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Belizeans Grade the PUP’s First Year in Office

And with the opposition doing its job in criticizing the government and holding them accountable, the real report card on the Briceno administration comes from the people and the voters in the country. Tonight, we start the grading in Belize City. Here is Reporter Vejea Alvarez with that report.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: 12 months into office and who is the most qualified person to grade the government than the people themselves ? Or experiencing the effects of the Briceno administration rule ? It was one year ago on November 11, 2020 that the People’s United Party won 26 of the 31 electoral divisions bringing them into Belmopan on a strong blue wave. But the time to celebrate has well passed and now its time for their first report card. I spoke to several persons who gave their views on the current management of the country. I find it noteworthy to say however that many people refused to go on camera to give their views. Some for immigration issues, others for fear of victimization and others who say they cannot afford to not get their ham or turkey this year.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News:  What grade would you give the government in their performance this year ?

Resident: “Everything is fail because the government is supposed to help everybody because of this COVID but he didn’t. He helped a little bit not helped the most like El Salvador’s government that one he helped everything the whole country but not Belize. So Belize is failing in everything from the veggies to everything.”

Resident 2: “This government let me tell you something. We don’t expect nothing nice with a duncy government. Duncy. Zero in conduct. You see right now you just see plane is coming down they are filling their pockets. That is the truth.”

Resident 3: “They did bad and I grade them 0% because PUP failed us.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Why would you say that ?

Resident 3: “Because they made us vote them in there for stupidness because they are not doing anything with the money they are getting and plus on top it’s not like they are helping out anyone out here because look at what all they’re doing and it’s a pandemic right now.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And while those citizens say GOB has out rightly failed others gave a passing grade considering what they inherited when they took office.

Resident 4: “I think the government is doing a good job because in everything you have to grow and you have to strive for perfection to reach your goal.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: So you would say they passed ?

Resident 4: “Yes I would say they passed.”

Resident 5: “I think the man they are doing the best that they can do right now you know with the situation with the COVID situation and the economy almost collapsed any freaking government that you put in there would be struggling. So whatever stage those brothers are in right now they are doing a good job. Dean Barrow told you that whoever took up that position there right now have to be good, he prayed for them so you know what I’m saying ? So if Dean Barrow is telling you and this government is trying their best those guys are doing good.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: According to another man I spoke to not only has this administration failed but the prior administration as well. 

Resident 6: “Well personally I don’t see the government doing much but they’re only in a year too and we had another government in for thirteen years or twelve years or whatever but personally I feel like this government and the last government isn’t doing anything especially for the youths and the youths are out here getting colder, the streets are getting colder, people are not eating, things are bad and you have to step up your game and try to do something for the people because I haven’t seen any changes in Belize. If you go to Chetumal right there in the last fifteen years you see the difference Belize still looks the same everywhere else around us is upgrading we have to step our game up and yeah. I want the people to know when you go out there don’t vote red and blue, vote for people and make a change and try let us see something good and not vote for party and being stupid with the diehard and playing those simple games. Let us make change for Belize that’s all I want to say.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Whether it be a pass or a fail the Briceno administration is here to stay, well at least for four more years. So will they live up to their high expectations ? Or will they be booted out ? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what 2025 brings.

While our news team was in the area of the Michael Finnegan Market we decided to get some feedback from the local vendors on how the Ministry of Agriculture has performed under new leadership. Many of them were reluctant to speak due to fear of repercussion but the few we managed to get on camera were not too happy. According to them, the main issue has to do with the distribution of importation licenses that force them to sell local produce.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: How would you say the Ministry of Agriculture performed this one year since they came in ? 

Resident: “Well he failed too because sometimes people need veggies we don’t have so why doesn’t he give permission to Mexico to bring it in ? So he failed. At least a little bit not so much. You see the carrots ? When they said we have pretty carrots that’s not true because this is not a pretty carrot. See there? This is for rabbits not for humans.”

Resident: “Well I say fail because the produce of this carrots, see this is Belize carrots. They come $80 a bag. $80 a bag so they pressure you to sell it to pressure the people. I feel bad. I feel like you are selling your soul.”

Resident: “The Ministry of Agriculture is not helping us right now because there is local lettuce and they are allowing imported lettuce we are doing bad with that because there is a lot of local lettuce that is going to waste. Where is the investment by the local farmer ? The cost of chemicals is high right now. One sack of fertilizer when the red government was in power was at $58, now we are paying $80 at Proccer. At the agrochemicals they are paying $90 for a sack of fertilizer so they are not helping us right now with anything.”