Saturday, August 28, 2010



In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus
18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man,
and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how
do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also
tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go
to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family
affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a

Friday, August 27, 2010



This is SCHOLARSHIP SEASON before the school year starts. Taiwan has come in with the biggest raft of FOREIGN AID SCHOLARSHIPS for Belizeans out of all the other countries in the world. Including the USA, the United Kingdom and Canada.
26 scholarships have been awarded to Belize students this year.
One of the hard parts for Taiwanese scholarships is the spending one year in learning MANDARIN so you can attend class. In Belize we have the Mandarin speakers from TAIWAN, who descend from the Manchu dynasty and also the mainlander Chinese who speak mostly Cantonese.
Scholarships offered in Tropical Agriculture, Science and Technology, Science of Philosophy, Marine Sciences and Resource Management, Sustainable Development Programs, Electric Power Engineering, Nursing Masters Degrees, Resource Development, Information Science, Health Care Administration, Mechanical Engineering, Trade and Management, Business Administration. The scholarships are offered by the Government of the Republic of Taiwan.
24 former Belize students completed their studies this year also. Right now there are 80 BELIZEAN STUDENTS STUDYING IN TAIWAN AT DIFFERENT LEVELS

AAAAhhh! If only Canada and the USA had programs as big as this? The USA unfortunately is FLAT BROKE and heavily in DEBT. CANADA is Euro-Centric and does not apparently live in and on the American Continent? They are Europeans first and foremost in outlook. Too bad, they are missing out on a lot for our continental hemisphere.



7000 people living in remote jungle farms and villages can now access preventive early medical service in their remote locations. These Health Centers existed before, but they have been renovated by the Ministry of Health and upgraded to serve local people with a doctor, a pharmacy and a nurse/midwife. Before the service was only a one room, nurse service, used mostly to stitch up cuts, or help with baby delivery and care.

The financing to do this was by a FOREIGN LOAN from the Caribbean Development Bank.


Western Belize has a freight service, once a month from Houston to Western Belize, Central Farm airstrip.

Sterling Freight has been in business for a few years now ( 12 yrs ). They specialize in a once a month freight service with one container from Houston, near their airport, to Western Belize.
Their website is: Local phone number is: 824 2496

As part of their service they arrange all the forwarding and receiving, including customs brokerage, whether you are enjoying a DUTY EXPEMPTION, or an EPZ entry, etc. Just mail them your invoice.

You can have your stuff shipped to them c/o Salinas Forwarding Co., 6841 Fulton Street, Houston, Tx, 77022. The stuff you get sent to them, will be put in the container for Western Belize. Locally here in Belize, their address is: Central Farm Airstrip, Mile 63 Western Hwy., Cayo District and their EMAIL is: . Last time I checked the minimum freight charge was $70, that was a few years ago.

If light manufacturing takes hold out here in Western Belize, we can expect Sterling Freight to enlarge their business. They also rent hanger space for airplanes, run the annual EAA FLY IN for the country and other joint stuff to do with airplanes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010



( copied from the Belize Culture Listserve)

August 23, 2010

Dear Editor,

I watch with amusement and sadness at the controversy taking place in Belize City over the handling of tours for the cruise lines…and cannot help but note the implications for what is being contemplated for the expansion of cruise tourism to southern Belize. Of course the battle between local tour operators and a foreign owned company is a fight in which both sides are right. Local companies SHOULD handle the tours, yet at the same time the cruise lines SHOULD be able to hire the most competent from amongst all operators.

The problem here is not with any individual on either side of the issue; the real culprit is structural. As long as the cruise industry operates the way it does, those people in countries like Belize trying to make a living off cruise tourism will always be fighting over the crumbs that fall off the table. Why?

The three companies that control the bulk of the world’s cruise trade are huge. Carnival Corporation alone generated gross revenues of over 13 BILLION US dollars in 2009…and this was at the height of the global economic meltdown. Compare this to the total revenue of the Belize Government during the same period of around 360 MILLION and you get some idea of the disparity of strength when these two parties sit across from each other at the negotiating table. A single cruise company is nearly forty times as large as our entire government!

What, one wonders, is the balance of power when Carnival sits down with a single Belizean tour operator? To use an analogy that many Belizeans can relate to, it’s like the relationship between the man driving an Escalade and the crack head who wants to wash his car…and just to be clear: we’re not the guy in the Escalade.

By the way, in case you are wondering, for all its global operations in 2009 Carnival paid a total of only US$16 million in income tax on profits of $1.7 billion. This is roughly the same amount of business tax paid by our own BTL, a company around two hundred times smaller than Carnival. It should be obvious that the cruise companies did not get where they are by being stupid. Their guiding principal is the same as that followed by the meatpacking industry.

When asked to list the parts of the pig his company made use of, the slaughterhouse manager replied “everything but the oink”. So too the cruise lines seek to squeeze every last cent out of their passengers leaving little or nothing to go to “waste.”

Having calculated exactly how much the average passenger will spend on any given cruise both on and off the ship, it is the aim of the cruise company to make sure that as large a portion as possible of that total spent winds up in the corporate pocket. If a passenger books a cave tubing tour for a hundred dollars the cruise line keeps fifty as a “booking fee”. That leaves the local tour operator with only fifty to run the tour and make a little profit.

And while trying to scratch a few cents out of that fifty after paying guides, bus, food and administration, our hard pressed tour operator needs to keep pushing down his own costs because next year his desperate competitor may offer to do the tours for forty-five. For most local businesses, getting involved with cruise tourism is a lot like stepping into the Princess casino: for every winner there are a hundred losers.

In cultural terms the imbalance is just as great. Look at overnight tourism. For over two decades it has been the country’s largest single engine of economic growth. Beginning from next to nothing in the mid 80’s, this initially foreign-dominated sector has grown impressively in both size and local involvement to the point where Belizean resorts have come to consistently dominate the top spots in annual polls of Latin America’s best travel destinations.

Speak to any resort-based tour guide working with birdwatchers, fly fishermen or divers and virtually every one will tell you that they regularly correspond with favorite visitors who come back year after year. I know many guides who have established such close friendships with their clients that they and their families go to the States for regular visits and even form productive business partnerships.

What does this have to do with cruise ships? Only that I know few cruise guides who establish meaningful relationships with their tourist clients. How could they when they are shepherding 40 impatient day trippers on a mad dash up and down a Mayan temple so they can make it back to the boat in time for free ice cream and salsa lessons?

Tourism, at its heart, is a cultural encounter. Long, relaxed, unhurried stays by visitors who have time to meet, interact with and understand Belizeans and Belize not only means more money in our pockets for beds, food, drinks and tours; it produces the kind of relationships that small countries in a highly competitive world find increasingly necessary.

In short, Belize needs all the friends it can get: the richer and more powerful, the better. Overnight tourism promotes these valuable international personal relationships. Cruise tourism at best produces a few pennies for a few people; at worst a negative impression born of an impersonal encounter that puts us in the same category along with a dozen other forgettable destinations characterized by the slogan - “Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt”.

At this point you might agree that OK, it’s obvious that big predatory companies exploit small poor countries. That is hardly major news. You might also admit that locals don’t have much to gain from cruise tourism beyond some chump change. But hell, chump change is still change and even the shilling the guy in the Escalade flips to the crack head is still a shilling more than he had before. So what’s the harm?

The real harm is not in what we see, but in what we don’t see. It’s the cruise tourist who spends an hour walking around the Tourist Village in Belize City and thinks he has seen Belize. Having paid $279 for a five-day cruise to the Western Caribbean he is now on a statistical par with the overnight tourist who spent ten days in the rainforest and cayes and left $5,000 in the hands of local hoteliers, restaurants tour guides and transportation companies.

Both of these visitors go home saying that they have seen Belize. The overnight tourist probably had a great experience and could quite possibly come back and repeat the process or at least will tell his friends good things about his Belize Adventure. The cruise tourist, however, has now checked Belize off his “places to visit before I die” list and will not return. Multiply this fellow by 600,000 cruise visitors a year, and pretty soon you wind up with a hell of a lot of people who are not coming back to Belize.

And what of the overnight visitor to Cayo who makes the mistake of visiting Xunantunich on a cruise day? Chances are, she’s not coming back either.

What this boils down to is that by embracing cruise tourism we are selling Belize cheap. Way too cheap. If you want to hear the local band in Placencia, chances are you can head down to Barefoot Bar, have a drink and dance the night away for free. But if you want to experience a performance by the Black Eyed Peas in a New York City club you might pay $200 - if you could get in. Different attractions, different prices.

So, is Belize the local house band or the Black Eyed Peas? For me it’s a no brainer. Having had the good fortune to travel to almost every tourism destination in the Caribbean (business, not pleasure), I can objectively report that there is no place I have ever been that even comes close to having the combined world class attractions that Belize has. Sure, on an individual basis the white sand beaches of Anguilla are nicer than Placencia, diving in Bonaire may be slightly better than San Pedro, Tikal may be a bit more awe-inspiring than Caracol, the bonefish six ounces bigger in Key West and Mount Kilimanjaro may tower over Victoria Peak.

