There is growing dissension in Belize over the growing corruption in the UDP government and defended by the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow. This excerpt was taken from the list serve discussions inside Belize. Instead of firing Cabinet Ministers involved in corruption, the Prime Minister is defending them like a lawyer. Some say his own behavior is suspect also, with an ex-wife getting rich off government court cases. There does not seem any relief from corrupt politicians in Belize?
* The following article taken from the listserve discussions.
From: G. Michael Reid
Subject: Bz-Culture: apologies to the lawyers on the list
To: "Belize Culture"
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2009, 11:31 AM
“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, two men are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress.” ~ John Adams
"Lawyers are people whose profession it is to disguise matters.” ~ Thomas More
“A man who never graduated from school might steal from a freight car, but a man who attends college and graduates as a lawyer might steal the whole railroad.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
It is widely accepted that Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Oliver Barrow is an above average lawyer; a skilled practitioner or rainmaker, if you will. He is quite capable of mounting formidable arguments to convince magistrates and judges of his clients’ innocence or the opposing lawyer’s weakness of point. Adequately trained in the fine art of sophistry, he is deft at taking the weakest of arguments and making they appear to be strong. Able to convince the toughest of juries that the evidence before them is not nearly as compelling as it appears to be. Yup, without a doubt, Dean Oliver Barrow is a pretty good attorney. The problem is that attorney Dean Barrow seems to be having trouble making the transition from lawyer to leader. He approaches the role of leadership with the same satanic cunning and shiftiness that has become the earmark of his legal profession. While such characteristics will normally produce desirable results in courtrooms, in the supposedly nobler realm of politics, they appear vile and downright indecorous.
Mr. Barrow continues to present a façade of sincerity and while he walks a crooked walk, at least he talks a pretty talk. There are many in his cabinet however, that has failed miserably even in this regard. Mr. Finnegan’s recent “like it or lump it” attitude when confronted with recent shenanigans in his ministry, Mr. Faber’s continued disrespect for teachers and school administrators, evidence of blatant corruption in the Ministries of Works and Health all suggest that these “in there simply to hustle” politicians could care less about public image or perception. Mr. Barrow now, instead of showing leadership skills and doing what is necessary to rope in his rogues, has instead taken the defense attorney stance. Instead of reproving and reprimanding where necessary, he has chosen instead to take the stand in defense of his brood. Mr. Barrow comes across not as leader and Prime Minister but as defense attorney for a group of very guilty clients.
In the House of Representatives on Friday, Mr. Barrow was in his full element. In the face of overwhelming evidence of corruption being presented by the Leader of the Opposition, instead of showing concern about the breech in his primary manifesto promise, Mr. Barrow chose instead to support his deputy’s “playing the dozens” game with Mr. Briceno. In a page straight from the Jerry Springer Show, the members of this so-called honorable House displayed character more appropriate to a kindergarten recess session. The biggest item of interest to these supposed-to-be intellectuals was the Leader of the Opposition’s stumble in the pronouncing of Dubotomine. Gentlemen, have you not heard? “A small mistake should not a big point spoil”! The Leader of the Opposition was making a very big point. With evidence in hand, (vouchers and receipts of payment), Mr. Briceno was exposing to the House a glaring example of the blatant corruption and misuse of authority that appears prevalent in not only the healthcare system but in seemingly every constituent of Mr. Barrow’s administration. What glaring hypocrisy! Many will remember Mr. Barrow pontificating to the media following his Feb 2008 victory at the polls. In Mr. Barrow’s own words on that fateful night, “I certainly am determined that above all we do things properly, that we operate a government of honesty, a government of dialogue, a government of accountability. Accountability, not just to the larger population but accountability even to our public officers”. Right! Like the NICH contract, like the Juliet Thimbrel loan, like Zenaida Moya’s contracts and salaries, like Boots Martinez’s deposits and withdrawals, like Gapi’s land deals, like Finnegan’s reciprocation to voters, like the current mess at the KHMH! Really Mr. Barrow, we are not all lawyers and certainly not all as bright as you are but ask Minister Finnegan, “even blind jonesy could see” that something is going very wrong here. Please Mr. Barrow, how about a little defense for the people instead of for those who are doing us wrong!
The media now, continues to try and convince us that while all this is obviously wrong, it might be okay because at least we know about it. In his editorial of last week, the publisher praised Dr. John Sosa for speaking out about the scandalous hustling going on at the KHMH. According to the editorial, because Dr. Sosa is from a UDP family, then the UDP must also be congratulated. What kind of crazy rationale is this cat pushing down our throats? “If he was a PUP in a PUP government”, states the editorial, “he would never have been able to speak so openly.” Really! So were the G-7 shot? Did not Cordell Hyde and Mark Espat speak out openly and were in the end, even allowed back into cabinet? Ernesto Vasquez has been pushing the same line every morning on Love FM. “Well at least it’s coming out”. As if this somehow is supposed to justify or extenuate these wrongs in any way. Corruption is corruption and never to be condoned. And did not this government get elected on an anti-corruption platform? Please Mr. Mass Media, “Fools dih taak but nuh fools dih listen!”