Thursday, June 30, 2011


While PM Barrow and his government lawyers are seeking to define nationalization of BTL and BEL in terms of the Constitution. The end result is, it has to be for a PUBLIC PURPOSE!

The PUBLIC PURPOSE is easy! The country is growing in population and GDP growth. The public utilities as in a monopoly when our country was younger and smaller in population, needed outside Foreign expertise. That expertise served it´s purpose to a point, but what has been learned by all segments of society, is that a MONOPOLY for a utility is not a good thing. Without competition in such a small market, the Foreign Expert company doing the management is guided by principals of working FOR PROFIT. The needs of the country is that we require constant reinvestment of the utility profit, or a good portion of the profit from MONOPOLY UTILITIES to be RE-INVESTED in the country and utility company, as the growing demand for expansion of the utility company expansion is CONSTANT. What the effect of our utilities has been that are FOREIGN EXPERT PRIVATELY OWNED, is that they cream off the profit and take it out of the country. Often most of the money earned is not enough to expand the infra structure, or even maintain existing infra structure of the utility. The FOREIGN OWNER is interested only in PROFIT and the method is to demand and insist that ALL GROWTH of that utility be FUNDED from LOANS. Such Loans are demanded to be guaranteed by the government of Belize. The NATIONAL DEBT keeps increasing to astronomical levels, which we are unable to pay, caused by utility monopolies that do not re-invest enough of their profits into the necessary growth of the utility company. Since the government guarantees those loans, the country DEBT PROFILE keeps increasing and to meet the cost of the UTILITY DEBTS created by a profit making Foreign investor company, intent on taking the profits out of the country, there is no re-investment in the utility company to grow sufficiently, with the population and country GDP requirements. Once sufficient managment expertise is achieved through education within a small third world country like Belize, it behooves the GOVERNMENT as a point of NATIONAL INTEREST, to stop the flight of earnings by the monopoly utility companies abroad, and to see for the NATIONAL INTEREST, that profits are shared in dividends and reínvestment growth, which is constant in utility companies. The NATIONAL INTEREST is in seeing the monopoly utility company pays it´s own way, as much as possible to grow incremently with the growth of the nation. The idea of robbing Peter to pay Paul, or taking the taxes from the sugar crop, or sales tax ( GST ) to subsidize the loans required for re-investment by the monopoly utility, or raising of rates to pay off those loans and interest payments, has to stop, when the government of the day has sufficient expertise to take back control of the monopoly utility and run it.
The Foreign Owned monopoly utility thus works itself out of a job, like a colonial governmnet by training and educating the locals to do that expertise which they were once hired for. Nationalization of majority shares in said utility is the way this is done. The shares are then agreed to be paid for in a mutual agreed manner. The growing debt burden of having a Foreign Company manage the monopoly utility for their profit, is no longer needed and is fact, BAD for the DEBT PROFILE of the country. Stopping the growth of National Debt trumps, the need to let a Foreign Utility owner cream off the profits and take them out of the country.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Foreign Corporate investment education in Belize.


( A tale of how Belizeans are getting educated in the outside real business world )