But I defy you to find ANY PLACE ON EARTH where you can catch a permit, tarpon or bonefish before breakfast, dive a barrier reef before lunch, climb a jungle-covered mountain in the afternoon and kayak down a rushing river in time to watch a sunset from the top of a two thousand-year-old Mayan Temple…ALL IN ONE DAY. And with the new Placencia road you can do it in comfort and safety.

The fact is that in the world of great places to visit, Belize is Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner and the Beatles all rolled into one unequalled show. So why do we let so many people enjoy the concert for free? It’s because as a nation we suffer from what psychologists would call a case of low self-esteem. We are the beautiful intelligent loving woman whose abusive boyfriend has her convinced she is worthless. It’s a common affliction, but in our individual lives, there are professionals who help us overcome such obstacles.

Fortunately in national life there are also professionals who can help us understand and overcome these problems, but despite their repeated advice our leaders do not always listen. Expert after expert has told us that Belize’s future lies in eco and high end tourism. We know that cruise tourism is the opposite of high end ecotourism. So why is our government trying to foist the curse of cruise tourism on us?

For Belize City it’s probably too late. The ships are already too entrenched in that struggling economy. The various players now at war will make their peace and muddle through as best they can. But as a resident of the Placencia Peninsula who has invested heavily in overnight tourism I can only plead with the Ministry of Tourism, the Prime Minister and Cabinet to look at the facts, think long term, stop selling the country short and realize that by promoting cruise tourism in the South they are - like our friend the crack head - grabbing the shilling and thinking it’s a bag of gold.

Respectfully Submitted,
Stewart Krohn
Seine Bight Village

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


By Ray Auxillou, August, 2010

When the country is broke and running on debt, loans, grants and volunteer gifts, it is hard to find a political and pragmatic investment direction for the future population growth. Until now, for the most part, the population of Belize has been too small and scattered in small communities over wide land areas. With only 350,000 people, most under 15 years of age and around 6000 square miles of land, including 26% that is in some sort of protected area status, the ability to generate the kind of tax revenues needed is severely limited. The biggest earners are the 14,000 member government paid civil service people and it is their spending clout that drives the economy of Belize such as it is.
It is rather amazing that Belize has done as well as it has, considering the financial constraints and limited werewithall. There is a huge proportion of the population that are middle class, with cars, televisions, refrigerators and washing machines. We have our poor segment, but generally speaking the standard of living of Belizeans is much higher than it was 50 years ago.
SKILLS TRAINING is probably the biggest current obstacle to improving the economy and it is surely apparent that the current crop of civil servants and politicians, do not understand how to direct the future growth of the economy. The current pillars of the economy are agriculture, oil and tourism. We are just starting with the private sector going into food processing and packaging for the export market. Indeed, the future of the economy totally revolves around the ability to export things to earn foreign exchange and provide local jobs.
The next major step in establishing a solid economic model is light manufacturing of specialist goods, for niche markets. With the internet, sales around the world can be enjoyed. When we talk about light manufacturing, we are talking things like solar panels, ethanol stills, budget telescopes and other things that require some simple machinery, some tooling and the ability to import the raw materials and put them together to make something to sell on the world export market. We cannot compete with mass produced products from CHINA, but we can cater to specialist small niche markets and here it is important to go for low price, coupled with quality workmanship.
A recent study in home industry light manufacturing, Galileo cardboard tube telescopes in Western Belize found out that if such telescopes could be retailed for $14.95 USA on the internet the market is solid for this price range. There is an outfit that exports from the USA, about 20,000 such cheap telescopes a month through the internet. There is also lots of competition in the $30 usa to $500 usa telescope range. This particular outfit from which I had tried to buy one, as a sample, refused my order because they were enjoying such success ( over 100,000 telescopes shipped ) and had decided to double the price from $14.95 to $30 usa. I canceled my order of course. For a few dollars more you can get a really much better telescope. The point being, it was the price that was attracting sales! Galileo telescopes are alright, if you can disregard the money spent. The vision is blurry for land use, but they are excellent for studying the stars, moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mars. They tend to shake. I owned one of these on Caye Caulker 30 years ago. I could watch couples make love a mile away on a boat by the barrier reef, from the window of my shack on the beach in Caye Caulker. For the price, though not perfect, they were a fair bargain for the buyer and only have two lenses.
I point this out, as an example of niche markets and the effect PRICE has on marketing by the INTERNET to a world wide market, using the postal service.
Our educational system is not teaching the SKILLS necessary to build this needed extra leg of our light manufacturing economic need. Local ITVET community colleges are teaching how to service machinery of imported manufacture, like automobiles and air conditioners, but they are not teaching the SKILLS, how to make things. To manufacture, to search and find the small tools and machinery needed to do small production lines of making cardboard tubes, convex and concave lenses. A phone call to the port spectacle eye glass manufacturer found that the machine used to produce lenses for eye glasses would not make the lenses for telescopes. The SKILLS TRAINING needed is different than standard education currently employed in Belize. With 11,000 children unable to even attend primary school because of the lack of such schools in the country is a case in point. The majority of schools are built and run by religious cults. It is obvious some SKILLS TRAINING should start at the senior grades of the primary school level. Then increase in Junior High School grades. The majority of citizens of Belize do not ever get any further in education, All the higher tertiary stuff in College and University is only producing middle level business managers, or bureaucratic clerks working for a salary, coming from an elite class. So far, the educational establishment have been unable to put a practical direction on such ideas.
The thing is; SKILLS TRAINING for the missing other LEG OF OUR ECONOMY, light manufacturing, has no current leadership, no direction, no educational skills being taught. Cabinet policy is totally absent and most of our elected representatives do not have enough smarts to even understand the problem. We need a new generation of thinkers to tackle this, our very existence as a viable country relies on our ability to export light manufactured goods to specialist niche markets.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010



Santa Elena R.C. School has an enrollment of 1013 children, with a staff of 38 teachers. A teacher training program is being conducted on Research based instructional methods. Brain based instruction, Multiple Intelligences and Cooperative Learning models are just a few of the unique techniques being taught.
Teacher training in Belize is woefully short due to budget shortfalls and lack of money. The program is being facilitated by Mrs. Abigail Wade for the Cayo District under the management of District Education Center Manager, Mr. Luis Carballo.. In collaboration is Dr. Jennifer Morrow, a dynamic and creative educator and support of the development of education in our country. The so called M.O.R.E. approach is being taught by Dr. Joyce Swarzman, headmaster of Independent Day School in Tampa, Florida.
A self contained classroom is to be opened to deal with children having SPECIAL NEEDS.



Galen University a very small University in Belize and a private one, has seven students going to attend higher education abroad. They are Abigail Neal, Esther Neal, Anwar Juan, Gedisa Avella, Dora Paz, Deangla Woolley and Vicky Novelo.
Mrs. Rhondine Petrof is the International Program Coordinator, and the students were selected by faculty nominations for the various exchange programs. Qualifying students must have a 3.0 minimum grade average. International Colleges and Universities seek Belize students for scholarships, as they enhance the HOST educational institutions by exposing them to cross cultural and sense of self identity. The Belize students in effect become Ambassadors representing Belize abroad.
Ms. Esther Neal is an International Business major, a very important career in developing the opportunities available to the small country of Belize. Ms. Vicky Novelo is a Marketing major and the sky is the limit in exporting stuff made in Belize for the future. Both these students are going to the University of Western Ontario in Canada and their chosen careers require an independence and attitude of SELF STARTERS to succeed.
Ms Gedisa Avella an Environmental Science major will be attending Trent University in Canada. Ms Deangela Woolley, an International Business Major will be studying in the USA at the University of Indianapolis, which said University also accredits seven of local Galen University undergraduate degree programs. Mr. Anwar Juan an Economics major, who will attend the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Ms Dora Paz a Tourism and Hospitality Management major will attend Trent University in Canada. The Canadian contingent were awarded scholarships through the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program ( ELAP).. Trent University awarded Ms Gedisa Avella a $1000 Canadian towards airfare, along with room and board on campus. The financial effort requirement from local Belizean families is tremendous when you consider local elites only earn about a third of the income per annum of their equivalent Canadian counterparts.

Belize gets summer program of teacher training by Edmonton, Alberta, Canada volunteers.


