down and
don't bother to fix it again, causing
cattle to come out of the pastures and
damaging neighbors' property.
Any complaint for damage is looked
on with indifference by BNE authori-
ties. Many residents have not even
bothered reporting because they deny
their responsibilities of payments. On
the other hand their PR are exploiting
their rights, and try to show the pub-
lic how they are making Belize a bet-
ter country, even donating money to


3 Ways
hospitals in Belize. They go on head-
line news about making Belize better.
But forget the damage they are caus-
ing to the residents of the area. They
seem to not think too much about the
development of the country but rather
on the immediate cash money they
can make.
Most company care a lot for public
relations but this one makes you won-
der why oil companies don't. I am
sure they have heard about Belize be-
ing a good country and took it for
what it seems to them. Maybe primi-
tive, freedom and tolerance for all
matters, freedom from laws being en-
forced, where money and a good front
means more than friendship and health
of the people, even to those that help
them get rich and wealthy in material
things. Let them go back to their
classroom for a better PR lesson and
maybe a health and environment les-
son and throw in a Social Studies as
well, if they can afford it.
We understand that BNE does not
bring in any monthly report of the
amount of oil being extracted to the
Spanish Lookout Community.
Again, it makes you think that if a
monthly report cannot be kept how
will we know at the end of year how
much it is, in this case it would be af-
ter two years, because they have not
paid anything as yet for royalties and
it is over one year that they have been
extracting. Besides this there is al-
ways of the syndrome of forgetfulness.
The above is a Statement from the
National Reform Part y-
www.nrpbelize.org


0 I R srvtos: 5 1-26-01
MoorM 11111111
M- = U.. ol re : 0042 -33
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Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


Is socialized


medicine


falling apart in Belize?


By: RavAuxillou
The incumbent PUP controlling gov-
ernment seems hell bent on doing away
with socialized medicine, while spout-
ing bombast and rhetoric on the ros-
trum that they are for the poor, the indi-
gent and unemployed.
I gave a ride to a mother, father and
sick vomiting boy to the bus stop today
in Santa Elena Town. The family were
going to Belmopan Hospital to seek
treatment, by long bus ride. They had
already been to the Government Hos-
pital across the river of the twin towns
in San Ignacio nearby. Apparently there
is no doctor on duty and treatment by
Cuban nurses was not working over
several visits. I can empathize with that
as my wife has had the same experi-
ence. The majority of people in the
Cayo West mountainous district, an
agricultural area, look to the government
hospital for medicine. From British
Honduras colonial days the medical
treatment was the best thing Belize has
ever had. It was FREE, or so low cost
as to be negligible. It cost $49 Bz for
my eldest daughter to be born in a semi
private ward. I loved it.
Most Belizeans don't make a lot of
money. The majority of people earn



L AZ RD
b '


cash money, about $40 to $60 Bz a
week today and raise their families on
it. Growing their own food is a must.
This particular family earns about
$135 Bz a week, which is $66 USA.
Full time worker. Of course the fam-
ily is illiterate, and unskilled workers.
The man works oddj ob construction,
chops yards with a machete to keep
them clean and the wife in orange tree
picking season picks fruit. The rest
of the time they live on tortillas and
beans. I've explained to them over
and over about vitamins and malnu-
trition which the three children have.
But their story is not unusual. Actu-
ally, it is the norm. The majority of
families are like that.
I asked the man what happened at


the Government Hospital? He said
they had been several times, but his
son was still sick and vomiting. There
is a private hospital in Santa Elena but
he said he could not afford to go there
for medicine. I suggested a couple of
doctors that were reasonable and ex-
cellent old time diagnosticians. He
said they charge too much. My wife
stopped going to the Government
hospital because of the same com-
plaints. So she now goes to one of
two well liked doctors in San Ignacio.
They charge a $40 Bz flat visit fee and
medicines can run over another $100,
which makes us pause before medi-
cal treatment and we are middle class.
What it must be like for someone liv-
ing on $60 Bz or less a week for a


family of five, I cannot comprehend.
One hears of the newspapers talk-
ing about $100 million dollar govern-
ment guarantees for private hospital
ventures with $1500 deposits before
you can get in the door and can only
wonder what is happening to the
BEST THING BELIZE EVER
HAD. Socialized medicine is great.
We seem to be traveling as a country
toward the European and USA medi-
cal business disasters. Medicine in
Belize has always been better than in
the USA, and I've lived in both coun-
tries. It was one of the reasons I re-
tired back home in Belize for the bet-
ter medical service. But it seems our
medical system is in trouble also like
the rest of the world? I wonder why?


