Friday, June 12, 2009


The failing leadership of Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, after his first 18 months in office of a five year term.


So where do we the public see things from the outside looking into government performance under the UDP? In a general sense this is A FAILED UDP GOVERNMENT, after 18 months. Leadership is sadly lacking. Barrow the Prime Minister and party leader is saddled with a bunch of elected representatives that would not even get hired as drain cleaners in San Ignacio. They lack experience, business sense and some sort of cosmopolitan travel experience. For all that, ex-PUP leader Said Musa was mostly regarded as a crook and swindling double crosser, at least he LED the country as best he could on an active weekly basis. Not like this party leader of the UDP. PUP Musa at least did not hide the bad news, or hide statistics. He was not afraid when things were going wrong and explained as best he could and came up with PUP team new ideas.
Dean Barrow is our new leader of course and he still has 44% on his report card, a failing grade. Mostly to do with his using the government machinery to blow smoke and mirrors and deceive the public on the prosecutions against his enemies in the Opposition party. Both Fonseca and Musa, arch alleged criminals of the previous PUP Musa administration have been prosecuted. It doesn’t look like the prosecutions are going anywhere? Musa is not expected to go to jail and neither is Fonseca. Without jail terms, the prosecutions look more like political vendettas and smoke and mirrors, to make believe Barrow is doing something for the gullible public consumption and party propaganda. This plays better down in the port town, where they like courthouse soap opera, but the townies don’t decide elections anymore. In the districts we are not so easily fooled. On the prosecutions of Musa and Fonseca, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and now considered publicly, a ‘failed lawyer’, gets a report card of F – ( minus ). What it looks like and the newspapers are reporting this, that while we the gullible public taxpayers are being snowed with a con job of court cases down in the port city, by Dean Barrow and his UDP party government, against Musa and Fonseca, he himself and his extended family, most particularly Louis Young his ex-wife the newspapers claim, are into self enrichment schemes at government expense. The country of Belize is loaded with capable lawyers, but only his ex-wife and fellow townies are getting all the government court cases it seems like, according to weekend newspaper reporters. The numbers are probably not accurate but legal fees for the Barrow and Young entourage are being quoted as around $12 million over the past year, for us public taxpayers to pay in increased taxes. For a report card on self enrichment schemes to do with legal shenanigans I would give Dean Barrow, our lawyer/Prime Minister a report card score of A +++.
All I know is what I read in the many weekend newspapers.
There is the very mysterious and suspicious cases of self-admitted embezzlements and fraud by Nadia Garcia and Glen Godfrey of the last PUP administration. Supposedly over $120 million that disappeared offshore in one scam, or another. Many minor types of frauds also using the DFC were committed of which there have been no court cases. The most serious and most blatant were done by Nadia Garcia who admitted in Senate Hearings that were televised, she signed illegal fraudulent documents, and Glen Godfrey who has been cashing out his assets in Belize and gone into exile abroad someplace with his alleged millions. The most alarming thing about Nadia Garcia and Glen Godfrey, and what looks like open and shut criminal cases, have not been prosecuted by this UDP government under our LAWYER PRIME MINISTER, Dean Barrow at all. In this case then, the accusations on television by ex-Prime Minister Musa claiming political persecution seem factual. At least in this one case he is being prosecuted on?
What we get as a picture of 1 ½ years of UDP government under Dean Barrow the leader, is a perception that he himself is almost as crooked in dealing with us voters and taxpayers as Musa was, and that when Musa claims these court cases are smoke and mirrors, to blind us public voters of what is really going on, one has to believe the words of the alligator, when he tells us what is happening on the river bottom in the mud. As an honest leader, Dean Barrow as Prime Minister gets a failing grade of 44% out of a 100 so far.
There are the case of increased national debt by this UDP government, led by Dean Barrow the Prime Minister. The ratings are mixed on this, but while debt wise, we consider the additional borrowing to be stupid and worth a failing grade, on the other hand going into three years of 2008, 2009 and 2010 where the predictions were for a declining GDP and reducing government revenues, due mostly to outside world circumstances; the fact that he ( Barrow ) is seemingly spreading out the disbursements and activities to do with spending the borrowed money over 2008, 2009 and 2010, would give him a passing grade. I would do the same myself knowing what we can expect from outside world economic shrinkage. I would give him a passing mark on this, probably worth about 75% right now, but higher marks if he succeeds in stretching the $200 + odd million borrowed money into 2011, when a recovery of sorts in tax revenues is expected to start rising again. For a report card I would say a balance of 50-50. Mainly because the game has still to be played out.