These two men, slightly different, came to Belize at a time, when the small population of this small country were floundering around, with little knowledge of the outside world. You could describe our bureaucrats and politicians as naïve country bumpkins. We were back then ( a few decades ) and still are; provincials. Education has picked up in the past decade and we know a lot more today than we did back then. We have gone from a country that did not have a single person in government with a Bachelors Degree, to now having quite a few people with Masters, and Ph´ds. We are still provincial though, when it comes to international corporations. The local people are easy going, friendly and tend to believe, self serving propaganda spouted by representatives of Foreign International Corporations and also BANKS, like the World Bank and the IMF, and you can easily put some scheme over on us. After all, scattered over our 6000 square miles of sovereignty, we have only 313,000 people. There are not too many worldly people here and we tend to look for the best in people we deal with. Most deals are done on a handshake, as in a man is as good as his word.
What we learned from these two Foreign Investors is how International people look at our small country of Belize. They are literally SHARKS and we Belizeans are the minnows, or sprat to feed off. Stanley Marshall and his FORTIS corporation was an expert from Canada. Belizeans tend to look at Canadians as being straight forward and honest. World wide Canada has a good reputation. His expertise was in electricity distribution systems and such. Michael Ashcroft spent some years of his childhood in British Honduras and said the right words and complimentary phrases and we took him into our homes and hearts as one of us. BIG MISTAKE! His interest was in Telecommunications. Both utilities a necessity in a small country trying to break out of a developed nation status. We for the most part lacked both management expertise and even where to find the equipment and finance needed to do what the small country needed in these two fields of infra-structure building.
Business Is different, ask any Mexican, or Colombian Mafioso drug smuggler coming intransit through Belize. Business is not friendly at the international level. It is cutthroat and no personal feelings intended, but you pay, or die. Your body is their security.
Fortis helped us put in three hydro dams, and otherwise build a transmission grid. From Stanley we learned how this works at the expense of the Belizeans themselves. The same literally can be said of Michael Ashcroft, who took over a small colonial telephone company and gradually expanded it with population growth and other government town building ventures, but ALWAYS we have learned at our own expense.
These two men have taught us valuable lessons in dealing with the larger outside world. First off, nobody out there will invest in Belize, any more than they have to, in order to get control of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS of the utility company. Secondly we learned they want a MONOPOLY, so they control the situation in the country. Third, once you get control of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS and have a monopoly. ALL MONEY EARNED BY THAT UTILITY COMPANY CAN ONLY GO IN ONE DIRECTION. It must go from the citizens of the country, utility customers and government subsidies if necessary, outward into the pocket of any Foreign International Investor. No further investment with cash from their pockets will go into the country. That is the basic RULE! If the utility needs investment, it must either come from the government and or can be located as LOANS from offshore financial shell companies, owned usually by the same foreign principals. What the modes of action are, is that the controlling shares of the company owner, will authorize a loan, if GUARANTEED by our government, and at homongous interest. What we found was, that the foreign investing corporation, lent money to itself, for the investment needed, rather than issue more shares and buy them. Loans have to be paid back, but share capital does not. So there are triple or more whammeys here, as expansion is needed in infra-structure in the utility companies. You get loan fees, loan interest, management fees and a host of add on charges. All these things must be paid back by the customers through increasing the rates of the utility. There is no cash reserve. Each year any profits are sucked out of the country to go abroad as dividends and other fees. The customer must pay for the expansion of the infra structure, instead of doing it out of cash reserves and that payment is done by increasing customer rates. No matter what happens, the RULE stands. Money goes out of Belize! Money as investment in buying of shares, does not come into Belize. You don´t get to be BILLIONAIRES by doing long term investments in small underdeveloped countries. You exploit them by MINIMUM SERVICES and MAXIMUM PRICING. The citizens and their government MUST PAY.
So the question now is; do we need these OFFSHORE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS to manage our utilities anymore? Have we grown up enough, to be self sufficient now? Our talent pool is still small, but I think we can stand on our own two feet today and we better learn to, because we will not develop our country the way we desire, if we do not.

Sunday, June 26, 2011



Comments from the discussion listserves by Belizeans. ( re - loss of SUPREME court case on illegality of BTL nationalization of Ashcroft majority shares )

I'm not sure. I don't think the majority of Belizeans are surprised by this train wreck. They have no confidence in their political leaders any more, nor faith in the integrity of the court system (they know that these are high rollers we're dealing with and if the common street thug can't get convicted - what do you expect). Political Parties in Belize have no vision for the future, they simply control resources for the term that they are in office and use their political powers to play games designed to enrich themselves and their business associates. Barrow is doing it using the legal skillset he has - fiddling with the constitution and chanelling legal fees to those around him. Ralph and Musa used financial wizardry to channel grant funds to private projects and DFC loans that were never meant to be paid back.

I get a mental picture of Barrow and Ashcroft smoking cigars and sipping whiskey in a secret private conversation as follows:

Barrow: "I told you it would work. See, I only borrowed btl - you will get paid back in spades now that the kangaroo court has spoken. How much did you have to pay the judge?"

Ashcroft (laughing): "I didn't pay the judge anything. What are you talking about?"

Barrow: " Don't get nervous, buddy. We have to make this thing look real."

Ashcroft: "You crazy devil. This thing is real. You cost me real money."