Carving


7
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YOUTH TALENT EXPOSEDI. I







Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8


L&,I


71=.I&2


By: Meb Cutlack
The dismissal of Ministers Espat and
Hyde and the resignations of Deputy
Prime Minister Briceno and Foreign
Minister Courtenay, means more than
just a crisis in the PUP. It signals a shat-
tering blow to what was left of democ-
racy in Belize.
The PUP is not longer a viable politi-
cal party but a mere shell of sycophants
surrounding totally failed leadership.
When the few men of stature in the
party, Espat, Hyde, Briceno and
Courtenay are ousted from their port-
folios and replaced by yes and
yesterday's men, then the time has come
to try and rebirth the PUP.
I was one of those misled into sup-
porting the PUP in 1998. Believed that
the image the presented, of a new, young
PUP was what the nation needed. It
turned out to be neither a new nor a
young party but the same old corrupt
PUP under even more corrupt and ve-
nal leadership than the 'old' PUP.
Whatever happened to the "father of
the nation?" Stand up? Speak out? He
gave that up a long time ago and yet,
spin he must, sometimes in his sleep -


as his dreams turn into nightmares.
It is sad to think today that Belize,
a country desperate for true democ-
racy, must ricochet between the
'hardplace' of the PUP and the 'jelly'
of the UDP a party which seems in-
capable of promising real electoral
reform and is therefore without demo-
cratic credentials.
It is not so much that the fate of our
nation could rest with some sort of
third party group being the only valid
opposition, but the PUP, once proud
and dignified, has crumbled into a hol-
low shell like a toadstool or fungi in
which the centre has rotted out.
The men I call "men of stature" will
be but men of straw unless they now
take the bold step of rehabilitating the
PUP. The four- Johnny Briceno,
Eamon Courtenay, Mark Espat and
Cordel Hyde- and others of like
mind within the PUP, should now re-
sign from the party and form a new
party distinct from the Fonseca/Musa
PUP. A party to accommodate the
reforms and the new thinking and
ideas promised by the PUP in 1998,
but which were never delivered.


One of the saddest things our na-
tion faces today, since the removal of
some of the brightest men in the cabi-
net, is the total lack of candour,
honour and talent among all those
persons newly inflated to high office.
What a laughing stock Belize must
appear to the world when the places
of those Belizeans were proud of are


taken by corrupt lightweights think-
ing only of where their next grubby
dollar is coming from.
Belize desperately needs the third
parties that are now offering them-
selves to the electorate. It also, for
the sake of democracy, needs a re-
born PUP. The PPR, People's Party
for Reform, for example.


Delta Airline starts Nonstop

flights Belize-Los Angeles


Delta s Boeing 757 will fly up to 184 passengers to LAX non-stop on Sundays only..


Press Release Delta Airlines
Belize. June 2007 Delta Air
Lines continues its international ex-
pansion this week with the addition
of nonstop flights from Belize to Los
Angeles International Airport once a
week on Sundays. Delta will serve
with a Boeing 757 aircraft seating up
to 184 passengers.
"We are very pleased of being op-
erating during three years in Belize and
to announce to our local clients a new
nonstop flight to Los Angeles. Our
two routes from Belize to Atlanta and
- now- to Los Angeles will let us of-
fer time-saving alternatives for busi-
ness and leisure travelers flying to USA
and back", said Gladys Henriquez,
Delta Air Lines Sales Manager.
Delta is already the leading U.S. car-
rier and all these new routes further
position Delta as a global carrier, add-
ing international routes faster than any
other airline and being encouraged by
the response from passengers to our
new destinations all over the world.
Belize is an essential part of that in-
ternational expansion plan for Latin
America.


This new nonstop flight from Belize
to LAX represents one more suc-
cessful addition for Delta's expansion
into Latin America and the Caribbean
since it launched an aggressive plan
to rebalance its mix of domestic and
international flying last year.
The frequency of the flights form
Belize to Los Angeles will be from
June 10th to July 15th. After that there
is going to be a frequency from No-
vember 17th to April 2008.
Meanwhile, with the addition of new
flights from LAX to Belize, Delta and
Delta's Connection carrier, Atlantic
Southeast Airlines, will offer 9 weekly
flights from Belize with a daily service
to Atlanta (twice on Sundays) and
once a week to Los Angeles. Belize
is a unique destination for ecotourism
due to its exuberant jungle and be-
cause of its second place world's big-
gest barrier reef. It also will bring a
lot of benefits to the Belizean com-
munity living in Los Angeles.
Delta's new nonstop service be-
tween Los Angeles and Belize, from
June 9th, is scheduled as follows:


Flight Departs Arrives Frequency
197 LosAngeles at01:01am Belize at6:39a.m. Only on Sundays
196 Belize at 8:00 a.m. Los Angeles at 11:47 a.m. Only on Sundays


FOR SALE

Schwinn 21-speed


Cross-trainer bike




















All aluminum rims, release wheels & seat
Shimano 'Alivio' brake Asking
calipers, pedal arms & $500 O.B.O.
derailleur gear, handle contact Independent
grip shifters, quick Weekly








Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9



The Best Political Platform


Preface:
While manypeople talk about our gov-
ernment in Belize not working very well,
andwhile many politicalparties have his-
ti i k ll/)IIYt% /,,l 1 lifk dnni, /,,% i 1ih
very litt J /et '/i / % t v i hI great buthave
very little substance, there is a group of
Belizeans andfriends ofBelize that have
been working to write a manifesto that
should be considered by allpoliticalpar-
ties in Belize.
Even a cursory look at the following
manifesto will show h/ id I nh 1 it bIn J/k li iihliiiL h iniightprovidedby
thi ,,e i ilih ex vrience in government and
l i v king l iith gi i IIIk' 11 The manifesto
came about through the Internet list called
Belize Culture that has daily on-line dis-
cussions aboutBelizean culture andpoli-
tics. There is also the bz-
polisci@vahoogroups.com which I ad-
minister
After much discussion, participant
Bob Brotherton (an engineer who lives in
Dunedin, Florida) 'ugg.e'ted that the
group stop talking and st i/, tiing their
ideas down in an organizedfashion in the
form of a manifesto or what some call
planks in a politicalplatform.
Mrh B, il'i la iti ,t i2, 1v une' ofthe ideas
and served as the editor ofthis document.
We believe this manifesto speaks for it-
self and presents many ideas about how
this gi q f' A il 11 government inBelize
could be improved The idea was to not
look to the past and criticize, but rather
look to the future.
Itwill be interesting to see how many, if
any, ofthe planks are adopted by the PUP,
UDP, and otherpoliticalparties inBelize
for the upcoming elections. Many thanks
to all those who contributed to this pro-
posed "Best Political Platform. "
Over the next several weeks we will
1pI eelnt the planks developed inIndepen-
dent Weekly for public persusal.
-Trevor Vernon
---------------------------------
Introduction: The platform of this
party shall include the following provi-
sions. The party shall insure that these
provisions are enacted into law as soon
as practical after entering into office. A
public quarterly report on the progress
made to fully enact and enforce these
changes will be made throughout this
party's administration.
Plank No. 1
Granting of Powers to Local
Government
Whereas, it is recognized by this party
that local town and village government
is considered as being superior to fed-
eral regulation in dealing with certain
local village matters, and Whereas, each
town or village is recognized as having
different standards and needs for the
provision of certain services, and
Whereas, the ability of the GOB to fi-
nance and provide all services to local
towns and villages from funding sources


available to the GOB is very limited, this
party will insure if elected into office that:
1) Local towns and villages will be
allowed to petition for incorporation by
Charter from the GOB, to be respon-
sible for raising local taxes and fees, if
required, in the provision of certain ser-
vices including but not limited to road
and drainage maintenance, utilities, tele-
communication services, solid waste
services, local police services, and cer-
tain other services as may be petitioned
by the local town or village.
2) Decisions concerning the quality of
service and the administration of such
services, including setting fees and taxes
for chartered services, will be totally the
responsibility of the local elected town
council with no oversight or determina-
tions by Ministries of the GOB being
required.
3) That the GOB will work with local
towns and villages to the extent pos-
sible in grant assistance and other co-
operation between the town and GOB.
4) That in order to petition the GOB
for a town Charter, that a minimum of
51% of local registered voters must
petition the GOB for a Charter through
the local town or village council.
5) That all local town and village elec-
tions will be nonpartisan in nature and
any participation by any recognized
party will be specifically prohibited by
law.
6) That local Towns and Villages will
have the specific authority to regulate
the use of land through zoning and land
use designations through the use of ap-
propriate planning principals and through
public participation in the development
of such land use regulations.
7) All Chartered Towns and Villages
shall be required to operate with a bal-
anced budget each year with an audit
of all accounts performed by profes-
sional auditors on an annual basis.
Plank No. 2:
New Requirements of Elected
Officials
Whereas, it is recognized by this party
that holding public office is a public trust
granted by the general public, and
Whereas, the appearance of wrong do-
ing can result in the loss of trust in govern-
ment officials, and Whereas, holdingpublic
office requires 100% of available time
dedicated to the office held, this party will
insure if elected to office that:
1) Declaration of Assets -A law shall
be passed requiring that all people run-
ning for public office at the national or
local Town and Village level shall de-
clare to the public, in a form to be de-
termined, all assets and interest held in
any and all businesses both within Belize
and in other countries. The candidate
shall also make public their prioryear's
income tax statement. Discovery of
assets not declared shall result in the
immediate termination from office.


2A) Business Interests During the
Term of Office During the term of of-
fice, the elected official (at the national
level), shall not participate in any pri-
vate business operations directly or in-
directly including attending any meeting
concerning the business, presence in the
office of any personally owned business,
work of any kind for the businesses) or
government contracting that would lend
favor to any personally owned business
or business of any relative. Local Town
and Village elected officials may hold
public office and continue in their nor-
mal business, however, anytime a vote
of the council relates to any business or
personal interest of the local Town or
Village official, that official will withdraw
from voting on or discussing the issue.
Failure to comply with these require-
ments shall result in the immediate ter-
mination from office.
2B) Any lawyer or other professional
who is elected to office (at the national
level) shall immediately assign all work
load to associates of the firm or other
companies and cease and desist from
any work representing any past, cur-
rent, or future client, until such time as
the term of office is over. Any lawyer
or other professional who is elected to
local Town or Village Mayor or Coun-
cil Member may continue their practice,
however that official will withdraw from
voting on or discussing any issue that
relates to personal or family business
and other similar interests. Failure to
comply with this provision in the pro-
posed law shall result in immediate ter-
mination from office.
3) Campaign Finance Reform In
order to improve the public confidence
and reduce the excessive influence of
individuals or corporations in the elec-
tion process for national and local elec-
tions, this party shall pass laws that will
(a) require the maximum contribution of
any individual or corporation (including
the candidate themselves) to any one
candidate for office (including the party
of the candidate) a maximum contribu-
tion of $1,000 BZ for each election
campaign, and (b) all contributions shall
be kept in the records of the candidate
and such records shall be available as
public information within 7 days of the
contribution. After the day of the elec-
tion, no contributions will be allowed in
any amount to any successful or unsuc-
cessful candidate until a formal announce-
ment is made that the candidate will run
for the same or another elected office in
the next election cycle. Failureto com-
ply with these requirements will result in
theimmediateterminationfrom that elected
office. Nothingin this law shall be intended
to limit the reporting by news media on
the status of the election process, news
articles reflecting the opinions ofindividu-
als or editors of the papers, public meet-
ings, or other forms of communication in-


