Thursday, June 4, 2009


Minister of Transport, Melvin Hulse.


I watched the Honorable Melvin Hulse from our Political Cabinet on television last night. I watched for a while, but the interviewer NEVER got to ask him about why the Minister has failed to use his power and control of the transportation system, bus license and permit system, to establish public bus transportation between the Western Border of Belize and the nearest bus stop in the town of Benque Viejo Town, about 2 ½ miles away. You have to walk this highway if you are a bus traveling tourist. The new taxi Association at the border have priced themselves out of business. In the hot sun, this is no joke with luggage and certainly not public service, or tourist industry friendly, by a government that is supposed to be our tourist industry partners and supply the infra-structure to enable our tourist package industry to improve in Western Belize. He might have talked about it later on the interview, if so I missed it, as I tuned out after listening about his opinions on river floods. Some opinions were factual for times past in his younger days and some with which I did not agree. Sometime in the next ten days, the wife and I will be testing this bus run again and see if we still have to walk those damned 2 ½ miles between Benque Viejo Town and the border immigration place for Belize, to Guatemala.
It doesn’t cost the Government any money, just some common sense and mediation of the Transport Minister’s position on the Cabinet and the use of political managerial power. The thing they call LEADERSHIP. So, I don’t know why the government neglect of this tourism and local transportation sector problem?
It isn’t like the old days, when I had to go to Benque Viejo Town in colonial times of British Honduras, riding on a 3 ton Bedford Truck sitting on cargo, or two inch thick planks for what seemed like hours. Then to walk a dirt track to the border after going through a small police station near Benque Town. Past governments have built a beautiful asphalt paved, two lane boulevard, meandering over the countryside and hills that looks beautiful. I just cannot understand why this UDP Government in the person of Transportation Minister Melvin Hulse cannot arrange for the private sector owned, public bus service to go all the way to the frontier modern Immigration building? Something wrong somewhere here? We have this new highway, why doesn’t the government use it?
Despite the lack of government leadership development innovation and imagination in this particular local problem, I was perusing the internet and plugged in our low budget tourist hostel and was pleased to read a couple of reviews on Trip Advisor and proudly announce we got a 4 star rating on one and a 5 star rating on another. That made us proud out here. At least we are doing OUR job!
I’ve been thinking about the UDP Cabinet problem a bit. After listening to old farts like Elrington on the Guatemalan claim and Hulse on his memories of the old days, to do with crossing Southern District rivers, I think the UDP Cabinet needs shuffling. They need young new blood. Youngsters without the historical baggage that old farts are carrying around. Belize is a new country of young people who are staying and hoping to develop it. You are not going to convince my wife to go back to using a well, a water bucket on a rope and a galvanized wash tub to do the laundry. She has a big washing machine and does things in the modern labor saving more efficient way. These old farts in the cabinet aren’t imaginative and innovative enough. Get some youngsters in the Cabinet Ministerial posts without old preconceptions and historical baggage and let them build the country. It’s a new world. Anybody over 40 in the Cabinet should be shuffled out. We are like the French that lost two world wars, using old fart Generals who organized their fighting on past wars and experiences of their youth. It didn’t work. The UDP Cabinet need some young blood in there, with higher energy levels, if we are going to develop Belize, with the capacity of fresh ideas and innovative ways of thinking, that the old farts never dreamed of and don’t want to understand, or hear. Just my two cents from this old fart.

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