Saturday, January 23, 2010



News Roundup of weekend newspapers in Belize

I notice that there are lots of donations going to the Red Cross and other Hurricane Relief charities. I also notice that there is not a SINGLE Red Cross, or Salvation Army soup kitchen on the ground in Port O Prince in Haiti. Therefore as from my experiences of World War 2 and during the 50's in North America. I question the value of these donations going to either institution in this modern era here in Belize. Certainly I WILL NOT donate to them. I'm a performance orientated person.

The oil industry of Belize came into a rather complicated explanatory article of money and stuff with BNE the oil company. Couldn't make heads or tales of it. I did get that somebody else, think it was Mark Espat ( politician ) jumped on the bandwagon of our earlier complaint about our share of oil earnings and ran his own complaints to the media. To my way of thinking our Government should be getting 35% OF TOTAL GROSS OIL SALES into our revenue base. One third is for operating capital for BNE and one is for them to re-invest, or pay dividends, or whatever. That is the way we do business in rural Belize and it works fair and well. It may be that our government is already getting in access of this amount? If so, it is not clear in my mind from the confusing bookkeeping presented to us in the newspapers. BNE are claiming in the most recent article that they had to borrow millions of dollars to get in as many oil wells on this field as possible and have to pay it back, because their exploration license will expire either this year, or next year. All well and good, but their business model and operating problems are theirs to deal with and they pay for it. We the country of Belize should get at least 35% of all GROSS sales from this oil field. Like an ice cream cone in the hot sun, this is a melting wasting asset. We need to get a fair share.

A week ago one of the newspapers alleged, or implied that the crooked PUP gang that were in office last term had the fiasco of one oil exploration bribe aired in the public media with ads paid by an investor who got ripped off. Seems he paid around $300,000 or so, to an Oil Minister's chauffer, the usual Cabinet Ministers cut out for taking bribes. His complaint was he did'nt get the exploration block he wanted and paid his bribe for. There were at the time, a shuffle of PUP oil ministers and it was not completely clear to me from the newspaper reporting which PUP cabinet minister was the crook. The other weekend's newspapers implied or alleged, it was the reigning leader of the PUP today, Johnny Briceno. I note that no criminal charges were ever made by his own party, or this new one now in government. From a public viewpoint like mine, I'm fairly convinced somebody in the PUP got $300,000 richer in a bribe. Since the man was an American I believe he may be in trouble now in the USA as this bribe is illegal by their laws. I always liked Johnny, but this implication means I wouldn't want him in government in the future. Neither PUP Mark Espat, who I believe was the Minister of Belize Tourist Board and allegedly raided the BTB funds to send Xmas hams and presents to his voting constituency. Not sure I got the name right, but it was an Espat I believe, from way back, when in an old corruption crooked scandal in the newspapers.

The gang of crooks that are the PUP in opposition this week, made a media show of complaining about the state of the nation. More or less repeating what has been culled from the newspapers over the weeks. Now it may be the fashion to bash the government in power, but I sure would not give my vote to somebody who had no solutions to offer in opposition. I neither heard, or read of any PUP solutions to the problems of Belize. Anybody can complain and we do it on this listserve every day. But we also offer solutions. The PUP apparently have no solutions. The only one I read of, was when the PUP said we should spend our small FOREIGN RESERVES to stimulate the economy. What nonsense that is! We need to save $4 billion in our FOREIGN RESERVES over the next 19 years, or three and a half political terms in office of either party. To pay our past debts this PUP have given us and this current UDP administration is also seeking. That is the challenge facing this government today and for the next three governments to come.

It is notable that job creation is being approached by creating more rules, laws and regulations to employ more people in civil service secure government salaried positions. The growth of our civil service via regulatory bureaucratic systems, do not impress me as a proper way to grow our economy, or deal with the infra structural operating problems this small nation has.

Can't remember the name of the last PUP elected representative for our Central Cayo area off hand. I'm getting old. But did note in the newspapers a month or so back, that a whole bunch of lands were being sent to auction for non-payment of taxes that he acquired during his 5 years in office. The wife brought it to my attention from the newspapers and it makes me sore, because Betty, from our local grocery suburb store, a widow at a young age with two children, had her lot she was so proud of, seized for a public purpose, that she eventually hoped to build her house on. When I saw the lot in the past PUP area representatives debt list, among a dozen, or two dozen the old PUP representative for our district had acquired, I felt betrayed by the PUP as I had campaigned to help this guy get into office. Betty still is living with her parents and her kids in a small house. Damned shame! Never again the PUP mon! Bunch of damned criminals.

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