cluding the use of the internet for public
information. Political advertisementsinthe
form of ads in various print media, ads on
TV or other visual media forms shall be
paid for by the same fees as other similar
forms of advertisement. All advertisements
shall be paid for from funds collected and
reported as described above.
Plank No. 3 :
Implementing the Political
Reform Commission Recommen-
dations
Whereas the final report of the Politi-
cal Reform Commission contained sev-
eral recommendations that have not
been totally implemented to date, and
Whereas there continues to be a lack
of accountability of elected and public
officials, this party pledges to enact or
revise legislation to fully and effectively
implement the following recommenda-
tions from the 2000 Final Report of The
Political Reform Commission:
1) Statutory Instruments This party
recommends that the use of the Statu-
tory Instrument mechanism be further
regulated by: (a) curtailing the enabling
power of Ministers to legislate by re-
ducing legislation that gives this power;
(b) Making it mandatory for all statu-
tory instruments to go to the House of
Representatives for ratification at the
next sitting of the House.
2) Public Debt This party recom-
mends that: (a) provision be made for
all details of all loans made to the Gov-
ernment ofBelize to be published in the
Government Gazette;
(b) The Government take measures
to ensure that public debt as a propor-
tion of national income is kept at a pru-
dent level.
3) Government Contracts This party
recommends that the following mea-
sures be taken with regard to the pro-
cess of awarding government contracts:
(a) that the Constitution and relevant
laws be amended to require the House
of Representatives to approve the
awarding of all contracts over
$100,000, or to any one entity whose
aggregate contract exceeds $100,000;
(b) That internationally recognized
standards for competitive public con-
tracting be adopted by the Government
through legislation such that there be
public bidding process that is opened
to the general public.
4) Auditor-General To enhance the
effectiveness and independence of the
Office of the Auditor-General, this party
agrees with the Commission that:
(a) the Constitution be amended at
section 109 of the Constitution to re-
form the appointment process so that
the Auditor-General is appointed by the
Governor-general acting on recommen-
dation of the National Assembly con-
tained in a resolution passed on that
behalf.
To be continued next week lm







Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10




Will Dean Barrow provide a




better form of Government?


Contributed opinion
During one of his volatile statements
against Prime Minister Said Musa,
the Leader of the Opposition, Dean
Barrow, stated that Said Musa has
"lost his legitimacy to govern". If
that is so, where does it leave the
voters of Belize?
Dean Barrow certainly cannot assert
that he has shown his legitimacy to gov-
ern. For nine years Dean Barrow has
criticized the actions of Said Musa and
the PUP but offered nothing construc-
tive to correct the problems. It is easy
to criticize, any fool can do it. How-
ever, it takes a person with ability and
integrity to provide the solutions. Does
Dean Barrow have those qualities? If
he has, he hasn't shown them.
Dean Barrow has previously utilized
political reform as a campaign issue. But
has he ever moved the legislature for
such reforms? It appears not. Dean
Barrow should clean up his own act
before he criticizes others.
Manuel Esquivel was a champion of
reform, yet the man he appointed to be
Chairman of his political reform com-
mission, this same Dean Barrow, has
done nothing in that respect. When
asked about an elected Senate he
spoke against it stating his party was
entitled to their "turn." Does this mean
that he wants to retain the status quo so


that he can become Prime Minister and
do as those before him have done?
By his statements and answers Dean
Barrow has indicated that he is not part
of the solution, that in fact he may be
part of the problem. He has had nine
years to move before the legislature the
many different political reforms that
were recommended by the Political
Reform Commission and are necessary
to stabilize the Government and prevent
corruption.
Instead it has been the legitimate press
and many leading Belizeans who have
advocated for an elected Senate. Why?
Because they know an elected Senate
would be the best means of stopping
the corruption of the past 25 years. Cor-
ruption that continues to grow in mag-
nitude.
Dean Barrow recently stated that he
was not sure that an elected Senate
would work. That was a sick answer
to an inquiry. If Dean Barrow has a real
interest in the subject he would know
that an elected Senate works. An
elected Senate has worked in all of the
countries that have it. In the recent elec-
tion in the United States ofAmerica the
voters changed Senators so as to curb
objected to activities of President Bush.
This was a showing of the power that
the right to an elect a Senate gave to
the people. Is it that the potential can-


