Thursday, September 11, 2008

Western Belize News Service


This is the month of rains and so far we are just getting mostly night time showers. Not too strong, or too much, but enough to make the corn grow well. Many flowers are bursting out in beauty now with the rains and it is a time of planting winter crop varieties and to put flower cuttings into pots for transplanting into the ground. With wet soil, plants grow well, thanks to the seasonal intervention of our Belizean Rain God, CHAC.


Belize is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country these days. We have a National Holiday on the 10th of September, in honor of the Baymen, in the battle of St. Georges Caye. This battle occurred out at St. Georges Caye about 9 miles from Belize City, behind the Great Barrier Reef. Several times the Spaniards from Mexico swept across this island and destroying the old capital here, capturing and forcing the inhabitants into slavery in Cuba, or marched up the Yucatan Peninsular in chains, to Merida, where they were tortured and eventually drawn and quartered. The Battle of St. Georges Caye is a National Celebration, because at the time of declaring the holiday, the government of the day, after Independence in the 1980’s was controlled by black people in the old colonial port of Belize City on the coast. Politicians of the time in the early 1980’s wanted unifying symbols and myths to unite people. According to the records, white Englishmen in a war sloop and Baymen, which meant pirates and logwood cutters that made up the settlement, all white Europeans; fought the Spanish, which were other white Europeans over the fairly empty land that was then Belize. The Maya and Mestizo residents of the time are believed not to have numbered more than 10,000 people in remote interior jungle farms and communities. Their ethnicity was not either BLACK, or WHITE. In the 1980’s though, all political power was handed over by the white man from England to the BLACK population along the coast. Allegedly, the slaves of these WHITE Europeans, also assisted their masters in repulsing the Spanish war fleet off St. Georges Caye, as the local community knew the small war fleet was coming. Due to the narrow reef entrance at the Caye, and the use of cannon and grapeshot on log rafts, the Spaniards were fought off, as they were unable to either maneuver in narrow sandy coral shallow channels inside the reef, or enter through the only reef entrance blocked by an English war sloop. There was fearful loss of life by the Spanish, who having lost the element of surprise were unable to land marines in row boats, or maneuver their ships in the ocean outside the Barrier Reef, to attack with their cannon. Since then, no other Spanish invasion has occurred in Belize. The British whites and their Black slaves, later emancipated, laid claim to the land. Borders were assigned by Empire building Europeans during their wars over there in Europe. The MAYA residents and MESTIZOS, then as today, ignored the white man and the black man along the coast. The subsequent government, even today is still black dominated and this battle is mainly a celebration of white European supremacy and that of the Black descendants along the coast of Belize.

If you check the history of Belize and you can find the illustrated books on the subject FREE on the internet. Try in GOOGLE, The “EARLY HISTORY OF BELIZE”, you can find the history of 500 years of continuous war by the indigenous Maya, against the invading conquistadors from Mexico. Through massacres, religious enslavement and European diseases, unfortunate locust plagues and droughts, the indigenous population of Belize was decimated, until at the time of INDEPENDENCE in the 1980’s only BLACKS and WHITES had any say in political power. This is almost true today in 2008, though more and more indigenous roots Maya and Mestizos are recently being allowed to work as government clerks in the government bureaucracy, formerly restricted to the BLACK population.

What we have now in WESTERN BELIZE RECREATIONAL AREA, Cayo District, is a population mostly of MAYA and MESTIZOS of Mayan mixed blood and about 30,000 white Mennonite farmers, that trace their travels from Russia, to Canada, to Mexico and now in Belize. These Mennonite white farmers arrived about 50 years ago, when there were only 5000 of them. Only in this last election, this year of 2008, did the second generation Mennonite immigrants actually enter politics with a couple of candidates.

This government holiday of September 10th is accepted by all Belizeans of all ethnic cultures and races, but as far as parades and other holiday accoutrements, it continues to be mainly a BLACK holiday found down in the port towns along the coastline. The MAYA and MESTIZO population in Western Belize, accept the free government holiday with salary, but ignore the historical context of this battle, as it was just a skirmish between invading European WHITES, some with black slaves, over THEIR MAYAN LAND against a Spanish European group intent on conquest. The battle the holiday represents does not reflect the history of the Maya and Mestizo indigenous population of Belize. Nor does the BLACK designed official flag, which is the NATIONAL FLAG. Which has no reference to the indigenous inhabitants. Consequently while this September 10th, is a BLACK and WHITE ethnic, GOVERNMENT HOLIDAY, it is not celebrated much in any of the interior districts like Western Belize, whose Maya and Mestizo population do not relate in any way, to this skirmish called the Battle of St. Georges Caye.

