The UDP led a protest yesterday in Belize City. The protest attracted an estimated 250 persons. The protest was held despite the UDP not being granted permission by the police, and it was geared at expressing discontent against the high cost of living. The group was led by Leader of the Opposition, Moses “Shyne” Barrow from UDP’s headquarters to the Shell Gas Station on Central American Boulevard. While the Opposition Leader saw this as a way to bring across the message on a grand scale, Prime Minister John Briceno says this is a ploy to distract the public from their internal problems.
John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “They’re grandstanding and trying to move attention away from the deep internal divisions that they have. I think you need to get your house in order before you try to do anything and it was a fail as far as I am concerned, a failed protest but they have the right to protest and that’s fine and we all recognise, they’re not saying anything new. They’re not being Columbus here or Einstein. We know the issues. That is why, today, for instance, we are voting the subsidy for bread, the subsidy for the bus runs and there’s another subsidy that we have been doing. We have the supply of the Constituency Development Fund. There are many things that we are doing to try to address those issues. We have cut down the tax of fuel but the reality is that we have no control over the cost of the things that come in. Most of the basic foods pay next to zero taxes so there’s not much more that can be done. I wish I could have a magic wand and make it disappear. What we have to do is to continue to work hard. Continue to create more opportunities, create more jobs.”