didate does not want the power to be
in the people of Belize? Is it that politi-
cians wish to retain the dictatorial power
in the Prime Minister so that the crony
system will continue?
Senators should be elected so that
they answer to the voters, not to a Prime
Minister who retains a position akin to
that of a dictator, a position he can use
to punish the members of his cabinet if
they do not agree with and support him.
With an elected Senate the Senate
would no longer be a rubber stamp. An
elected Senate gives the power to the
people.
Political promises are mere rhetoric
that politicians hope will get then elected.
It is rare that a politician, when elected,
will perform such promises. If Dean
Barrow's criticism of Said Musa is of-
fered as constructive criticism he should
immediately move the legislature for
political reform, including an elected
Senate. If he doesn't when it comes time
to vote in the next National Election the
voters will know that a vote for Dean
Barrow is probably not a vote to im-
prove the politics of the country. It could
then well appear that Barrow's criticism
was merejealousy, coveting the posi-
tion ofPrime Minister.
Those members of the Legislature
who demonstrate the true quality of
leadership will be the ones who imme-


diately move for an elected Senate and
other necessary political reforms.
That would be the actions of true pa-
triots, however, the actions must be in
time to pass the motions before the next
General Election. Promises will not suf-
fice as they are seldom fulfilled.
Recently Dean Barrow praised the
virtues of Michael Ashcroft. After
Michael Ashcroft donated $1,000,000
to the PUP's 1998 election campaign,
the PUP also praised Michael Ashcroft's
virtues in an open letter to the British
Press. Michael Ashcroft had been re-
ceiving bad press in England. Press that
suggested that Ashcroft was exercising
unhealthy control over Belize. Thereaf-
ter, it appears that Ashcroft interests
gained with every involvement with
Belize's Government.
Dean Barrow, as an attorney, has re-
ceived large sums of money while rep-
resenting Ashcroft interests.
Is there going to be a repeat of the
scenario that has taken place during the
last nine years if he becomes Prime
Minister? Why did Dean Barrow praise
Michael Ashcroft's virtues? Should the
country be governed by an Ashcroft
supporter who doesn't support an
elected Senate? Or should a candidate
who believes in power to people be
elected?


PNP leader presents environmental

award at TIDE Freshwater Cup
Peoples National Party Leader, Wil
Maheia presented an Environmental
Award to the Integrity Strikers of Em-
ery Grove at the TIDE Fresh Water
Cup on Saturday, June 2, 2007, at the
Union Field, Punta Gorda Town, To-
ledo District. Maheia also presented
a cash donation to the player who
scored the most goals. .. 1
"Congratulations to TIDE for a job
well done," said Maheia at the event
on Saturday. "I encourage the teams
to think about the environment as they
continue to play football... The purpose
of the TIDE Fresh Water Cup is to
educate the young people about the
environment while having fun and to
promote healthy lifestyles."
When the PNP get into government,
we will make sure that young people
have sports programs to participate in
that are sponsored by the GOB. This
is part of our platform, to engage young
people in positive recreation
Press release from the
People's National Party. PNP Leader, Wil Maheia (right) congratulates Integrity Strikers







Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11


By: Julia Heusner
What Is ADad?
A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
and picks you up, if you do,
brushes you off,
and let you try again.
A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mis-
takes but let you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.
A dad is someone who holds you
when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you


Full Service


know how much we respect and ad-
mire yo,u, we want you to know it now
Dad, we think you're the best father any
child ever had
-Chelsea ,Kelsie & Artie Huge

My daddy's always with me, even
though we are apart, 1 know because
he told me, he'll forever be in my heart.
-Abigail Marshal, age 13


Shout outs to fathers.


My father gave me the greatest gift
anyone could give another person, he
believed in me. Julia C.. Heusner ,
age 13

My dad is the most perfect dad of
the world! Emily Rose Vernon, age
5

My dad is the most protective per-
son you'll every meet, but 1 love him
anyway! Francesca .\hi l, age 13
He always there for us.. .ifu never


Airline


With over 180 daily

scheduled flights

throughout Belize

and Flores in

Guatemala


Charters also available









SThe Airline of Belize
fl -
m- -

The Airline of Belize


ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
It might be best to work on your
own; if possible, do your job out of
your home this week. Take time to
explain your intentions to loved
ones. Opposition is present and you
should be prepared to counteract it
as best you can. You may be
tempted to get involved in secret
affairs or love triangles. Your lucky
day this week will be Saturday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
You have to believe in yourself
and your talents. Rewards for past
good deeds will be yours. You will
meet new romantic partners through
the company you keep. Chances to
express your ideas and beliefs can
bring popularity as long as you're
not arrogant. Your lucky day this
week will be Friday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Keep an eye on your weight. You
will be in a high cycle regarding
work. Communications with loved
ones may be strained. Take a trip
or just spend some quality time with
your mate. Your lucky day this
week will be Friday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Be quiet about your intentions or
ideas that might bring added cash.
Your attitude is changing rapidly and
your plate is overloaded. Try not to
lend or borrow money this week.
Don't overdo it. You need to enjoy
yourself. Your lucky day this week
will be Monday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Don't jump into investments too
quickly. It won't take much to up-
set your lover. You can make new
connections if you play your cards
right. Your ability to be practical in
business will help. Your lucky day
this week will be Monday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Your communication skills are at
an all-time high. Loved ones may be
annoyed if they feel restricted. Your
home environment may be hectic,
which could result in emotional up-
set if you aren't well organized. Be
prepared to deal with groups and
organizations of greater magnitude.
Your lucky day this week will be
Tuesday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)


