Briceno: Barrow’s Refusal to Pay is Cause for Concern

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Updated: December 4, 2017

Opposition Leader John Briceno also addressed the matter of the CCJ’s ruling that government pays the ninety point six million dollar UHS debt owed to the Belize Bank Limited. According to the Opposition Leader, the Prime Minister’s decision to not honor the CCJ’s ruling should not only concern politicians but every Belizean.

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“The Prime Minister got a judgment from the CCJ and he as a senior counsel he knows what he should do. A democracy is based on the rule of law and once we start to disregard certain rulings because we do not like it for one reason or the other then that can lead either to dictatorship or it can lead to anarchy.”

According to Briceno, Belize cannot afford the negative backlash the Prime Minister’s decision will have on the country on the international platform.

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“We need to understand that we are a developing country and we don’t have the capital, we don’t have the technology, we don’t have access to the markets internationally and the minute that we start to have this kind of reputation that as a government we are not going to live up to agreements that we have signed then people that want to come and invest in Belize are going to take a second, third, fourth, fifth look they are going to take a hard look as to whether they should come to Belize or not and that is the truth. For the Prime Minister again to say in this statement that almost — I want to use the right word but basically to tell them to hell with them if they don’t want to come that is being reckless and irresponsible and it is because of that kind of behavior I agree that there are the independent voters, they become disillusioned about politics and they have every right.”

But whose fault is it really? There has been an ongoing back and forth about who is to blame for the debt that government has been ordered to pay. Since the ruling, and in effect even before, the Barrow administration has been emphasizing that the PUP’s decision to enter into the loan agreement when in office has placed Belize at a loss while the PUP says it due to the Prime Minister’s reckless handling of the case.

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“We had our internal discourse or our internal fight over this matter, the Belizean people have ruled on this matter in 2008, in 2012, in 2015 but I also like to point out that irrespective of how you feel about the sentiment that then Prime Minister managed to find a settlement- be if you think it was bad or good or wrong or whatever it is you like it or dislike it he found a settlement but if the Prime Minister believed that any person in the previous government broke the law then what he should have done was take these people to court and hold them responsible for the actions that they did. He tried against the former Prime Minister and also on the former Honorable Ralph Fonseca he lost the case, he tried against former Minister of Health Jose Coye and former Minister of National Resources Honorable Florencio Marin and he lost the case. Don’t blame me for that because of his incompetence but if there is something wrong, if there is any illegal action then he should take action but because now he believes that he knows more than anybody and he again being this vindictive and vicious and spiteful and trying to move away the real issues that are affecting us as a country.”