In a news story brought to you some weeks ago, we spoke of Guatemala’s intentional focus on their territorial claim to Belize in an effort to side-track the attention of its citizens from the other social ills that plagues Guatemala. While this sentiment has been echoed by various international agencies, when we take a look at the local level, the question arose as to whether the Government of Belize is doing the same thing whilst ignoring other social issues Belizeans currently face. PUP’s Leader, John Briceno cited the BTL matter as one of those major issues.
“I’m not in any way suggesting that the government is happy for what is taking place there but it certainly has afforded them an opportunity to divert attention from the real the other pressing problems that we have in this country and we in the opposition have not forgotten those issues, we bring it up in the Belize Times, we bring it up on our talk show and pretty soon we are going to have a full press conference where we are going to talk about these issues. We have the issue of BTL where because of the folly of this government or their hubris or their arrogance or their pride is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to the Belizean tax payers; monies that we can’t afford. Let’s not forget they blew away $325 million dollars in two years. In the last month of the election it was $44.7 that they just blew away for them to win the election so now the treasury is broke and now we have to find hundreds of millions of dollars to pay because the agreement that the Prime Minister signed on behalf of the country was pretty much that whatever the courts decide he is going to live up to that.”
Opposition Leader Briceno went on to speak of other social and economic woes that Belize currently faces.
“We have the issue of crime where once again it’s rearing its ugly head where our young people are shooting one another and killing one another it’s really a major concern in this country. We have the issue of the economy, that it is slowing down, now all of that Petro Caribe money that was just thrown on a wild binge before the elections now that money has been working it’s way through the economy so that money is drying up so now the economy is trying to contract people are starting to see that there is no money circling in the economy. Yes we have it in the banks; it’s no good in the banks if people don’t have some in their pockets so that is becoming a major problem. All our major industries are in problems from sugar to citrus, to bananas, to shrimp, the Free zone is a sneeze away from closing down and nobody is looking at these issues; the government is not providing the leadership that this country needs especially at such a critical juncture in the history of this country and we have to make sure that the people are aware of these problems and so we are going to have a press conference where we are going to be talking about these major issues that affecting the daily lives of our citizens.”
According to Briceno, the PUP will bring these matters to the forefront shortly.