Saturday, July 11, 2009

Freedom of speech and democracy very much alive in BELIZE

Location of Belize in Central America and Caribbean


Ray Auxillou, June 11th, 2009

Just watching the television news on cable tv in rural Belize ( we can get cable tv, but not reliable telephone service, internet service ( none in my town ) and electrical service, from the half dozen newspapers and sometimes more each weekend. ( Belize has no daily newspapers, except those imported from Guatemala. ) From the media you can be thankful that Belize is such a vibrant, robust and lively discussion place on all kinds of issues and disagreements on how the country is being managed, by who, corruption and every other subject under the sun. Belize is definitely not like CUBA under the murderous CASTRO tyrants, or Venezuela under President for Life, Emperor Chavez, or Ecuador under wanna be President for Life, Correa with their growing totalitarian societies and governments.
We should be thankful for our tolerant small, but lively country. People are very patriotic and debate the court cases continuously, as people try to settle their differences in a peaceful logical manner. In one newspaper alone this weekend, you can find lawsuits by Indigenous Mayan Indians suing the government over land rights, people with hearing disabilities contesting the government over the right for deaf people to have a drivers license, labor issues are frequent, immigration and citizenship programs constantly debated, civil organizations suing about hydro electric dams electricity rates and compliance issues, supposedly mandated by law, but not enforced by the government in some kind of preferential treatment. You name it, you can find it in the media of Belize. There is even an article and photo this week in the newspapers of a vetinarian dentist doing an annual treatment of captured problem Jaguars, turned over to the care of the small Belize Zoo, of which every Belizean is VERY PROUD. These problem wild jaguars are even getting root canals for broken teeth. I myself regularly criticize the politicians in charge and government performance. No politician in Belize can survive if he or she has a thin skin. For all the problems one has in living in a frontier society; that is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, that is very much a pioneering sort of place, and with the usual incompetent, financially bankrupt political management process, riddled by corruption ( sometimes I think only crooks run for political office ), Belize is a very open and free wheeling society of the majority of people trying sincerely to do the best thing and listen to all sides of an argument and be fair and helpful to one another. Yup! It is hard to find a better place to live! There is a lot of satisfaction in trying to build a new nation from scratch, in which a single voice can be heard and make a difference. Plus we don’t have any winter weather either. With 300,000 people scattered over 6800 square miles, most of which is preserves of jungle in the mountains, we certainly have our problems. They are however, good problems and Belize is a place for those immigrant pioneers who love challenges.

No comments: