Social Media, SSB and Santander

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Updated: February 11, 2016

One of the channels of media that has become an everyday part of life for millions around the world is the social media.  From day to day, you can get the opinions and perceptions of individuals on various issues ranging from politics to entertainment.  While the issue of the Social Security Board’s decision of lending Santander twelve million Belize dollars is not dominating the Facebook pages, in some quarters it is being discussed and a very strong opposition is coming from Belizeans.  Carlos Magana, who once held a managerial position at the Belize Sugar Industries, wrote, quote, “The Chairman of the SSB states that the company is Belizean – but that most of its shareholders are not Belizeans. Our present economy is traversing thru a de-risking process from international banking. How does an entity with so many “financial gurus” can proceed to set in the hands of none Belizeans $12 M??? The answer might be – there are assets to secure (Belizean word backup) the loan. The question arises – How many other international financiers have those same assets as security mortgage??? Come on SSB – we here in the north needed Millions for the sugar industry – secure Belizeans which would not be running to any neighbour country. I as a Social Security contributor (tax payer) – DO NOT UPHOLD THE LOAN. I have been contributing for over 20 years to the SSB funds. I call on thousands of other Belizean brothers – to stand and say NO to none Belizean shareholders. If we, Belizeans cannot get the necessary funding – I stand strong – there is no funding for a company which has majority non Belizean shareholders.”  End of quote.  In response to Magana’s post, one person wrote, quote, “Lock down the main road in front of SSB …..picket in hand…not PUP or UDP but concern citizens….do all necessary arrangements…come out in numbers be vocal…GSU will break a few bones but that by itself will ignite passion from the less passionate…we have to treat this country like the jewel it is”  End of quote. Meanwhile, Micah Gooding, who has been vocal on some issues, wrote, quote, “Our young and promising Belizean entrepreneurs cannot borrow 1 Cent from SSB but a Guatemalan firm that does not respect our sovereignty can get $12 Million within minutes. You really have some nerves GoB…That was another DUMB move!”  End of quote.  Another comment made spoke of present benefits for Belizeans, stating, quote, “This is crazy! What they need to do is to increase the benefits to pensioners. It is a shame to expect a child to live off of $115 monthly. This is what my daughter gets as a survivor’s pensioner. Imagine those elderly people, who are non-contributory pensioners, they get $100 monthly. There is a lot of red tape for one to benefit from this. This is unacceptable.”  End of quote. As we have mentioned before, once the approval has been published, Belizeans will have two weeks to submit their written objections or concerns to the Social Security Board.  While the loan has been approved, no disbursement can be made until the two after first publication of the SSB’s board on the loan.