COLA calls for immediate construction of FOB

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Updated: August 27, 2015

Under the theme, “Build the base now”, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, held a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City this morning. The general topic was the Belize/Guatemala dispute and Belize Territorial Volunteers’ recent trip to Sarstoon Island. During the press conference, COLA made three demands.

Hipolito Novelo reporting…

In the packed VIP room of the Radisson Hotel, Geovanni Brackett, the President of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, flanked by fellow COLA members, sat under a banner that had on it-printed in bold- the theme of the press conference- “Protect Belize- Build the base now!” The base referred to is the Forward Operating Base that the Government of Belize promised to build near Sarstoon Island. That base has yet to be built and the last we heard of it was that the contract was put out to tender. This morning COLA called for three things;

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“One, to build the base now, not next year, not when you try to win another election but to build this base now. We want this base to be built and established now. We need to see that our government is serious, we have not seen a visible plan, we’ve not heard about a budget or a budget introduced to the house or approved by the Prime Minister’s office but we can talk about PetroCaribe is rolling but definitely PetroCaribe is not rolling at the border. We say further delay of the construction of this base will have given rise to what we call justifiable suspicion. We would therefore have to ask ourselves if this base is not built then what is the real reason why they can’t build the base. Is it because they have been compromised? Is it because there is some agreement that they have agreed to either in theory or maybe in writing because these days we don’t know what they write on behalf of us. But we will have to ask ourselves where is the priority and the intention of the government?”

Hipolito Novelo – Love News

And as COLA’s second calling, their intention is to get rid of Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington.

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“Two, we are calling again for the removal of Sedi Elrington as Foreign Affairs Minister. Any Foreign Minister that openly sides with a Foreign Organization over its people is no longer fit to work on behalf of his people. “

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

Brackett is calling for the Belizean people to support COLA in demanding that the Government of Belize re-evaluate its relations with the Government of Guatemala.

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“The third thing is for us to revisit every single agreement with Guatemala that has ever been signed. It is time for us to reevaluate the pros and cons, we need to reevaluate our losses and gains with a brain. We cannot be giving out so much money in the millions to a foreign country that does not recognize our independence, a country that has a claim over us.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

About 60-70 persons attended COLA’s grand press conference. Colored printed posters with the faces of Belize’s Foreign Minister and his Guatemalan counterpart decorated the walls of the room. It’s been a while since we’ve seen COLA invest so much in a press conference which was also paid to be aired live on radio. So the question on who paid for it had to be asked.

Reporter

“Money di spend and money di mek, I’m just asking who is paying?

Geovanni Brackett – President, COLA

 “Jules, the first thing is this, you don’t hold the political parties accountable but yet you and the government want to hold any other group accountable but COLA is COLA.”

Reporter

You are starting to sound like the Prime Minister now.

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

What that means is this Jules, the UDP wants to know when I went to Turks and Caicos if I met with Michael Ashcroft. When I travel it’s the church that sends me, when I go to LA, it’s my family that pays for the trip, you want to know all of my business.

Reporter

 I’m asking about public business.

Geovanni Brackett – President, COLA

All I will say Mr. Vasquez is take that level of accountability to the Prime Minister.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

And while COLA’s President simply did not answer the question on two paid for it all one of COLA’s members, Moses Sulph, attempted to do so. 

Moses Sulph – COLA

 “There are lot of persons out there who love this country just like we do, there are a lot of organizations who are capable of printing these things and because they love the work that COLA is doing as an organization that is neutral they would support in printing these things and different things like that and contributing whether it be in kind or money. So there is nothing illegitimate happening at COLA, we don’t have money, we depend on people who have hearts and who love the country and who would love to hold politicians accountable.”

Reporter

But you understand that if you demand accountability you must also five accountability.”

Geovanni Brackett – President, COLA

“But then you are not a member of COLA, we didn’t pay for you to come here either, it was out of kind that you came here.”

Reporter

“You didn’t pay for me but perhaps others.”