Tuesday, October 6, 2009



Back in the Colonial Days, and self government years of Belize, there were not many people to get campaign contributions from, for elections. Santiago Castillo’s, the Belize Estate Company and for votes, the local burying Lodge, run by Arthur Hoare in the port of Belize City.
As time passed and we went Independent, the war for power and the ability to embezzle, with sweetheart contracts, phoney construction contracts, consultant fees, legal fees for party lawyers and just plain the opportunity to give oneself in the winning party membership, FREE MONEY under various disguises, evolved into the BIG BUSINESS – POLITICAL PARTY campaign contributions quasi-legal - criminal system in Belize.
Those pirates running the two political parties and wanting to get their hands on control of the tax revenues, explained quite simply. They had to get campaign contributions from BIG BUSINESS, in order to WIN the election. If you didn’t win the election, your opportunities were slim and life could be poor. All else including patriotism and development was subordinated to that.
Of course both the ordinary person and taxpayer was expected to pay for it all. Also the economy and future was to be sacrificed to winning the current election.
That is how it worked out in this BIG BUSINESS – POLITICAL PARTY election campaign contributions collusion criminal system. Today the next two generations of young Belizeans, born in yesteryear, are still paying taxes for the last three elections in our parliamentary system today. Those previous young children are the young adults now and they are required to pay increased taxes for development they never got. The politicians argue that they brought in development to build the country. Most of this investment simply occurred with a growing population naturally, plus the effects of immigration. Even with missing infra-structure. There have been four elections and still we do not have internet in our section of Santa Elena Town in Western Belize, for example. Nor do we have paved streets and roads, or decent bridges for commerce. Our neighbor Guatemala has all of these though.
President Eisenhower warned USA citizens of the Military Industrial Complex that used armament manufacturing and wars as foreign policy and for election campaigns, to get rich on kickbacks. It more or less works the same here in Belize. Though we do not go to war, to win elections. The results are the same though. In the USA they let their infra-structure deteriorate for thirty years. In Belize, we simply did not get the infra-structure we needed to be built. All because of campaign contributions to the two political parties, to win elections.
There was a scandal one time in port newspapers with a photograph of a million dollar cheque as a campaign contribution from a big businessman. He later in other articles got rewarded with a $15 million TAX WRITE OFF it was claimed. That is a huge profit. Not only did we lose the $15 million in taxes as a nation, we also were told we had to make foreign bank loans to pay for the things that tax write off money should have done, if those taxes had been collected. We are going to be paying those foreign loans to replace given away taxes and interest payments for another thirty years at least, perhaps longer? True to the rule of UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, the actual foreign loans in turn have escalated through various things, to much higher swollen amounts, in the amount of $3 billion to be paid sometime in the future? Interest payments and law suits the most common effects. Another big private business operation did the same thing and financed election campaigns for tax write offs and even to get taxes from other citizen voters paid to him, on the grounds of a SECRET guaranteed profit contract in return for political party cash favors. Wherein the government were required to pay him more profit above and beyond his tax freedoms, to guarantee his wealth. Roughly $50 million a year was sucked out of the general tax revenues this way and went to England for campaigning in elections there, if the newspaper stories are true? All this lost tax revenue money had to be replaced by more foreign loans to operate the government. Lost infra-structure and nothing to develop our economy, were what Belize got. ALL BECAUSE OF CAMPAIGN GIFTS TO THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES FOR ELECTION CAMPAIGNS. The best business investment in Belize is a political party election campaign contribution. Returns are more than 1500% per year. That sure beats the Standard and Poor average return of 8%.
As a small nation we cannot afford to subsidize political campaigns this way. But since the criminals run the political parties and make the laws, there isn’t likely to be any reform of the way political parties finance their political campaigns in Belize. What monies should be going to building the country are simply creamed off by the political party area representatives. Today that is BIG BUSINESS for political parties, at the expense of the voters and ordinary people, who have to lose their socialized medicine, exist with dirt roads, unable to build sufficient schools, or develop the country through a ( hic! ) participatory democracy.
Even foreign GRANT money was bundled up and handed out personally in a grab bag, to area representatives before the last election, in the amounts quoted in the newspaper articles of quarter million or more each. No accounting was required, it all relied on the honesty and good will of the political party area representatives. Some spent a bit on their constituencies but most simply acted like the pirates they are and took the money for themselves and ran. One of the perks of politics they said! That was the gist of the articles written in the newspapers on this subject. The taxpayer citizen has to pay for it all and we are indeed.
Nope! The collusion between BIG BUSINESS and the POLITICAL PARTIES over campaign contributions is bad for the nation of Belize and has stunted and retarded development in Belize, and it doesn’t seem like it is likely to change either? Most of the money collected in taxes goes to support a swollen government, built on foreign grants, more foreign loan borrowing and political party government organized patronage jobs. If Belize has socialism, it is over the provision of supplying government jobs for favored voters in a reward system. We do not under our international debt loads have anything left to invest in the country, so it just gets siphoned off in hiring relatives and party hacks in make work government jobs. Sort of a communist socialism, with a political party capitalist bent. We do actually, even in these straightened times, actually take in enough tax revenues each year to be self reliant theoretically as a country. Not going to happen though, while we are governed by two bands of pirates, without laws to control their behavior.

1 comment:

Donovan said...

I've been following your blog both this one and the one for your hostel for some time, as well as many others dealing with life in Belize.

I like your style :) This world needs more outspoken rational thinkers such as yourself.

Have you considered forming a new political party? While dealing with a cancerous political machine in dificult at best, it could be said that the only way to change it is to eviscerate it from the inside - the "poison pill" approach.

Otherwise, what else is there to do? It seems that the widespread discontent over the UDP taking over again will likely mean gains for the PUP on the next election cycle, but as you say - both parties ARE the problem.

Short of a velvet revolution by the people (unlikely as laid back as the populace seems to be) what else is there?

I applaud your pointing and shoutng wolf, but it seems even though there IS a wolf, and everyone CAN see it, they still do nothing...Perhaps mr. Barrow's dual-citizenship initiative will bite him upon his pampered arse :)