My Daddy is one of the biggest com-
puter nerds I've ever came in contact
with 1 think he might be a bigger nerd
then bill gates he just not as rich But
you just got to love him. Angelica
Alderman ,age 15
1 know he is working 'cause he wants
the best for me. -Benjamin Hidalgo,
age 12


You need to refrain from being the
generous one in the group. Don't be
disappointed if you don't get your
way emotionally. Don't be too
quick to let friends and relatives
know what you're up to. Romantic
opportunities will develop through
friends or relatives. Your lucky day
this week will be Saturday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
You could have a need to make
some changes this week. Real es-
tate investments could be to your
ad vantage. You will probably have
to defend your mate. You may want
to take a look at the personal pa-
pers of elders in your family. Your
lucky day this week will be Friday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Your partner may blame you for
everything. You need to look into
new philosophies. If you have
treated them equitably, you might
be able to count on their loyalty.
You will be uncertain of your feel-
ings. Your lucky day this week will
be Friday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Express your interest if you want
the relationship to progress. You will
have no problem getting your point
across to those in a position to help
you. You are best to put your ef-
forts into redecorating or inviting
friends over. Your emotional life may
be up in the air if your mate has
been going through a change of
heart. Your lucky day this week
will be Monday.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
You may be able to impart knowl-
edge that's innovative to those
searching for a new angle. Plan your
day thoughtfully, but try not to rely
on others. Refrain from arguing with
your mate. Advancement can be
yours if you put your efforts into
work related matters. Your lucky
day this week will be Friday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Opportunities may come up at
prestigious affairs. Go out with
friends and avoid the situation on
the home front. You can meet new
friends who will let you know just
how valuable you are. Self-decep-
tion is likely. Your lucky day this
week will be Sunday.


Your weekly

0[ ?O







Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12 |


Costa Rica criticizes Taiwan as stingy


By: Marianela Jimenez
AP--Costa Rica's president has criti-
cized Taiwan for being stingy with aid
to its handful of allies, while other Latin
American nations struggled with
whether to remain loyal to the demo-
cratic island or strengthen ties with
Taiwan's diplomatic rival, China.
Taiwan is lobbying to hang on to its
24 remaining diplomatic partners after
Costa Rica announced June 5 it was
switching relations to China. Taiwan's
allies, many of them poor countries in
Latin America and the Caribbean, help
bolster its claims of international legiti-
macy.
Self-governing Taiwan and Commu-
nist China split amid civil war in 1949
and China insists that the island remains
a part of its territory. In the battle for
friends around the world, the two sides
routinely offer generous grants and other
inducements.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister James
Huang accused China of offering Costa
Rica "an astronomical figure" to ditch
Taipei. He did not specify what it was.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias
acknowledged that the decision to go
with Beijing was relatedto Costa Rica's
desire to bolster its economy, and he
criticized Taiwan for giving "insufficient"'
aid to its allies. "I was always critical of
the Taiwanese, and I can say now that I
always told them ... if you want to have
friends in the world, you should be more
generous," he said. "Considering the
few friends they have, they don't treat
them very well," Arias said of Taiwan,
adding: "Without a doubt, we will get
more help from China."
Alarmed Taiwanese diplomats met
last month in Belize with Central Ameri-
can officials, hoping to shore up sup-
port after Costa Rica voted against dis-
cussion of Taiwanese membership in the
World Health Organization.
Taiwan had achieved a victory on
May 1 when the tiny Caribbean nation
of St. Lucia announced it was shifting
its relations to Taiwan. As China's mar-
ket grows, many LatinAmerican nations
worry that allying with Taiwan will cut
them out of important trade with China.
"No one can dispute that having bet-
ter commercial relations and investment
with China is positive," Arias said. "I'm
sure they will give us external aid. That's
something we have discussed, and it will
probably be more than Taiwan gave us,
but what we really want is more trade
with China."
Taiwan has tried to battle that by sign-
ing free trade agreements with Panama,
Guatemala and Nicaragua. It recently
added pacts with El Salvador and the
Honduras and is negotiating with the
Dominican Republic.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokes-
woman Jiang Yu said the ties with Costa
Rica have "paved the way for friendly
and beneficial cooperation" and she


Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias takes a hard line.
called on other countries to follow suit. -
Huang, meanwhile, said he had or-
dered Taiwanese embassies in Latin
America "to take extreme precautions
against any further pressure by the Chi-
nese communists."
Many leaders are walking a fine line
between recognizing Taiwan and open-
ing the door to China. Panama and
Honduras issued statements Thursday
that they would maintain diplomatic re- -
lations with Taiwan and commercial ties *"
to China. The Dominican Republic has
pledged to maintain relations with Tai-
wan through at least 2008, but it has
quadrupled its trade with China in the
past three years. Paraguay is solidly
behind Taiwan, which funded construc-
tion of the country's congressional
building and a new, $20 million housing
project for the poor. The Dominican
Republic has pledged to maintain rela-
tions with Taiwan through at least 2008,
but it has quadrupled its trade with China
in the past three years.
In May, Nicaragua's Vice President
Jaime Morales raised the possibility of
cutting ties with the island when he told

