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LOO Says the Barrow Administration is Responsible for the Blue Bonds

The Government of Belize has been touting the success of its negotiations with The Nature Conservancy to rid Belize of the massive Superbond. In the Superbond’s place are the Blue Bonds, which have a number of conditions and commitments that Belize must maintain. In speaking on this pivotal development, the Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber says that while the Briceno government completed the process, he insists that they give the previous Dean Barrow-led UDP Government credit for beginning it.

Hon. Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition: “We’ve seen much of it come to fruition. The blue bond, the blue loan, all will tell you who are objective that it is something started in fact when Prime Minister was in England just last week and there was the forum with the TNC folks. The TNC lady if you remember turned ‘How long have we been working on this Prime Minister.’ and he had to concede it was well in eighteen months to two years that this has been in negotiation. Anybody who does that math knows very well that it is a UDP government that was in that time when those negotiations were started and probably progressed significantly. But in terms of the conservation fund that will be a major part of seeing through that initiative the opposition will continue to give it’s hand in fact we are in discussion now the TNC and the folks from the TNC who are setting up the conservation fund are reaching out to stakeholders in general but especially to the opposition and we will be a part of that to ensure that the make up of the conservation fund, the proper use of the funds to make sure that we’re hitting the targets of the blue loan agreement or of the conservation agreements that we’ve agreed to comes to fruition the opposition intends to be a major watch dog and a major part in ensuring that that gets done.”

The Blue Bond spans a total of nineteen years. In that time, there should be constitutionally four general elections. The UDP is trying to come back to government in next one due in 2025. When asked about whether the UDP will uphold those Blue Bond commitments if it comes back to power, UDP Leader Faber says that they certainly will.

Hon. Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition: We point out as without hesitancy that this is the brain child of the UDP in government. In fact the facts of the matter will point out that  because we were aware that there was going to be an election and the possibility albeit small as we saw it at the time that there would have been a change in government we engaged the opposition. Mr. Christopher Coye at the time and other members of the People’s United Party who were of course being signaled as the financial leaders of the PUP at the time were consulted by our Carla Barnett and Steve Duncan to let them know that this initiative was coming forward. And so it is because we want to see that continuity. So when it is that there is this kind of accomplishment now for the Government of Belize for us it is not UDP or PUP it is for Belize and you are right ten years down the road, five years down the road even if should there be a change of government the things that we’ve subscribed to, the conservation efforts, the preservation of our marine resources is not something that we are not in support of. In fact you will see our track record in the UDP the moratorium on offshore drilling. You see our fight how hard we fought to get Belize off the list of site endangered for UNESCO World Heritage in the case of the Belize Barrier Reef system. So these are things and I can go on and on about the record of the UDP so that does not need to be a fear. We will continue to support those efforts and there can be no conflict as far as we see it when it comes to us meeting those goals and maintaining those goals even in improving on those goals because I point out again that one of the goals that is blatantly missing from the goals that are on there that were agreed to is offshore drilling, there was no point on offshore drilling because the government again could not reach a significant position on that but the UDP would have no problem in saying no to offshore drilling for further extended period of time.”