In the last three decades, demographics has replaced BLACKS as the major population group, though they still control and dominate the government civil service and political process. The interior MAYA and MESTIZOS now are in greater numbers, as the BLACKS tend to migrate to industrialized countries and live in the cities there. The MESTIZOS and MAYA still do not have much impact on the political power structure of the nation of Belize. Though that time is surely coming in the next few decades.

A holiday is a holiday and Belize has a lot of holidays, We live in the tropics and any excuse to have a party and not work is enjoyed to the maximum, by all cultural and ethnic racial groups. After all, we live in the tropics, why work so hard? We are trying to catch up to the French and the Italians for days off from work. Any excuse will do.


Hit by several hurricanes, Turks and Caicos islands apparently has received emergency help from several of it’s CARICOM neighbors. Not from Belize though. None of our Belize Defense Force members have gone to assist the multi-island country. We should be ashamed of ourselves? Maybe we could send a cheque, equal to the value of air transport, if we had sent 12 BDF members?


It was reported on Caribbean News that the Turks and Caicos government had insured their infra-structure and loss of government tax revenues, while re-building from being hit by hurricanes. This year they got hit by two hurricanes so far and have received a hefty insurance company cheque for the Government of the Turks and Caicos. Sounds like something our government could do also, as currently a hurricane hit averages a loss of $150 million dollars on average to infra-structure damage and tax revenue loss while re-building goes on in Belize. It also sounds like we should make legislation for our banana and sugar industries, to make it mandatory that these industries insure their crops for hurricane damage?


On the tenth of September, Caribbean News reports that Heads of Caribbean governments meeting in Barbados on the subject of the European Union, Economic Partnership Contract being shoved down our throats, in a shift from military colonialism, to economic colonialism methods, has been unable to agree. GUYANA outright refuses to sign the EPA. Guyana has two crops like Belize, one is rice and the other is sugar. Our two crops at risk are sugar and bananas. The new Imperial Empire power is now the European Union. Though the USA are expected next year after their election, to start competing for the Caribbean with the European Union.

Our Belizean Prime Minister has announced he will submit and sign the EPA, to protect the jobs offered by our sugar and banana industries. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is basically going to take Belize back to colonial days with his decision. This is WAR, an economic war. Why will our Prime Minister not fight? I wonder how the CABINET decision went in UDP votes? We are not going to be ruled by a British Governor, or even a EU governor, but basically our future is going to be cancelled and it certainly looks like the last 11 years of progress in the nation of Belize to self sustainable, fiscal and economic independence are to be thrown away as we sign into a new indentured type economic slavery contract. The sad thing is; there are no guarantees of a preferential tariff, or continued markets, or even an escape clause in the EPA, that allows Belize to change our mind and withdraw from the EPA, should the economic circumstances change. Perhaps by WTO lawsuits from other countries, or the forked tongue white European tendency to double cross, third world countries. Sounds like lousy lawyer work to me! At least have a withdrawal clause if the darned thing doesn’t suit us. What kind of foolishness is that?

One can only compare the character and principles of the much admired strength of the leader of Guyana compared to our own Prime Minister in Belize. What a difference when it comes to independence. In puzzling over the differences, one can guess that it is because of two different political systems that are practiced in each country. Plus in our own country, the new government party this year, have seemingly lost control of the bureaucratic control process and been poorly served by BELTRAIDE and the FOREIGN AFFAIRS Department. There is no one to blame but the CABINET, who continue to be embroiled in replacing all the skilled people in government over the last eleven years, with party people, like done in Zimbabwe, if the opposition newspaper political organ the Belize Times is to be half way believed? Eight months and we still wait for leadership to the future independence and self sustainable capabilities of Belize. There are some good people in the new government, but for some reason the rest can’t seem to get organized. The bright sparks in the new Cabinet seem to be Edmund Castro, Rene Montero, and Patrick Faber. The Prime Minister’s rating of governance is somewhere below 40% in a Western poll. We don’t count in rural areas, it is the warped cheating port, Belize City politicians, that control national public policy. Sad to say, they seem to have done a disastrous job in the past eight months. There have been a few bright moments. Grants from TAIWAN are the biggest UDP success. Taiwan provides more foreign aid to Belize, than the USA, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Venezuela combined.

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