Mayor Palacio’s 14-Minute Independence Day Address Raises Eyebrows
The official Independence Day ceremony began just after ten o’clock yesterday morning in the capital city, Belmopan. The 2-hour event saw addresses delivered by the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, as well as a culture presentation. An interesting turn of events, however, was when the Belmopan Mayor, Sheran Palacio, was tasked to give a welcome address, but instead, delivered a 14-minute speech. In those 14 minutes, there was no welcome, rather, Mayor Palacio spoke on oppression, the internal battles within the Belmopan City Council, the lack of support from her councilors, and in the end, an appeal to the PUP to allow her to run in the next election. Here is a snippet of that extended welcome address.
Sheran “Sharon” Palacio, Mayor of Belmopan City: “One would think that with intelligent people in office, and I’m referring to my own council, they would be ready to support development. For those of you who don’t know we had and still have the opportunity to invest in a 10 million dollar bond to help develop our nation’s capital, even after I agreed to the added conditions imposed by my council they have refused to sign. In trying to undermine my leadership let it be known that our people are looking and they deserve better. Citizens and the nation’s highest leadership, I challenge you to take this matter up as a case in point for problem solving for the benefit of the citizens of my beloved Garden City. When you have plenty of enemies following you, bumper to bumper, and praying for you to fail you must cleverly sidestep their landmines and coast to victory, leaving a legacy. With only six months remaining for me to deliver this Garden City, I want to reassure the People’s United Party that I stand ready to deliver the city of Belmopan once I’m given the opportunity.”
The address from the Leader of the Opposition followed, and Moses Shyne Barrow was sure to jump on the opportunity for political gain. Barrow commented on Mayor Palacio’s complaints of the Belmopan City Council, by telling her not to worry, as the UDP will take all her pains of the council away, come the municipal elections.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “I promised to behave today but after that speech from the mayor so truthful and so candid I will say mayor you don’t have to worry because in March the UDP will win Belmopan so all of your problems will disappear. A pleasant good morning to all of you. I welcome all of you. I am so happy to be here with all of you, even my political opponent who raised the gas price at midnight. I forgive you, still my brother, in independence. Good morning and blessings to the Governor-General, Her Excellency, Froyla Tzalam, Prime Minister Honorable John Briceño and Mrs Briceño, Chief Justice Blenman and other members of the judiciary, members of cabinet, members of the opposition, members of the Senate, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, the Clerk and Staff of the National Assembly, Her Worship outgoing Mayor of Belmapan Sharon Palacio.”
Another political jab taken by Barrow was the increase of fuel prices on the eve of Independence Day. Three weeks after the last price adjustment, the cost of gasoline saw another increase. On Independence Day, the price per gallon of Regular gasoline went up by nineteen cents from thirteen dollars and nineteen cents to thirteen dollars and thirty-eight cents. The price per gallon for Diesel fuel remained at twelve dollars and ninety-one cents as did the cost of Premium which is still fourteen dollars and forty-nine cents. The last two price increases for fuel were made at the end of August, which brought the cost of Diesel and Premium to where they are now. We note that the Briceno administration has continued its trend of not announcing when gas prices are adjusted. Sources tell Love News that there have been as many as forty adjustments to the price of gasoline for this year.