Barrow laughs and says, "You're the slick devil who got that crazy deal from Ralphi and Musa."

Ashcroft (grining), "Yeah, but I couldn't do it without you, buddy."

Barrow: "The game still aint over, yet."

Ashcroft: "That move with BEL was ballsy. Aren't you scared the people will revolt?"

Barrow: " Are you for real? How long you've been a Belizean? They might burn some tires, but let a few bullets fly and you'll see people scatter."

Aschroft: "You're a sick devil. That's what I like about you."

On Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 7:31 AM, MEL wrote:

Corrupt greedy politicians playing ping pong with corrupt greedy business people in a kangaroo court. Luv serving one.
Anyone really thinks that Barrow got caught off guard? This is all for show - give 'em the old razzle dazzle.


What a mess!

And what if anything does it mean for the BEL takeover?

You think he'll make the cash disappear that quickly?

If I were a news editor I'd have a journalist camping out there with cameras the entire weekend!

ps: I wonder who the justices were who took the decision.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Supreme Court rules that government takeover of BTL was unconstitutional. Ashcroft attorney lawyer Eamon Courtenay, and Dean Boyce, were shown on tv video clips marching into BTL headquarters to take over the company again.

Barrow tv interviews, sounded like a flustered man, without any plans. Mumbling something about having to contact the lawyers for government guidance on the way, if any, forward. What a mess. I´m glad I did not get to buy any BTL shares from government.

BTL was being managed BETTER under government management than when run by BARON ASHCROFT. The fear, at least my fear, is that BARON ASHCROFT will take back all the improvements made by government management in improving public service. SMART and BTL are now back in the MONOPOLY status under BARON ASHCROFT. The FEAR from the general public seems also to be that BARON ASHCROFT will drive BTL backward into the feudal mode of MINIMAL SERVICES, and MAXIMUM PRICING to squeeze money out of the small society of Belize, in what is a MONOPOLY.

To break the monopoly would require a seperate link to some other fiber optic cable system and any new investor would have to go to the trouble of putting up relay towers around the country. For a company that can show a profit of $15 million to $30 million a year, that is a tough hoe to row.

BARON ASHCROFT system of getting rich in Belize was to keep telecommunications a MONOPOLY, control the only viable outlet, the fiberoptic cable, use imaginative bookkeeping, to not pay taxes and offer only minimal services, particularly internet, which requires a lot of bandwidth, speed and low pricing structure, to bolster and build the economy and grow the GDP. He got very wealthy doing this. The rumbles in the street are saying Dean Boyce better watch his back in this murderous society, with hit men a dime a dozen.

PM Barrow´s reputation of being a superb Constitutional lawyer in the port town, by his sycophants, just blew up in his face. He didn´t make the same mistake though, with BEL. He seized Fortis 70% as a public necessity, for the public good.

If there is any money in cash reserves for BTL, my bet is Boyce will see that disappears over the weekend.

breaking news -- The circus gets even bigger. Dean Barrow stated on last night newscast that he expected a ruling in his favor BUT if it was not he would appeal. WELL - the judgement was handed down after 4:00pm when the Court registry closed so he could not file an appeal or ask for an injunction SO Ashcroft's team moved in on the BTL compound and took over shortly before 5:00pm - they installed a new board, sent the "deputy"CEO home and installed their own management team. According to Ashcroft's attorney it will be a steep hill to climb to ask for an injunction or stay of the judgement since the court ruled that the enabling legislation was unconstitutional so Barrow would be in effect asking the court to support an unconstitutional law while the appeal is heard.