INow available I


Huang that "we as a sover-
eign country choose who
our friends are" and that he
"doesn't deny the reality
that China represents eco-
nomically, commercially
and geopolitically."
Analyst Andrew Yang of
the Taipei-based Chinese
Council of Advanced
Policy Studies said the
Costa Rican decision
would likely create a chain
reaction. "Probably Nica-
ragua and Panama are next
and then maybe Paraguay,"
he said.
Taiwan cut 70 mln usd in
aid to Costa Rica in reac-
tion to San Jose's switch-
ing diplomatic recognition


from Taiwan to China.
Taiwan's embassy informed Costa
Rica on Thursday that it was ending
cooperation programs in the wake of
President Oscar Arias's decision the
day earlier to establish relations with
Beijing after four decades of siding with
Taipei in the longstanding dispute be-
tween the two.
Taiwan had committed 35 mln usd
to the construction of a 30 kilometer
stretch of road in tourism-heavy north-
ern Costa Rica.
It had also offered 15 mln usd to con-
struct a building at the Calderon
Guardia Hospital after it was burned
down four years ago.
Taiwan was also supporting farm pro-
duction programs and had offered a
fleet of vehicles for Costa Rica's po-
lice as well.


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Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page133


0:


-S.E(Continued From Page 4)
less we start examining the character
of persons elected to office and stop
voting purely for political party loyal-
ists, senate elections will bear no bet-
ter fruit than area representative elec-
tions.
Corruption and the now pervasive
mafia mentality-not the mechanisms
of election and recall- are at the root
of our current evil. People who are
morally bankrupt are bankrupting
the nation.
We complain about this, but no one
holds our elected officials' well heeled
shoes to the fire hearth or makes them
respect rules and laws already on our
books. Specifically I am referring to
the Integrity in Public Life Act and
office. Those officials who declare
their assets are the exception rather
than the rule and it is widely perceived
that many of those who do comply
GROSSLY understate their own per-
sonal wealth and acquisition of wealth
while in office.
Like junior customs officers who
suddenly build mansions to replace
their moderate income bungalows and
purchase SUV's not only for them-
selves but wives and sweethearts, so
our politicians, men and women who
are paid extremely modest salaries by
international, and I daresay, domes-
tic standards build and buy homes here
and abroad, live a lavish lifestyle and/
or stash money away in offshore ac-
counts. We, the general populace, do
nothing more than gossip about them
like as North Americans do the morn-
ing after they watch "Lifestyles of the
Rich and Famous." We feel resentful
and angry, but we do not channel that
outrage into any insistence or demand
for investigation or accountability.
We do not ask politicians on the
campaign trail if they have declared
their assets, nor do we tell them we
cannot vote for them until they do.
The members of the Integrity Com-
mission resigned in disgust when they
realized they were being used as
poster kids for integrity and charac-
ter. The response to their protest was
to replaced them with a rubber stamp
group even more ineffectual than our
Senate. Rather than resign, I wish the
previous commission had raised a
ruckus. But that is water under the
overpriced, contractor kickback
bridge now...
So what will happen if the govern-
ment changes and legislation is intro-
duced to change the constitution to al-
low for the election of Senators? Will
we just have 12 more people who
can be bribed or bought or skive off
lucrative contracts or sales of nation-
ality? Will 12 more people have the


opportunity to get rich quick, at our
expense? Twelve more people to
laugh at the suggestion they declare
their wealth for all to see?
How do we protect ourselves from
additional corruption unless we tackle
the current problems and enforce ex-
isting laws? How do we screen ap-
plicants for these, the most important
j obs in the land, for their qualifications
and character? For example, do we
put rules in place that exempt people
from running for office if it has been
proven they lied to the public either in
the House or a local village or town
council? Just think about if we had that
restriction right now... we might have
saved ourselves a lot of grief, par-
ticularly recently. Do we put rules in
place that the immediate family mem-
bers of public officials are also sub-
ject to financial review? Would such
a policy have saved us from any of
the recent featherbedding? Do we
make a law insisting that no private
entity can receive a government guar-
antee, or that government cannot take
over any private entity without a public
disclosure of the financial and infor-
mation about the personal assets of
shareholders, and silent partners?
The list goes on and on. The les-
sons we are learning now could serve
us well in the future. The current tur-
moil does not have to be for naught.
Right now, it seems the only rule
those in power seem to care about is
the one concerning crossing the floor.
Because this protects the cohesion
and power of the ruling party; it does
nothing to protect the people. On the
contrary, it PROMOTES blind alle-
giance to party, the supremacy of pri-
vate interest at the expense of the


public and national interest.
Should we continue on this road?
Should we allow our party system-
which is supposed to be the symbol of
democracy-to instead be the instru-
ment of exploitation and dominance?
Can Belize and our lawmakers and law-
making bodies ever improve unless we
enforce protective mechanisms already
in place and enact new, necessary re-
forms to our system?
If we cannot dismantle the party
system can we at least put the brakes
on what has become a runaway train
running over everyone and everything
on either side of the tracks?
It is a positive development to see


I ,* I VAT n


the debate on the elected senate grow
so passionate, although we could do
without the personal attacks. If we
can stay focused on the issues and not
personalities we could push this thing
through and make the politicians re-
spond to the will of the people, in-
stead of the other way around.
Reforms are critical, checks and
balances imperative.
But most of all, we must begin to
choose men and women of character
with a desire to serve, over men and
women of flawed character and self-
serving greed. Elect the Senators yes,
but only if we ensure they serve the
people and not the parties only.


mamre's way tuesmouse
LnhimtGorda

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Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pagp4L4


GUEST


GALLERY


Marty Casado sent this photo of darling water babies at the cayes.