For the seventh year Canadian teachers from the area of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada have come to Belize for their summer holidays to run TEACHER TRAINING programs.
The professional volunteer training of local teachers concentrates on advanced learning strategies in Math, Science and Language Arts.
Belize has over 11,000 young children that do not attend primary school at all. Most children do not get to go to High School, or higher tertiary education. Only the elite usually do that. High School and above are not FREE in the country of BELIZE, you have to pay!
This is a ROTARY organized project. On the local scene, ROTARIANS, Chief Education Officer Chris Aird and Rotarian Andre Lopez do the organizing. The program has been supplemented by GRANTS from the Canadian International Development Agency ( CIDA ). The program of teacher training started only in the San Ignacio area of the Western Cayo District, seven years ago; but has since expanded nationwide in this small country with 350,000 people scattered over 6000 square miles.
The current Canadian contingent has 30 Canadian teachers led by Rotarian Jennifer Lawly, her assistant Rotarian Dr. Lynne Paradis. Workshops include Leadership training for Principals, continuing workshops in Math, Science and Language Arts. Over the past seven summer holidays, the program has expanded and 157 local Belizean teachers who have been trained are now acting as COACHES.
Six schools in particular have been equipped with help from the OIL company BNE TRUST, and ROTARY CLUB. Special computer labs with 32 computers were installed for Standard two and five, or Canadian level grades 4 and 7 in the six widely scattered six district targeted schools. BTL has donated 2.5 megs of internet band width. To compare from my own experience, here in Hillview, Santa Elena Town, we are trying to run an International Financial Trading Room Operation, using the only available SMART wireless dialup, using an obsolete slow speed of 115 Kbps. For us in business out in Western Business who rely on the internet, the idea of having 2.5 megs of bandwidth is unimaginable. The six lucky schools are Faith Nazarene Primary in San Ignacio, Mary Hill R.C. School in Corozal, Louisiana Government in Orange Walk, Salavation Army in Belize City, Christ the King in Dangriga and St. Peter Claver in Punta Gorda.
Canadian Rotary Club District 5370 in Canada has generously donated software, teaching aids, computers and many containers of educational material to Belize over the past three years. The people of Belize are very grateful to our Canadian friends in Alberta, Canada.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Western Belize cattle business condition!


Estimates taken from Belize Agriculture Report magazine by John Carr.

Cayo District:
Spanish Lookout has about 18,000 head of cattle
Two other ranches have about 3000 head.
There are a lot of small 20 acre little family ranches in the hills.

Up in the NORTH in the Orange Walk District:
Blue Creek area - 22,000 head
Ship Yard and Indian Creek - 22,000 head
Scattered small subsistance ranches - 400 head

23,6000 head.

Domestic use and consumption of cattle - by products: 12,000 head.
Export sales: 10,500 head
The Value of Cattle in Belize: $76,500,000
General costs valuation: 1 acre about $1500. Takes 2 acres per head.
Fenced ranch land: Worth about $346,500,000

There are now FOUR meat processers supplying quality meats of different kinds to Western Belize. These compare with anything produced in the USA, if not better. Such as; salami, hot pepperoni, Polish sausage and many sausages for other kinds, like hot dogs and hamburger beef patties, pork chops, chicken parts, boneless breast,etc.

Belize Cattle: young steers and bulls .93 to .95 cents around 750 lbs
cows and heifers for butchering .50 to .60 cents
heifers for breeding .90 to 1.00 around 650 to 900 lbs

Belize Hogs: 30 to 50 lbs for $85 to $95
Butcher pigs 125 to 200 lbs $1.65 to $1.70

Belize Sheep: Butcher lambs - $2.25 to $2.50
Mature ewes - $1.60 to $1.70

Belize Chickens: Broilers $1.05 to $1.10 per lb.
Old Hens - .70 to .73 cents

MILK: .45 cents on contracts

Farm Shrimp retail: $5.50 to $6.50 per lb.

Pitahya: 12 to 16 oz. $1.75 to $2.00 each

Eggs by the case of 30 dozen: 68 retail, and 59 wholesale

Yellow Corn: .17 cents

White Corn: .20 cents

local retail corn: .24 cents

U.S corn by the bushel: .12 cents

Guatemala corn: .23 cents

Belize Milo: .14 cents

Red and black beans: .75 cents

Paddy rice from combine: .28 cents

Milled retail rice: wholesale $105

Oranges: per 90 lb box $9.50

Grapefruit: per 90 lb box $4.50

Cane: per ton $50 per ton

White sugar: 112 lbs controlled by the government $44.42 per bag
Brown sugar: 112 lbs controlled by the government $38.31 per bag

Bananas for export: In 40 lb box 12 to 13
local wholesale prices for bananas: $7.00 to $10,00
retail: Either 8 or 10 bananas for a dollar.

Papaya rejects: $1 to $2 each. ( small size and weight )

Tomatoes, cabbages and cucumbers $1.25

Cauliflower: no price, Belizean/Chinese are the buyers.



Most farmers feel crops could double within 4 years once the Partial Scope Agreement becomes effective!


Estimates by John Carr

Yellow Corn - 12,500 bags of 100# per week. At .20 cents a pound aboutr $13 million.
( used mostly for animal and chicken feed )

White Corn - 19,500 bags a week, worth around $448,500

White Rice - 180,000 bags a year worth $20,700,000

Red Kidney Beans 41,600 bags a year worth $4,160,000

Beans of different kinds - 4,160 bags a year worth $416,000

Dressed Beef - Dressed beef, about 250 head woth $15,600,000
Live Beef and carcass - 10,000 lbs.

Dressed Pork - 300 pigs per week - 2,184,000 lbs worth $7,098,000

Dressed Chicken - 32,000,000 lbs worth about $70,400,000

Eggs - per annum 2,712,500 dozen, worth $8,137,500
( egg consumption is about 105 eggs per person per year. )

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Belize News - Belize Leading Newspaper | Breaking News - Amandala Online URL:
Silence surrounds 08-09 Audit � what does it say?
( taken from public Belize Culture listserve )



"Albert area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party, Hon. Mark Espat, chairs the INFAMOUS Public Accounts Committee.





(Posted: 17/08/10) There has been silence over the last Audit Report of the Government of Belize, tabled in the House of Representatives on Friday, August 6, 2010. While there has been a lot of focus on the Special Lands Audit for the six months leading up to the 2008 General Elections, which outlined a number of irregularities, the picture painted by the 2008-2009 Audit report is far more startling.

- 165 missing police vehicles; un-reconciled bank accounts

- Questionable transactions have ballooned from $142 million in 2005 to $280 million last March

- “...the recurring theme in our audits is now that ‘records cannot be located’”

- Sawmill purchased for $66,000 for the Kolbe Foundation not accounted for

There has been silence over the last Audit Report of the Government of Belize, tabled in the House of Representatives on Friday, August 6, 2010. While there has been a lot of focus on the Special Lands Audit for the six months leading up to the 2008 General Elections, which outlined a number of irregularities, the picture painted by the 2008-2009 Audit report is far more startling.

Edmund A. Zuniga, Auditor General, compiled the report in November 2009, which includes transactions under both administrations of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). His report points to growing frustration with the Government, which has essentially turned a deaf ear to the concerns laid out in previous audit reports.

The report said, “...the recurring theme in our audits is now that ‘records cannot be located’.”

The report indicates that the purpose of the audit was to find out whether Government accounts were kept using acceptable systems and were punctually and properly posted. They are also done to see whether checks against irregularities and fraud were adequate and effective to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatements. To accomplish this task, the Audit Department is staffed with 40 people and given a budget of $1,728,090 for 2010/2011 (or 0.2% of the national budget).

The Audit report identified several other concerns, and noted that the same problems discussed in previous audits have clearly not been addressed: “As a result, it behooves this office to raise them again in this report in the hope that they will be addressed by the time our next report is due,” said Zuniga’s report.

The financial statements of the Accountant General, for the year ended 31st March 2009, were received on September 23, 2009; they were due three months after the close of the financial year, it said.

One major problem highlighted is that for a long period of time, bank accounts across several government ministries and departments have not been reconciled. “As a matter of fact, it appears that there is no inventory of all the government-related bank accounts held by various ministries and departments.”

Likewise, inventory management continues to be deficient, said the report: “The lack of adequate inventory records is widespread throughout Government. This is in spite of the large sums spent, on an annual basis, on equipment, furniture and fittings. Adequate inventory management is important to ensuring that Government assets are properly accounted for and safeguarded.”

The way in which government vehicles are used is also a concern: “Audit inspections once more revealed the continued poor control over the use of government vehicles,” the report detailed. “Logbooks were not properly maintained... Consequently private runs and misuse were undetected.”

Getting into the dollars and cents of public accounts, the Audit detailed other areas of concern: “Cash held at sub treasuries of $517,439.44 differed from the balance of $270,970.16 reported on SMARTSTREAM. This is a difference of $246,469.28...” the audit detailed. “Bank reconciliations and confirmations in respect of 16 bank accounts totaling $72,167,204.00 were not presented,” said the Audit.

The dollar figure of questionable transactions has ballooned from $142 million in 2005 to $280 million last March: “According to the SMARTSTREAM Accounting System the suspense account [an account used temporarily to carry doubtful receipts and disbursements or discrepancies pending their analysis and permanent classification] stood at $280,868,894.30 at the end of March 2009, while the statement recorded the balance at $262,543,943.00, a difference of $18,324,951.30. Additionally, it was noted that the account has almost doubled, as at the end of 2005 the suspense account stood at $142,351,656.73,” the Audit said.

There are also questions in the audit regarding the public debt of $2,028,575,248, comprising external debt of $1,856,249,151 and domestic debt of $ 172,326,097. “No information has been provided in respect of loans guaranteed by the government,” the report said.

Pension Scheme overpayments to 27 pensioners who had already died totaled $266,573.52 for 2000 to 2007, whereas the Income Tax Department overpaid $291,653.58 in refunds (2000-2008).

