Opposition Says PM Barrow Is Enamored with Optics

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Updated: August 2, 2016

While the Belize Progressive Party has viewed with contempt the recent changes to Cabinet, the People’s United Party has also issued a statement saying that the Prime Minister has attempted to hoodwink the Belize people by doing minor adjustments to the Cabinet to give off the perception that he is acting in the interest of justice and the people.  The release reads, in part, quote, “Mr. Barrow seems to be unduly enamored of the word “optics,” using it frequently in past weeks, and that is exactly what this “reshuffle” is – optics.  The PUP believes that at the very least the confirmed relationship between John Saldivar and William Mason, one which resulted in money changing hands, should have been the subject of an intensive, objective investigation. The relationship between other Cabinet members and William Mason, again confirmed, should have been the result of an intensive, objective investigation. The relationship between high-ranking members of the Belize Police Department and William Mason, confirmed, should have been the subject of an intensive, objective investigation.  Instead, Saldivar has been given a tiny, token slap on the wrist, if that, and the Prime Minister has in effect declared that to be the end of that. Not one of the other Cabinet ministers, who had a relationship, including Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, has been touched. Mr. Barrow has further declared that the Belize Police Department has the investigation into William Mason well in hand and he is satisfied with their handling of the matter – in the same breath that he states that Mason was very close to members of said Police Department.  Information continues to emerge from the Mason detention, which demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that William Mason maintained a very close relationship with former Minister of National Security John Saldivar and members of the Police Department close to Saldivar, particularly the Special Patrol Unit. Information has also emerged which indicates that certain elements of the investigation have been manipulated to protect Saldivar and persons close to him.  We feel that the so-called “reshuffle” is no more than a move by the Prime Minister to appoint un-elected persons loyal only to him to very strategic positions within government. Clearly, judging by the non -performance of Senator Godwin Hulse, this has not worked in the favor of Belizeans. Vanessa Retreage will be no different – just another Barrow loyalist who, like Hulse, owes no loyalty to the Belizean people because they are unelected.  The PUP calls on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to deviate from his trademark “all glitter and no substance” style. This cannot be about “optics.” The Belizean people demand more than “optics.” The only way to ensure an impartial and proper investigation is to ask for assistance form our international partners. If the Prime Minister, as he has indicated, refuses to do this, it will be because he does not want the truth to come out. That truth, as we understand it, could destroy his administration. “End of quote.