Celeste McCain caught this Wahoo.... (photo submitted by her proud father)
rn.zin- r


Stalagtites and stalagmites in a cave in the Chiquibul reserve dwarf visitors.
(Photo by Marty Casado)


Casado was struck by the color and pattern of tiles in a swimming pool at Turtle Inn.


The sherds of Mayan clay pots found in a Mayan Cave, portals to the underworld.
(photo by Marty Casado)

For Sale


Two Yamaha propellers:
1) for 115 Enduro (Aluminum)
2) for 200- Stainless Steel- 19 pitch


Asking Bz$600 O.B.O.
Contact Independent Weekly







Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pag4 155


S obelize Consulting
0'F 'C:-aner-.l Eliu m e SI& eal Eirate
S Consulting- Escrow Servics
Properly Searches and mine
Visit our website at m &wwrobe e c rm for more
information or email us at wrobelizef@ mail.com
Needed: Mountain Bike Tour Opera-
tor wanted in Cayo with equipment.
Tel: 663-5580
Cayo Adventure Tours Ph# 824-324
Need help with cleaning, ironing, paint-
ing or other household chores at your
Ladyville home? Then call me at 624-
3652. Reasonable rates, mature female.
For sale: Home overlooking Sittee
River w/1/3 acre. Info/photos at:
http://web.mac.com/nadjablz
609-5632 3-5pm daily. (Photo below)
"Free international real estate and


investment blog and podcast. Go
to http://investtheworld.blogspot.com
as we travel the world for fun, invest-
ment and profit."For Rent: A(2) bed-
room flat located in King's Park, Belize
City $800/month
One commercial building (4 offices,
conference room, reception area) in
King's Park $1800.00/month
Computers $800/each Call: 223-
1668/602-9182
Free Ads! The INdependent Re-
former is offering free classified ads
for the month of June:
1)20 words or less
2) one ad per person in the promotional
period for free
(additional ads are only $10 each)
3) with photo (first time free... $10 ad-
ditional for photo ads)


jpeg or tiff formats only. Must be
emailed, no disk pickup or drop off
4) business card -first run is free for
month of May, 2007, $20 a run there-
after
5) All classified ads must be emailed to
independent, newspaper. bz(gmail.


enters


PressRelease--Spouses of staff mem-
bers of the U.S. Embassy, in collabora-
tion with the George Price Centre, are
organizing a creative reading programme
for Belmopan primary school children.
The programme is now in search of
reading mentors who will lead a group
of children with reading and related ac-
tivities. The aim is to stimulate the chil-
dren to enjoy reading and to gain confi-
dence in their ability to read. There will
be three 2-week sessions; each session
will be daily Monday through Friday
from 9am to 12pm (3 hours). Volunteers
could choose to participate in all of the
three sessions, or in one or two ofthem,
be it for an entire week or selected days
only.
Session 1: July 9 July 20
Session 2: July 23 -August 3
Session 3: August 6 August 17
A manual of suggested activities is
being developed for use by the reading
mentors. If you would like to help us
with reading to the children, or with


Land For Sale


Suitable for Conservation
























70 acres in Burrell Boom for US$50K


independent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com


com with cc to
kheusner(@yahoo. com and checks to
PO Box 2666, Belize City.
Please note: We must receive your ad
by Friday at mid-day for inclusion in
following Tuesday issue.




Wantel

ideas for games and other fun activities
based on reading and books, we and
the children would love it! Call us at
822-1054 or e-mail at
info@gpcbelize.com
Thus far the programme has received
financial assistance from the J. Kirby
Simon Trust and the Belmopan Inter-
national Womens Group for the pur-
chase of books. We would appreciate
any additional donation towards this
programme, which we plan to continue
during the school year.










Information Security






Friday, June 15, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pagl6 I


PARENTS


Ministry of Education is forcing our schools to use the Language Tree Readers.
The two pages below are from the first story in the Language Tree Reader for
Infant One. The only way our children will be able to read the story will be if
parents read the story to them over and over and over. If parents read the story
enough times, children will memorize the story. They will not be able to read
the words in the story. Children will never learn to sound out words. Children


without parental


help may never learn to read.


Mindy and
.F X '.1 F


the Coconut Buns


VT, 'q* -:010 M fu 1 ml KAi -2ZCQ.I '3


4.46, 4


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FA.dim Oikff=&h a wBRmC's Rmamda m ashadck Tlawy ham Hr if E's Rm Baad& is is w aow. em3l w o S pln.,t m ammiam DBoik

A Ministry of Eduction official said: We know that children will not be able to learn to read using the
Language Tree Reading Book for Infant One.
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Wly huqwyw mousy to ps thee hamto ftlol boat; inS ou iealch?
Slm MoE was to pla a wy Ismcs l mehg bock (BC) w& a iig bok MoE k aw w d ars hp cm m Wed
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IMAGO

OUTRAGEOUS
Apidad




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