There was substantial non-payment of taxes, running in the tens of millions. Personal income tax arrears for 2001 to 2008, which employers deducted from workers but did not pay in to Income Tax, exceeded $1.5 million.

Banking sector arrears in business tax totaled $31,873,862.11, with $31,803,492.60 being for the Belize Bank, said the Audit.

There was also $51,745,229.76 in arrears of business tax for companies—$11 million for Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), and roughly $8 million for BTL subsidiaries. NEWCO Limited, which had been contracted for the privatization of the Philip Goldson International Airport, is listed for $5,477,805 in the report.

There was $113,644.30 in wasteful expenditure for the Ladyville Forensic Laboratory Project, according to the report. After the million-dollar project was completed, the report notes, three other sets of works had to be done, costing the government a further $113,644.30 for “the relocation and reconditioning of walls, sealing of some external windows and the construction of new cabinets,” “resealing the roof,” and “electrical connection from transformer to the building, re-installation of Air-Conditioning Units, and installation of UPS System.”

Almost $40,000 worth of the work had already been paid for in the original contract. Additionally, there was no evidence that the tender procedure had been carried out in awarding the contract, said the Audit report.

Missing police vehicles were also detailed in the report: “On comparing the vehicles on the vehicle list from the Vehicle Care Unit with the 212 vehicles on the list prepared by the Police Department audit found that (171) vehicles were not accounted for on the Police Vehicle List. This, therefore, meant that the Police Department should have had 383 vehicles (i.e. 212 plus 171).

“Of the 171 vehicles mentioned above the Ministry of Finance confirmed that 18 vehicles were actually issued to other ministries and departments and therefore the department should have had an additional 153 vehicles. In addition to the (153) vehicles unaccounted for... (12) vehicles were on the police list but the police department was unable to provide information on their location. [This makes a total of 165.]”

The Audit report also had a notation on the street security cameras. Back in 2007, the Government had contracted the Panamanian firm, Estephan Enterprises, to supply and install a camera security system at 6 Belize City locations for $750,381.

“On the 24.09.08, about 9 months after the contract was signed, Audit conducted a physical inspection, which revealed that three (3) cameras at Belchina Bridge, Pound Yard Bridge and Kraal Road were not operational.”

Audit takes the view that Estephan Enterprises was in breach of Clause #4 of the contract for not having rectified defects within the 1-year warranty period.

“It was also disturbing to note that the contract did not contain any provision for training of personnel within the Police Department, or otherwise, in the maintenance of the systems,” the report added.

The Audit report also said that a sawmill purchased for $66,000 for the Kolbe Foundation was not accounted for: “Audit requested a physical inspection of the sawmill. Up to date [of the report] the management of Kolbe has not complied with this request.”

Zuniga told Amandala that while the law requires staff to respond to the questions and requests of the Audit team, Audit has no power to enforce compliance. “Persons should be taken before the Public Accounts Committee, but that’s a committee of the House that doesn’t work,” he said.

The audit includes the first ever audit by The Office of the Auditor General of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), spanning 2000 to 2008.

The PUC collected $16.2 million in revenue from 2001 to 2007. The funds were deposited into four bank accounts that the Ministry of Finance did not approve, contrary to provisions in the PUC Act, the audit noted.

“It was observed that $4,652.78 in personal advances approved to 3 persons who were no longer in the employ of the Commission remained outstanding since November 2007,” the Audit report said.

The ball, again, appears to now be in the court of the Public Accounts Committee: “A review of the Annual Report for 2006/2007 shows that several such issues were brought to the fore; however these have remained unanswered. It is, therefore, safe to say that the report has had no effect on the improvement of accountability in the public service. In my view, this will only be remedied when the Public Accounts Committee takes accounting officers to task in addressing the issues raised by the Auditor General in his report,” the Audit report stressed.

Albert area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party, Hon. Mark Espat, chairs the Public Accounts Committee. We know that he has been trying to have a meeting convened. Amandala was unsuccessful in our attempt to reach Espat Monday evening for an update.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



The top four cabinet ministers for the UDP Government in Belize are:

1) Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

2) Rene Montero, Minister of Agriculture

3) Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

4) Boots Martinez, with an honorable mention in PUBLIC WORKS.

None of the other dozen and a half have any rating at all, as to suitability and capability.

Thursday, August 12, 2010



The five points were awarded for the leadership and innovative effort to harness the Childrens's HEART Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of our evolving SOCIALIST branch of medical treatment in Belize. The innovative and imaginative move is a good one. The new UDP REPORT CARD approval rating is now 55%.

Belize has a much larger private sector capitalist style medical arrangement of private clinics and doctor specialists. The government medical system is geared to the poor mostly, and is FREE SOCIALIST in nature and runs parallel to PRIVATE SECTOR MEDICAL availabilities.



There is some disquiet and uncertainty over the ability of the Belize Government’s ability to transform the economy to light manufacturing exports? As separate from the PRIVATE SECTOR success at agriculture product niche marketing.

In the last year or so, Belize agriculture commodity exporters have found niche markets around the world in products like black eyed beans, red kidney beans, sugar, processed citrus juices and whole citrus fruits. Processed meat products are growing on the local market, there is a third new meat processor joining those who now produce exportable meat products. ( CANCUN is looking to be a good market ) The light processing food product export manufacturers are doing all right for the small 350,000 sized population.

The problem is; how do we switch to a light manufacturing export pillar of the economy?

There was an effort by the government to add and assign academic qualified staff to the exporting marketing of new products. New sub units in government departments have been created and staffed. How well that is turning out we do not know? The ones interviewed on television are talking a good game, lots of statistics and verbiage rhetoric, but there is no way to measure any creditable work by the new additions to the government salary base. No method of measuring their skills, or results for the scarce tax money being spent on them. How much of the agriculture based exports niche marketing is actually being done by the new government staff, tasked with this role? Is the money being well spent and is it productive? How do we assess their success or failure?

Ancedotal and casual impressions are that in the food processing and commodity niche marketing fields, the exports are actually being created and developed by the PRIVATE SECTOR and not by the assigned government bureaucratic academics, paid to assist and research. The money seems to be wasted on the government, in a scarce financial environment, among what are HIGH PRIORITY items for development. This therefore raises serious doubts about the government bureaucrats ability to LEAD a new building block, or pillar of the economy, involving light manufacturing products. We now produce and export things like bamboo furniture, we used to build and export boats, but that has disappeared, there is the desire to manufacture solar panels, windmills, ethanol fuel copper stills, and many other light manufacturing niche export items.

The PRIVATE SECTOR seems to have the agriculture and value added food processing niche export marketing in hand. None of the export markets seem to be coming through any efforts of those assigned by the government, to create and assist in finding and developing them. The USA EMBASSY has recently assisted the Chamber of Commerce with a specialist in TRADE MARKS and BRAND NAME systems seminar.

The next step in economic development, is entering the fields of LIGHT MANUFACTUREING, to eventually export to niche markets. Since there is no apparent obvious inputs, or results that are measurable from our scarce tax money being spent on such HIGH PRIORITY niche export markets in the agriculture field, by those being paid by our tax dollars in the government. One seriously questions the ability of these new staff and mini sub departments ability to proceed past the point of being a dull bureaucracy, to becoming a productive contributor to the growth of our need for a LIGHT MANUFACTURING pillar of our economy. Should we be spending scarce resources on bureaucrats that do not produce markets? Or develop policies to provide an enabling environment ( such as subsidies, or exemptions from duties ) for those wishing to import raw materials to light manufacture products for export? Or should we reassign those government monies to some other needed priority. Our funds as a nation are scarce, we need to make sure the money is productive in some form or other. The record does not show any results so far!.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


(Taken from the Belize Culture Listserve)
WATCH OUT FARC TERRORIST CAMPS and VICIOUS BANDITS in Venezuela camps and Colombia. The ORINICO OIL RESERVES are going to bring new tools to wipe you murderous, kidnapping, drug producing, extortionists out!

Belize Defense Force along with US military units are below the jungle canopy in remote Belize, while the computer operated helicopter searches for them.

Special Forces’ Robocopter Spotted in Belize

* By Olivia Koski Email Author
* August 9, 2010 |
* 4:56 pm |
* Categories: Drones

Watch out, humans, the U.S. military has released an all-seeing, unmanned helicopter into the wild, according to Aviation Week. The Boeing A160T Hummingbird was photographed in Belize, where it was test flying a tree-penetrating Darpa radar called FORESTER. Locals were given a heads-up thanks to a press release from the U.S. Embassy. There’s no sign of the document on the website, but local reports say that the the Belize government invited the U.S. to test the Hummingbird in a mountain range 25 miles from the Guatemalan border. A few dozen military personnel – both Belizean and American – are involved in the testing, which will last until September.

U.S. Special Forces Command got its new toy in November of 2008, but at the time the unmanned hovering helo couldn’t see through trees. The synthetic-aperture radar now onboard is designed to detect slow moving people and vehicles – even if they’re hiding in dense foliage. It enables super high resolution imaging by using the motion of the helicopter to create an artificially large aperture. It was designed specifically for the unmanned A160T platform, which can fly 2,500 nautical miles for 24 hours at up to 30,000 feet. It represents a completely new approach to helicopter design, with a special adjustable-speed rotor enabling it to be super quiet.

