It was when the Prime Minister was about to give his presentation and scold the Opposition that they walked out of parliament. This didn’t do anything less to calm the PM who was already incensed and ready to scold the Opposition, particularly the architect of the deal, former PM Musa.
Prime Minster Dean Barrow: “The architect of this deal talked about the constitution. Well two things: first of all it is the constitution makes clear that the House is sovereign in matter like these and the decision to pay; to vote monies out of the Consolidated Revenue Funds must be the decisions of the House alone; not of any court. It is the decision of this House. Since the 20 million, the $10 million US that they got from Taiwan and the $10 million US that they got from Venezuela both formed part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Let’s forget that the question of the immorality of the diversion of monies in the case of Venezuela that have been voted for poor people. Since those monies part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund; how could the then Prime Minister, how could the People’s United Party Government had withdrawn those monies from the Consolidated Revenue Funds to settle that UHS debt without first coming to the National Assembly. I don’t need to repeat what I just read in terms of the Constitution so called settlement, that zero balance was always illegal; completely, totally, utterly illegal. The architect of the corruption, the member for Fort George said that I was the guilt of malicious prosecution because he ended up being charged by the Director of Public prosecutions who is completely and constitutionally independent who though in my view quite wrongly that he had stolen certainly the $20 million dollars from Venezuela. His son the devil’s spawn perpetrated this abomination and said that in fact it was what? A urination contest and a sense of ego on my part that made me not accept what had been properly done by his father. How could I have accepted what was utterly illegal and unconstitutional? The devil’s spawn got so carried away but he has always been an empty vessel making the most noise. He thinks that if he shouts at the top of his voice somehow that will make it more effective but I think he undertook to teach me law because he said that I should not have gone after the $20 million dollars from the Belize Bank. Well Madam Speaker what I am guilty of in that context is perhaps a dereliction of duty in also not having gone after the $20 million from Taiwan.”
The PM said the PUP administration did not table any of the funds received from Taiwan or Venezuela in the House. Since the PUP abstained by walking out, the vote from the Government’s side was to not pay the debt. Since it was a judgment handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice, the interests will continue to accrue.