The most glaring failure are the prosecutions of Musa and Fonseca. This because without a jail term for either individual, then the whole government expense and exercise looks like just poppy show to distract the public voters and taxpayers from the economic situation. The worst part is that the so called $10 or $20 million Bz or USA, the court cases are about, are to do with Belize Bank, and the bank has already announced that the debt clock is running and the interest is mounting and if not this UDP government, or then the NEXT government will have to pay the bank a second time. Because of interest charges, this is expected to double, or triple the amount we THE TAXPAYERS are going to be dunned for, to cover the private games that the current Prime Minister is playing with his court cases and self enrichment schemes allegedly for his extended family. This makes Barrow’s decisions look ineffectual and stupid and EXPENSIVE for us voter/taxpayers. Great for getting personally rich, but lousy from our public viewpoint.
On the UDP good side, the Agriculture Department is doing well. Foreign GRANTS are doing well, whoever the writers are? Most of the government bureaucracy seems in chaos and dysfunctional. This probably is to be expected with reducing government revenues for the next couple of years, adding in the government job switches for party hacks and relatives. The only department I have had anything to do with, that seems to work, is the traffic licensing department.
Generally speaking government operations are about even on the score card expectations, because of the world economic downtown and the ripple effects. The UDP government would look a lot better if they explained things and the realities of money and capabilities. They have however seemingly put a freeze on statistical reporting? The real BAD spots are the mis-information we are being fed on Barrow’s personal vendettas to do with legal cases. He sure looks like a dumb lawyer? You wouldn’t want to hire him to represent you for sure. As a politician he is in his prime, on top of his game. As a lawyer he looks very poor. As an actual business leader for developing Belize he seemingly lacks ideas. Doesn’t seem to have a clue?
Do the PUP stand a chance to come back next term? Probably not, but you never know? Briceno the new PUP party leader has public suspicions against him, about taking oil lease bribes when he was in office and we will not know how that turns out until the campaigning for next term gets closer. Unless Briceno is squeaky clean in the bribe department, I don’t think he will stand a chance and nor in extension his PUP. A third party would stand a good chance under the leadership of that Belmopan crowd, but the independents can’t seem to organize themselves on a national scale. I think if there was a viable third party, us majority swing voters would throw the bums out of office of both existing national political parties.
UDP Edmund Castro came into publicity again. Seems he has rebuilt the $4 ½ million dollar taxpayer cost causeway in his constituency again, but with private sector funds at a cost of $1 ½ million or so. What we taxpayer/voters want to know is, where did the money come from? Does the income tax department know? How does he legally block the drainage of a wetlands? While you wouldn’t want Edmund Castro to build you anything, because he doesn’t plan properly the foundation work, you have to admire his desire to do well by his constituency come hell or high water. The PUP are claiming that the new causeway will wash away, as it was built with mud from the lagoon and has no culverts. Should be an interesting thing to watch this rainy season? The UDP supposedly built Hillview suburb out here where I live. We don’t have street culverts here either. Well we do in one or two places, but we probably need six or so more for rainy season.
UDP Rene Montero my area representative continues to do his best in the agriculture portfolio. I’m pleased with his performance there.
UDP Melvin Hulse has yet to prove himself out in Western Belize with his Transportation portfolio. We only got on his case a month or so ago, about the failure to provide public bus transportation to the border immigration post from Benque Town is detrimental to tourism development. Usually it takes politicians three years to do what a private sector person can do in three days. So he has time yet to perform in his portfolio. The thing is, in the tourist business, we note that things are picking up for the Summer High Season and the tourist season here is already starting. It is URGENT we get public bus transportation to the Western Border somehow for our tourism industry. From now ( mid June ) to the end of August is our summer HIGH SEASON. We hope UDP Melvin Hulse can do something more quickly than normal. We will judge him by performance, which will reflect on his UDP. If the lack of bus service continues through our mini summer tourist HIGH SEASON, then come the DEAD FALL months, we shall come down with unrelenting bad publicity for the UDP prior to the Winter High Tourist Season, starting December. This will be in the international and local media. We need prompt results to build this country, leadership examples, not a lot of talking and excuses. Watching and waiting for the next ten weeks of our summer tourist high season, to see what the UDP do, or do not do.

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