No word on if this particular model is armed, but the robocopter – officially dubbed the YMQ-18A by Special Ops – can carry up to eight Hellfire missiles. The unmanned vehicle might also be useful in urban areas or in Afghanistan, where its radar could help it surveil forested mountains and bring supplies to special forces teams at night. The U.S. Special Operations Command is so excited about the things it doubled its order for ‘em last year.

In competition with Boeing’s A160T Hummingbird is Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8B Fire Scout. This spring, a prototype of the unmanned helo, operating off of the frigate USS McInenry, helped bust up a drug deal at sea. 60 kilograms of cocaine were seized, and another 200 kilos were thrown overboard, according to the Navy.

Of course, neither robocopter truly flies itself. They either have a pilot controlling them remotely, or a pre-determined computer program. The only true self-flying full-size helicopter is the Unmanned Little Bird, which had its inaugural no-humans-involved flight in June.

Photo: Boeing

Read More

Monday, August 9, 2010

OECD IMPERIALISM continues to rape Central American and Caribbean countries.

"To add insult to injury, the EU is simultaneously forcing developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to further open their markets through the trade deals called economic partnership agreements."


ECONOMY: Rich Countries’ Farm Subsidies Benefiting Royals
By Julio Godoy
The OECD's Carmel Cahill: "European subsidies for agriculture continue to benefit the largest land owners." / Credit:OECD
The OECD's Carmel Cahill: "European subsidies for agriculture continue to benefit the largest land owners."


PARIS, Aug 6, 2010 (IPS) - Subsidies for agriculture in the industrialised countries of the world grew again in 2009, benefiting the largest companies and land owners, such as Prince Albert of Monaco and Queen Elizabeth of Britain.

The latest increase came despite repeated and consistent evidence that such subsidies contribute to the destruction of the livelihoods of poor farmers in developing countries, especially in Africa, and that they distort international trade.

According to a new study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), subsidies for agriculture in industrialised countries rose to around 252.5 billion dollars, or 22 percent of total farmers' receipts in 2009 -- up from 21 percent in 2008.

The study, "Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries at a Glance 2010", found that the European Union’s subsidies for farmers rose from 22 to 24 percent. In the period between 2007 and 2009, EU farmers received an average of 23 percent of their gross receipts in form of direct financial support from the state.

The OECD represents the 30 most industrialised countries of the world, including the U.S. and most members of the EU.

The subsidies for farmers in OECD countries have been at the centre of a heated dispute for years, both at the level of the EU and U.S. and within the larger framework of the World Trade Organisation and its deadlocked Doha Development Round.

The EU spends about 75 billion dollars on subsidies for agriculture, even though the sector represents only about two percent of the total gross domestic product of the union. This subsidies regime will only change in 2014.

The new OECD data inflamed these complaints, the more so since it has been shown that the largest agro-businesses and even some royal houses in European monarchies benefit the most from the subsidies.

"EU subsidies for agriculture are a shame," Marita Wiggerthale from the German office of the humanitarian organisation Oxfam told IPS. She cited the example of subsidies for milk, which form part of the EU agricultural policy.

Due mostly to over-production, the European milk prices for farmers were in early 2009 extremely low at less than 0.20 euro per litre. Instead of reducing the production to stabilise prices, the EU reintroduced subsidies for milk in 2009 to support producers.

"As consequence, the EU is again exporting milk to the whole developing world, especially towards Africa, at ‘dumping’ prices," Wiggerthale said. "By so doing, the EU is destroying the livelihoods of farmers in the poorest countries of the world while artificially maintaining a too high level of production."

To add insult to injury, the EU is simultaneously forcing developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to further open their markets through the trade deals called economic partnership agreements.

Rainer Falk, a leading German critic of neoliberal globalisation and publisher of "World Economy and Development", a specialised newsletter on international cooperation and trade, told IPS that the OECD subsidies for agriculture only benefit the largest companies in the sector.

"The data for 2008 illustrates this point," Falk said. "The main beneficiary of the EU subsidies in Germany was Suedzucker, a large sugar producer, which that year received more than 50 million U.S. dollars in subsidies," Falk pointed out.

Data from other countries confirms Falk's complaints.

In France, one of the main beneficiaries of the EU subsidies for agriculture in the recent past has been Prince Albert of Monaco. Queen Elizabeth of Britain has also received large subsidies from the EU.

Carmel Cahill, head of the policies, trade and adjustment division of the OECD’s directorate for agriculture, food and fisheries, subscribed to this criticism. "European subsidies for agriculture continue to benefit the largest land owners," Cahill told IPS.

According to the most recent data, 11 percent of farms get 75 percent of the payments. "Take care though," Cahill warned, "it is the share of the payments, not of the entire budget, some of which goes to programmes and purposes that are not payments."

Cahill also called attention to positive changes in the agricultural subsidy policies, especially in the EU.

"Despite still spending a large chunk of its budget on supporting a relatively small sector of its economy, the EU has reformed its subsidies criteria to move away from supporting exports and towards supporting producers, thus decoupling aid from production," Cahill said.

"Such subsidies," Cahill argued, "are far less distorting in terms of trade than the aid directly linked to production volumes."

However, Cahill lamented that the EU and the member countries do not link the subsidies to specific targets. "The EU could connect its aid to better environmental protection measures of agriculture, or to an increased concern for biodiversity," Cahill told IPS.

She explained that the increase in agricultural subsidies was mainly provoked by fluctuations in international commodity prices during the last four years. "Higher commodity prices in 2007 and 2008 were behind drops in the measured support in those years and the return to 2007 level prices reversed this trend for 2009", automatically leading to relatively higher subsidies.

The OECD report also says that lower or negative economic growth in OECD countries, caused by the recent global recession, moderated demand pressures in particularly higher value-added products, such as dairy and meats. A positive supply response to higher prices in 2008 came at the same time as growth for food demand was easing.

These factors all contributed to the rise in subsidies. (END)

BTL to remain a CASH COW after sale for politicians?


Well I phoned BTL HQ a month or two ago for the annual report. They said they would mail it to me, but never did ( Box 276, San Ignacio ) That has been my experience with all my enquiries and dealings with the government run company of BTL. ( telecommunications ) They don’t answer anything and they don’t perform. I wouldn’t lend them a nickel.

They are talking about a PROSPECTUS and news comments quote the Prime Minister as saying no single person will have a majority share of the Board of Directors. Don’t know how they are going to do that? Doesn’t sound like a competitive public company? Sounds like a messed up government deal, like a private company.

That said: Are the shares of BTL going to be a fair deal? The answer so far, seems to indicate no! They are not going to auction the shares with a BID and ASK sale, but dictate the purchase price. That is a big strike against buying any shares.

Then there is the case of buying shares for the dividend. The top C.D. rate for banks is around 9.5 % interest. So BTL dividend would have to beat that amount, to make the shares attractive. I think you are looking at 12 % to 16% as being an expected dividend payout on a quarterly basis. Can and will they do that? Got no financial data to even judge the situation. Without that, why would you invest?

I expect government institutions will buy up most of the shares? Like Social Security. It sure looks like BTL will remain a CASH COW for political party hacks and family relatives, supplying services and Board seats.

Sunday, August 8, 2010




Total loans: ( round numbers in millions )
Heritage Bank: $112 million, Atlantic Bank $286 million, Belize Bank $678 million, First Caribbean Int’l Bank $156 million, Scotia Bank $499 million

General Loss Reserves: Heritage Bank, ( deficit $817,000 ), Atlantic Bank ( deficit $3 million ), Belize Bank ( $4 1/4 million ), First Caribbean Bank ( $2 ½ million ), Scotia Bank ( $4 ½ million)

Net Income before taxes: Heritage Bank ( $762,000 loss), Atlantic Bank $305,000, Belize Bank $797,000, First Caribbean Bank $503,000, Scotia Bank $7 million.

Base Lending rates: Heritage Bank 14%, Atlantic Bank 13%, Belize Bank 14.5%, First Caribbean 14%, Scotia Bank 16%
Lending rates are negotiable between the bank and the customer. Depends on the skill of the customer.

Profitability before taxes: Heritage Bank (-1.15%), Atlantic Bank 1.61%, Belize Bank (-1.10% ), First Caribbean Bank 1.12%, Scotia Bank 5.45%

Return on average equity investment AFTER taxes: 69.32%, Atlantic Bank 62.32%, Belize Bank 51.57%, First Caribbean Bank 66.43%, Scotia Bank 81.18%

***There are no figures for dividends given to Bank shareholders published from Central Bank.

**** Bank Certificate of Deposit rates have come down. The big players like Insurance companies and Social Security are earning about 9 ½% while small depositor in the hundreds of thousands of dollar deposits, are earning about 6 ½%. There seems to be bank collusion across the board, as the CD interest rates are advertised at the lowest common denominator and are uniform, at least in San Ignacio Town banking stretch.


INTERNATIONAL DERIVATIVE TRADING, such as in Commodities, Futures, and Options are used by over a dozen private traders and the odd agriculture processing facility, and sometimes oil supplies.

