Leader of the Opposition Criticizes Excessive Investment in Music Festival
Leader of the Opposition, Moses Shyne Barrow, was not so positive in his feedback and remarks on the Belize International Music and Food Festival. He noted that one million dollars is an excessive investment even if it includes international performers.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “But the UDP, the opposition UDP, feels very strongly about the lack of accountability when it comes to this Belize International Music and Food Festival. A million dollars is a lot to spend on international artists. You have seen artists, I’m sure you’ve seen the video with the lead singer from the TLC band complaining, you’ve seen legendary artists such as Ernestine complaining about the treatment of the Belizean artists. So don’t take a million dollars of our taxpayer money to wine and dine the foreign artists and then treat our Belizean artists as if they are non-entities. Furthermore, it is important for a government that has formed government based on accountability, based on transparency to give account of how the monies have been spent. So that we as the taxpayers that are funding this Belize International Music Festival can make a determination whether or not our money is being well spent. That money doesn’t belong to Anthony Mahler and his good friend John Marsden. It doesn’t, that’s not his slush fund. That is our money. The BTB is a quasi-government entity. Those are our taxpayer dollars.”
Opposition Leader Moses Shyne Barrow, furthered his comment on the festival, saying he has been responsible for myriad promotions for Belize, and it did not cost him one million dollars. He said that referring to the investment made in the festival, in the name of boosting Belize in the international arena.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “How many international coverage I myself have gotten? Forbes, Essence, whether it’s urban media or pop media, Rolling Stone, hundreds of millions of impressions and they belittle it, they dismiss it. Oh so now all of a sudden when a blog picks up something happening and Belize it matters ? But the difference is the Government of Belize does not pay for my travel. Not a taxpayer dollar pays for my travel. I pay for my travel. So when I am promoting Belize, when I did the BET Awards I didn’t get any congratulations from the Government of Belize. I didn’t get any commendation from the British Crown, nothing. You know, I saw that UB was giving out honorary doctorates. Nothing, for the work that I have done in promoting Belize because if now we’re spending a million dollars so that a few blogs could pick up Belize then the things that I have done, you can see that it is just politics and hypocrisy that have led to the lack of appreciation. But what I’m saying is, what I have done does not come at the cost of the Belizean people. So we need to see the accounting.”