The average is hard to guess at; as the private trading must take place in foreign lands and pay taxes in those lands. Thus there are no local statistical records. This is due to the inability to exchange local Belize Currency into Foreign Exchange easily. Local Belize currency has no value outside the borders of Belize. Traders therefore must have foreign bank accounts and trading accounts. Exchanges like Tokyo, Singapore, London, Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Chicago are commonly used, via the internet trading platforms. Globex is a favorite with 24 hour trading 7 days a week. Returns by anecdotal reports average 20% to 40% on equity annualized and in some cases LOSSES are experienced, as well as the odd good, over 100% return. Attempts to create a local stock market have so far failed, as also an International derivative trading competitive business environment. Mostly due to the problem of the Belize Currency government control requirements. If local banks were to get into derivative trading, they would have to establish overseas accounts in acceptable international currencies. Then they would have to establish a small department to offset the risks involved with their local operations. They could be operated from Belize via the internet, though internet service is expensive and inadequate, with minimal bandwidth and speeds, where available; which is not really where needed in rural locations. The current internet providers are about 20 years behind the times.
The AUXILLOU GROUP this year running a trial derivative trading pilot project, estimate returns at 30% annualized before foreign taxes. The Canadian branch are reporting about 20% annualized returns on stock trading.

GOVERNMENT BORROWING: The present government DEBT TO GDP ratio is unknown, but suspected to be about 120% of GDP, a disastrous state of affairs. The last government peaked loan borrowing at 127% and then later in a 5 year austerity drive reduced it to 76% of GDP. The percentage is climbing again and the current Finance Minister is not proud of it and secrecy seems to be the rule? When it comes to debt, the government is a basket case.




A recent trip to Melchor de Menchos across the border, still found NO BUS TRANSPORTATION to the border with Guatemala. The current bus lines stop at the park in Benque Viejo 2 1/2 miles away. You have to carry your luggage and walk there in the hot sun.


Miss Guatemala Wins Miss Belize Costa Maya Pageant 2010
August 6, 2010 By Belizean Leave a Comment

Miss Guatemala Gabriela Asturias wins Belize Costa Maya Pageant 2010Miss Guatemala Gabriela Asturias has won the 19th Miss Belize Costa Maya Pageant 2010 held this Friday on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The beauty pageant kicks off the annual town fair that features cultural events, a fair and music and dance performances by local and visiting artists.

The Belize Costa Maya Festival is a multicultural event on Ambergris Caye for a week of celebrations that run the gamut of dance, music, pageants, food and drink.

Celebrating their ancestral Mayan cultural roots, the Belize Costa Maya Festival Belize is the event of the year on this island off the coast of Belize that derives most of its income from tourism.

This year’s winner 25 year old Gabriela Asturias lists her occupation as Social Communicator and says her hobbies are dancing and reading. She is 5 feet five inches tall and her measurements are 34 – 24 – 25.

Described as a pageant to remember, Miss Guatemala took the stage along with seven other contestants from Belize and other Central American countries – all of them wowing the crowd and judges with their grace, elegance, charm and cultural costumes. In the end it was Miss Guatemala who impressed the judges the most with her fluent answers and stunning presence. Miss Asturias also won the title of Best Cultural Costume.

Miss Nicaragua Claudia Trejos took second place and and Miss Panama Yosibell Sanchez Espino finis



by Ray Auxillou, August, 2010

Heart defect patients for children, up to the age of 15 years agreement, speeds up with Venezuela new hospital. Primary among the services provided by the new CHILDREN’S HEART SPECIALITY HOSPITAL IN VENEZUELA are treatment for Atrial septal defect ( Hole in the heart) Septal, GTetralogy of Fallot, Patent ductus arteriousus, Pulmonary Stenosis, Aortic Stenosis
Presently the new hospital in Venezuela, called the Gilberto Rodriguez Ochoa children’s HOSPITAL is now accepting other socialist country patients. Last year this Venezuelan hospital performed 1100 heart operations on children. Ten years ago such a hospital was a dream of President Chavez. At the time, they were only performing operations on 141 patients annually.
Belize is a SOCIALIST/capitalist country on the Scandinavian country models. While Venezuela also espouses Medical SOCIALISM, particularly in the field of medical treatments and preventative diseases, the type of SOCIALISM differs in the ALBA Federation GROUP of countries. The three major players in the ALBA confederation; Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua lean toward STALINIST DICTATORSHIP socialism of old, though today they call it PRESIDENT FOR LIFE and eliminate your opposition and checks and balances in the EXECUTIVE BRANCHES. Belize does not belong to the ALBA CONFEDERATION due to the foreign policy requirements of joining. Belize is a signatory in foreign affairs, to joint representation with members in CARICOM countries and also within the growing confederation of the CENTRAL AMERICAN countries. These countries both in CARICOM and CENTRAL AMERICA often vote differently from each other, in international bodies like the United Nations and the OAS, based on economic self interest and not from ideology. While Belize is slowly strengthening the democratic process and that of checks and balances in the EXECUTIVE, the ALBA group major three players are moving the other way, to solidifying the dictatorship model, as an example the CASTRO BROTHERS of Cuba, or of RUSSIA under PUTIN. The idea in Belize is to be able to change your governing political party on regular cycles when dissatisfied with the results.
Socialism is an expensive method of governing and the WISH LIST of priorities is endless, as bureaucrats dream up new things to do for the people of the country to make their life better. Belize does not plain have the money and unlike OIL RICH countries, we are an AGRARIAN country, with a tiny population and miniscule tax revenues.
Enter the alliances with CUBA and VENEZUELA in the medical health field. Because Belize is a tropical country, preventative medicine is a TOP PRIORITY. Already a disease like YELLOW FEVER has been eliminated through the use of DDT. Malaria, the occasional hepatitis and Dengue fever illnesses occasionally crop up, imported from neighboring countries during the rainy season. The NEW system in Belize of PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE which is a SOCIALIST SYSTEM, based on the thinking that prevention is cheaper than trying to cure diseases and health problems, after they become gargantuan and uncontrolled. Today, the medical prevention takes the form of FREE SOCIALIST POLY CLINICS, one in each political district, staffed both by Belizeans and the CUBAN SOCIALIST dictatorship MEDICAL BRIGADE, nurses and doctors. Private clinics, hospitals and doctors also provide medical services in competition with the POLY CLINICS. There are far more private practitioners of medicine and private clinics than government socialist medical services. You have different choices of medical treatment in Belize. Because the Belize population is small, scattered through 6000 square miles of terrain ( about 350,000 pop.) some specialist medical treatments do not exist. Heart operations are one, eye operations for encroaching blindness is another. We are also in need of a burn treatment hospital serving the socialist countries. VENEZUELA and BELIZE are now joining hands in SOCIALIST beliefs and what Belize cannot afford, OIL RICH Venezuela is providing to her fellow socialist neighbors, such as here in Belize. For which we are very grateful.
There is a big debate in the USA about socialist medicine, as expressed by the systems in CANADA and most European countries and now Belize. In the USA more than 55 % of the population are denied medical treatment under the capitalist ROBBER BARON MEDICAL CARTELS, coupled with INSURANCE CARTELS with a Congress bought and paid for by the cartels is our impression from the news programs. Capitalism running wild we call it. The only medical treatment available to this USA majority population, is SELF MEDICATION from ‘over the counter’ drugs from a commercial retail drugstore. We do not believe in this, in our more advanced world.
The new agreement for children’s heart operations was by the Hon. Minister of Health of Belize, Pablo Marin and Mr. Gabriel Sanchez, the Charge d’ affairs of the Venezuelan Embassy. Also present at the meeting were our Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Peter Allen, along with Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Service in Belize and Mr. Sanchez of the Venezuelan Embassy. The committee is now setting up the protocols and a point focal figure responsible for selection of patients and determining the structure of admissions and transportation for this new socialist medical program.

Friday, August 6, 2010



This is an OPINION article from impressions and the opinions are solely my own.
By Ray Auxillou, August, 2010

The struggle for control of the Citrus Factory is going to end in disaster. What opinion I’ve formed, as a non-participant, is that the CITRUS FACTORY as an independent legal entity needs to be kept separate from the CGA.
The Board is made up of the CGA shareholders who have the majority, but do not control decisions totally, because of the clauses in the INVESTMENT AGREEMENT by the $65 million dollars spent by the minority shareholder, BANKS HOLDINGS to build the factory and marketing system.
What is needed is to keep the FACTORY as an independent company based on the profit and well financed motive. In order to make a success of the citrus industry. With two sets of shareholders, all either can really expect, or should expect from their participation and investment is the return on DIVIDENDS to be shared by either side shareholders. How the CGA divide that among their couple thousand producers I don’t know? It is however, THEIR PROBLEM. This BOARD of the CGA should be dealing with this problem and that of better grove maintainance. Siphoning money out of the FACTORY is NOT THE ANSWER.

The actions of the current BOARD OF DIRECTORS of the CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION reek of the smell of opportunism. I have formed the impression over the months of debate on television, that the new BOARD are nothing more than opportunists, POLITICIANS if you will, playing on the emotions of the small growers they are representing. In return for their misleading actions, they are pushing an agenda that seemingly wants to turn both the CITRUS FACTORY and the CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION into a gravy train, to get money for per diems, expense trips, Board Directors fees, both from the CGA and also from the Citrus Factory and any other intermediary legal entity holding the CGA shares. They also apparently have the ultimate goal of turning the CITRUS FACTORY and the CGA growers into a COOPERATIVE. The CGA is a cooperative in fact, if not title, as an association. However the FACTORY must in my opinion; be kept separate as a legal business entity, without giving this CGA BOARD the opportunity to wreck the CITRUS FACTORY COMPANY finances. Obviously if this CGA BOARD have their way, they will take out monies and make the FACTORY borrow loans, to favor their voting constituents in the CGA and to HELL with the CITRUS INDUSTRY. This BOARD is looking at short term, money for their personal management services on which they can live well, if not totally to the exclusion of anything else. In the end, they will wreck the FACTORY company and also by implication, make the CGA members worse off than before. They would if allowed, trample over their minority foreign investors shares.

It has been done before and one can see the writing on the wall, that this is the goal of this CGA Board of Directors, acting not in the best interests of the citrus industry, but in their OWN INTERESTS, milking the cow for their own purposes.

It would be better indeed, if they get $65 million and buy out the minority shareholders. I doubt anybody lending money in their right mind would lend the CGA this amount though? Their industry management skills are ZERO! If they were any good, they would be finding ways to improve the citrus trees and small grower groves through cooperative effort of their membership. It can be done, look at any fishing cooperative as an example. If their voters and membership want more money the only LOGICAL way to get that, is to see the FACTORY makes TONS of profits and give a hefty dividend to be shared among their CGA membership. That is the long term PROPER WAY of dealing with this. Not the way this new CGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS are operating.

Expect a lot of companies to go into receivership in Belize.


9 Belizean entities owe over $482.7M to Belize Bank - Eugene Zabaneh Group in trouble Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator
Thursday, 05 August 2010 00:00

Eugene ZabanehEugene ZabanehOver the past two weeks the Guardian has been following the Belize Bank’s loan portfolio activity. In our investigations we’ve determined that the bank has activated a Group Risk Unit which is tasked with collecting some 28 percent of the bank’s loan portfolio which is delinquent. That represents 206.9 million dollars of a total 680.4 million dollars. While the figures are alarming, what’s more so is that the Guardian has been reliably informed that, as at December of 2009, there
were nine principals who hold an impressive 482.7 million dollars in loans from the Belize Bank.

One group in particular is controlled by Eugene Zabaneh which up to December of 2009 held loans amounting to a hefty 52.1 million dollars. These loans are spread over personal loans and those of six companies. Significant loans include a 16 million US dollar loan to Santa Ana Dev. Co. LTD., US 10 million to Maya Island Air, 10 million dollars to Riversdale Dev. LTD, U.S. $7 million to Eugene Zabaneh and other loans. While the portfolio is significant, what is worrying is the fact that these loans are bordering on going into default. With the presence of the GRU at the Belize Bank, it would mean that the ‘forgive no sins’ mentality will kick in and the Zabaneh group may be at risk of running into receivership.

It is quite a fiasco which we’ll keep monitoring but to which we can add a bit of light. During the inauguration of Maya Island Air’s international flights in July of 2009, present were Ralph Fonseca and Said Musa. Under what capacity they were there is unknown; however, judging from their history of how they managed the finances of Belize during their ten year tenure of office, and if they were somehow involved in the finances or even just in giving advice to Zabaneh it would explain a lot. The group is now floundering and even if just by association maybe, just maybe, Ralph and Said may have something to do with it. In the end, it would appear that anything these two are involved with somehow ends up bad.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Belize Citrus Growers have 90 days to find $65 million.


Citrus Growers Association unable to convince minority shareholder ( Bank Holding ) to change the INVESTMENT AGREEMENT of $65 million that built the modernized factory.

The CGA though the majority shareholder are stuck with the investment agreement that the lawyers for the minority shareholder Banks Holding of the Eastern Caribbean drew up to protect the investment. Which gives the minority shareholder veto power over some Board members.

So far, the minority investor wants the Chairman of the Board of their choice and the Citrus Growers Association want the Board chairman, of their choice. The two sides are at odds.

Behind the sweet talk and blarney put forth by professional politician on the Board for the Citrus Growers Association, ( forget his name ) the fact is; that the CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION want to loot, plunder and rape the earnings of the Citrus Factory. Right now they get their dividends, just like the minority shareholder. What they want is control of the Board of Directors, which in numbers of shares they have, but technically they haven’t, because of clauses in the INVESTMENT AGREEMENT of Banks Holdings, the minority shareholder has protections. These protections are to see that the citrus factory operates on a business like basis, that earnings go into maintainance and marketing to keep the factory operating at a profitable level, separate from the CGA investors group. That money pays off existing debts, and dividends are paid to both shareholders, the minority investor of $65 million and the CGA group.

What the CGA group want is to loot the earnings of the factory by controlling the Board. So far, they cannot even agree to elect a CHAIRMAN. Stalemate! The CGA are talking about buying out the minority shareholder, but that would take $65 million and they already have huge debts from mismanagement of the previous smaller factory that existed back to colonial times. My understanding is they have 90 days to put up or shut up! Nobody expects this bunch of wasteful pirates in the CGA to shut up though.

The historical past is that the CGA group has looted the factory revenues before. It doesn’t matter how much sweet talk, about fertilizing poorly maintained trees in small holdings to improve yields. They take the money and run, pay their vehicle insurance, pay their home light bills and generally squander the money that was and is supposed to keep the citrus trees they have in good shape, adequately fertilized and terrain clean of weeds. The small growers are playing at citrus growing, as dilettantes, and usually have other income streams from full time, or part time jobs, or business ventures. Then they start hollering for more money, over and above their delivery payments, dividends if any, and have insisted in the past that the FACTORY go into debt with loans to pay them money, due against future deliveries of questionable honesty. That is why they got to the point where they are now. They cannot run a factory business. As it is right now, the operations and problems of the small citrus growers should be theirs alone. Kept separate from FACTORY operations and revenue streams. That makes sense and Banks Holdings the minority investor who put up the $65 million are protecting their interest, which is a dividend and the plant infra structure. Good for them, I would do the same thing.

There is going to be a SHAKEOUT in the citrus industry. Already this is occurring as some major producers have had to go to court to establish their right to create their own Association, which they have done. They also have a small factory line for washing, cleaning and packing fresh whole fruit, which they are selling in foreign countries. In the past the government backed monopoly of the Citrus Growers Association enabled them through government intervention and political votes to threaten and cajol politicians into getting what they want. The latest court rulings have broken their monopoly and political power of a group vote control. How this SHAKEOUT is going to play out remains to be seen. It is however, a long needed development to put the citrus growing industry on a solid and much better footing. Playing pirates and looting and plundering the citrus factory in the past, as their private piggy bank, was a wrong way of doing things and just maybe a breath of fresh air is penetrating the citrus industry and finally it should become successful.



By Ray Auxillou/ Santa Elena town, Belize

The recent revelation that Portugal is importing black eyed beans and Value Added Processing them in canning, for distribution throughout the European Union countries, makes one think a bit. Belize also has a FREE TRADE no tariff agreement with the EU.
It would seem the next step for the Mennonite different bean and corn producer farmer groups, is to set up two separate companies in a joint venture. Value Added Processing does several things. It improves your profit margin and gives you a product with a long shelf life in different climates of the world.
First the UK had the edge in colonial days in food processing, because they had TIN mines from which to make cans for foods. These days the MEXICANS and the BRAZILIANS are more modern than the UK and if my refried beans in a can is any example, the Mexicans at least, have a system of making cans out of thin aluminum instead of the old fashioned steel and tinning process. Because some foods are acidic, the refried beans can from Mexico has a ceramic liner. Not knowing how they make these, it looks like a relatively simple process to stamp cans, out of aluminum. The ceramic coating is my guess they have a spray head that sprays the inside can with a liquid and then it is baked hard? This gives food security. So a small plant to produce cans for Belizean food products and I am thinking in terms of black eyed beans, red kidney beans and sweet corn seems to be the next logical step for the Mennonites as exporters of food products.
The second company would be needed to actually take the cans and process the food. It looks like you cook the beans varieties and the sweet corn, then the lid is stamped on and crimped. When it cools it provides a vapor lock, or vacuum packing, which also extends shelf life for groceries in all kinds of climates and parts of the world.
The existing red bean producer groups around Spanish Lookout would supply beans to the food processing plant, as also the black eyed beans from the North of Belize and farmers of sweet corn would have their own seasonal delivery system to the canning processing plant. Careful estimates of production would need to be done, so that one didn’t squander millions of dollars on too large a processing plant. The farming producer groups would obviously have shares in both can producing and food processing/canning companies. So they got their wholesale price for product and dividends, as icing on the cake! The WORLD is your market and it surely seems there is no shortage of buyers and markets for food.

And as a footnote, I would invest my savings of $100,000 in either company, the one making the cans, or the one processing the crops. My goal would be to get a dividend. I have faith in the Mennonite community to do it right, through hard work.


NEW TROPICAL CROPS IN BELIZE EXPANDING in the land of opportunity!

One of the new crops in Belize that is expanding is Jatropha. A plant that grows and can produce diesel equivalent oil, for energy self sufficiency in Belize. There is a ready supply of 20,000 seedlings being sold near mile 63 on the Western Highway, telephone: 621 3432 for the production of bio diesel.
I have not yet heard or seen of any machinery used to produce the bio diesel in Belize yet. It will be interesting to see the cost anaylsis when somebody actually produces bio diesel from Jatropha for sale on the local market.

PITAYHA that luscious DRAGON FRUIT, you scoop out of a fruit with a spoon to eat, that is like ICE CREAM, but very healthy. The Pitayha growing acreage is expanding very slowly. The fruit is produced from a climbing cactus. I used to have five plants in my daughter’s yard in Hillview, but they got stolen. Her yard is not fenced. It takes four years to produce 8000 to 10,000 lbs of pitahya, per acre, a year. Locally the fruit is available in the markets from June through October. There is an export market all over the world for them. Far from that yet, as I believe less than 10 acres of Pitayha are currently being grown?

LOCAL TOLEDO RICE is growing in acreage. Good rice too! Been a lot of time and money spent by TAIWAN on rice production. Finally the rice growing is moving to mechanization with mechanical rice planters, combine harvesters. New machinery just came in, to service a new 50 acre rice plantation going in down in the Toledo District. Exporting rice is a strong possibility inside a dozen years.
Rice production is beset by a bureaucratic method of blanket price control locally and not by quality and variety. This is crippling improvements in production, when bad rice and better rice cannot compete for price in the market place. Consequently the government monopoly on prices is stunting development of better quality types of rice production. The incentive is not there to improve to meet international export standards.

Agriculture Report printed out the rainfall data for Spanish Lookout for the past 42 years. Interestingly enough the average rainfall over 42 years was 61 and a half inches in this area of agriculture. Our government meteorological department does not print out data on rainfall and wind speeds. Windmill turbine investors are constantly seeking wind data locations from this government department, but they are ignored. A non functional statistical department. They basically only do weather reports for the TV news.

PRICES FOR CATTLE AND HOGS HAVE BEEN TRENDING LOWER FOR PAST TWO YEARS, says the Agriculture Report for June/July. Part of the problem is the need to illegally export cattle, as the government has been impossibly slow to legalize the process and speed up the regulatory aspects with Mexico. The loss to the economy is about $300 per cow. This is translating to a LOSS to our economy of about $6,750,000. There is a very good breakdown of the cattle business nationally in this Agriculture Report magazine, done by Beth Robinson.

ZIMBABWE loss is BELIZE gain. Old farmer friend in ZIMBABWE finally found a lost high school friend through the internet, in tropical Belize. A contributor to the Agriculture Report in Belize called Peter Margesson. Tim Savory of Zimbabwe was happy to be reunited with him via the internet.

REIMER Mennonite FEED MILL out in Spanish Lookout now worth several millions of dollars. They deal with poultry and livestock feeds mostly. 50 years ago they started with six local bought chickens. Port town people on the coast continue to waste their time, looking for handouts, as in salaried government clerical jobs. BELIZE is the land of OPPORTUNITY.

Ministries of AGRICULTURE, HEALTH and EDUCATION need to start coordinating their actions. Farmers and villages are complaining about the different groups and NGO’s constantly bothering them looking for information and data collecting. Obviously the Government Departments do not know what the right hand and left hand are doing.

BELIZE IS THE FOURTH LARGEST EXPORTER OF BLACK EYED BEANS in the whole world. Belize has the 2nd best quality of black eyed beans. 8.2 million pounds were harvested last year. The quantity is growing about 15% per year. 60% of the black eyed bean crop is sold to CARICOM countries, but they are sold ALL OVER THE WORLD. In CARICOM, Trinidad is the biggest consumer. Around the world, they are a favorite of ARABS. Europe actually consumes a lot, but funny enough Portugal dominates the processing/canning sector for black eyed beans and ships them to fellow European Union countries. Portugal is the biggest importer in Europe of raw beans. They sell at about $72 Bz for a 100 lbs sack as a raw commodity, F.O.B. A local company of farmers have organized themselves to give themselves a steady price and each farmer gets a monthly cheque. Marketing Red Kidney beans is a different kettle of fish, as most of this is consumed locally. BEL CAR the farmer owned company has the capacity to package approximately 100,000 lbs of beans daily. They plan to expand into producing corn grits for export.

LENTILS are my families most favorite bean food in Belize. Unfortunately nobody in Belize is growing them yet. We have to buy imported GOYA LENTILS. Another opportunity going to waste for want of a producer. There is a big WORLD MARKET all over.

BELIZE EXPORT SMUGGLING GROWS due to government difficulties!

by Ray Auxillou, August, 2010

Recently I wondered about spiritual, and mental tussles facing some of the more religious agriculture farmers. There is a constant complaint from government about farmers smuggling things for export across the borders., in which the government loses control and also revenues.
It is the government itself that is causing most of this situation. At one time a couple of decades ago, the agriculture budget for government was around 25% of government revenues. Today the budget for agriculture support by the government is 1.4% says the article by the editor. At one time in 2006 the budget for agriculture had actually shrunk to 1.1%. While tourism might still be king as a pillar of the economy, and oil is growing to be another pillar on a smaller scale, agriculture is still the mainstay of the economy of Belize.
There is an old saying; “you can’t get blood out of a stone”. The government is faced with some hard choices due to the costs of paying off past government loan borrowing. The available money to pay off loans and interest is getting bigger, year by year, while the revenues have shrunk.
First of all SMUGGLERS in agriculture taking stuff for export across the border DO REALIZE that the government is in dire financial straits. Nor do they look at the UDP government as not doing the best they can under the financial circumstances. It is quite evident that the new policy of dividing up scarce revenues, to be spent evenly by the six districts is working for a sense of NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. People are VERY satisfied with that. Well perhaps not the 80,000 population of the port town down on the coast, that were once considered by them at least, to BE THE COUNTRY OF BELIZE, as the old capital. Certainly the port town has more than their fair share of elected representatives and we can only hope that selfishness will not stop the Elections and Boundaries Commission from recalculating this unfair playing field in two years from now, for the next election.
The big problem from the viewpoint of agriculture export smugglers is that they are dealing with perishable products. For the most part, when you can harvest and sell a crop of something, you have a limited time frame. This can be measured in hours within one day. The problem at least partially, is the plethora of government sub departments and bureaucracies dealing with exports, like BAHA, MAF and other government bureaucratic entities, designed and installed in recent years to ensure we have international qualified products for export. The whole thing needs restructuring. The government needs; a one stop shopping center for these myriad export controlling agencies. The process has to be consolidated and speeded up. Instead of taking three days, or a couple of weeks, the process has to be refined and retuned, to take about an hour and a half. If you include perishable products, the travel cost and time and labor, there is often no choice for a farmer, but to smuggle his product across the frontier. Running around trying to comply with red tape bureaucracy, to be legal and contribute your two cents to government revenues, is self defeating, if something you are exporting is worth $2000 and the cost of running around and doing all the red tape paper work costs $1500 in time and labor and fuel costs. The difference is in a profit, or a loss.
From the viewpoint of the farmer with a desire to encourage the good work of the current UDP government and pay his tithe in cash contributions, the government has to make it easier and more efficient. People have to eat; perishable agriculture products have to be sold on a schedule set by nature, which can include rain storms, muddy roads, availability of labor at a certain time. The red tape as it currently stands, is both too expensive and time consuming and smuggling is the alternative choice, rather than losing months of work, investment and labor. Just because you the government cannot get the paper work done in one and a half hours, instead of three or four days.
Agriculture is improving, both from the viewpoint of processing VALUE ADDED products, new methods of production, new products and some of the difficult paper processing bureaucracy are also playing a part to export these, with their rules and regulations to satisfy international standards, agreements. Unfortunately, the process of development is FORCING smuggling for export, due to the limitations of government cash strapped abilities.
We have a SOCIALIST country, in which 14,000 people are employed by the government. A good segment of this bureaucracy are inefficient. This needs to be remedied with innovation and new organizational structures. Remember, for the most part, you are not dealing with an automobile for export, or a cargo of lumber, that can wait to be exported, but are dealing with a lot of perishable agriculture products. For some of these export products, the TIME ELEMENT is crucial and the choice of do it legal, or do it illegal is a simple choice, if the legal route is simply pre-ordained not going to work. A smuggler can have all the good will and desire in the world to pay the government it’s piece of the action, or build the nation. Seeing your agriculture product die, or spoil while trying to deal with a slow complicated bureaucracy is certainly not good for the economy, nor the farmer and those who depend on the cash earned from sale of those crops.
We the farmer are with you in your efforts in government, but you better get your organization in better order, if this process is going to work of building a nation. Neither the weather or some crops wait for anybody else’s convenience.