Friday, June 24, 2011


There is no social program in Belize that encourages young mothers to mother their children properly. The best that can be said, is a cash reward system by the Education Department to give a stipend to families, if children attend primary school.
You can argue the problems and causes of single mothers and young mothers until the moon turns BLUE. You will not stop girls from having babies. Girls carry the egg that makes a baby from puberty and for some girls this is from even as low as age 9 or 10. In Bogota, there is even a House of Prostitution where all the girls are under age 12 and are single mothers, living sometimes at home. The fact is; girls will get pregnant for many reasons, most of them wrong reasons, such as for affection, love, companionship, or others. Our Belizean society ignores their problems and penalizes young single mothers. There isn´t a single child care facility in any school for female students who are mothers.
In an enlightened government, it is recognized that the criminals of today and the last three generations in Belize are the result of social neglect by our government. We have to change that and the young single mother of today, needs help to be a mother, with her living conditions, and to have both herself and her children become productive members of our society, able to contribute to society when they grow up and also not only help themselves, but also contribute meaningfully to our GDP and become responsible good citizens of our society. WE HAVE TO STOP IGNORING THE PLIGHT OF YOUNG MOTHERHOOD. IT CANNOT BE HELPED AND WILL ALWAYS EFFECT A SEGMENT, OR PERCENTAGE OF SOCIETY. WHAT WE NEED ARE PROGRAMS THAT MAKE THEIR SITUATION BETTER, SO THEY THEMSELVES AND THEIR CHILDREN GET OUT OF A TRAP OF POVERTY, AND DIFFICULTY, WHICH IN OUR INCREASING TECHNICAL AND INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY HAS AS YET NO SOLUTIONS DUE TO THE CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES AND ENVIRONMENT OF BELIZE.

Solving the problems caused by the USA consumption of drugs and other things.

Central American Security Conference, brings up problem of consuming countries, like the USA, which are causing criminal and murder problems in our tiny country of Belize. While Hilary Clinton, for the USA State Department pledges a few BILLION DOLLARS, which basically are just promises, or words with no reality in the REAL WORLD. To be spent in Central America, past history knows this kind of talk is just platitudes and nonsense. It will NEVER HAPPEN!

In Belize, let us think OUTSIDE THE BOX? Assume that we make the Belmopan Airstrip and surrounding area, a FREE ZONE for importing and exporting of trade goods. No customs, only taxes for use there of. No questions, whether you are smuggling Scotch Whiskey to Mexico, or American cigaretts to Guatemala, or anything like that. Make drugs like cocaine and marijuana LEGAL, at least within the FREE ZONE. You can fly in, or fly out legally, with your cargo, whatever it might be, intransit. We tax you, charge you some fees, and make some money from offering you a service, like in the Island of St. Martin. Nobody cares what you have in your warehouse, or airplane. It is all intransit, and all LEGAL. Would this make life safer and better in tiny Belize? Can tiny Belize fight the stupid drug war of the USA with our limited resources?

PM Barrow gains 1 point of UDP REPORT CARD to 54% score

PM Barrow earns 1 point for his government´s UDP report card. Score now rises from 53% to 54%

The taking over of FORTIS 70% shares in BEL, ( caused by a National public emergency ) the electrical distribution company to save the country from an electrical blackout, created a unique opportunity to solve one of the Company´s problems. That was the dry season buying of electricity from a Mexican state electrical supplier distributor in the Yucatan. Fortis management of local BEL had hit the debt ceiling approved by the Mexicans.
The gist of it, was that a Central American Security meeting in Guatemala City was also going to have President Calderon of Mexico attending, and Prime Minister Barrow of tiny Belize was to be there as well. Barrow grabbed the BULL BY THE HORNS so to speak and did what he was paid to to do, and seize an opportunity when it occured, for a fleeting moment in time. The new appropriated 70% FORTIS SHARES of our BEL, gave our government voting control of the local BEL company and when you are faced with a problem such as presented to us by the Mexican State electrical distribution company, from whom we buy electricity in the dry season at expensive rates and difficult negotiating conditions, with somebody you owe nearly $10 million dollars and are threatening to cut you off, so that the tiny Belize economy would collapse as a result thereof. It behooves a TRUE LEADER to do what is natural. Deal with the problem from the TOP DOWN, by presenting your case to Mexican President Calderon when met in Guatemala City. PM Barrow did his job, did it proactively and promptly. That is worth 1 point at least on his government´s report card. Shortcircuiting a lot of delays and bureaucratic maneuvering with the lower bureaucracy of the Mexican State distribution company. Nothing beats orders from the top of the power chain. WELL DONE BARROW!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

BELIZE rumor mill says NATIONALIZATION of BEL from FORTIS of CANADA imminent.


According to local FORTIS OF CANADA CEO IN BELIZE, SPEAKING FOR STANLEY, OWNER OF FORTIS IN CANADA, the trouble has arisen because of debt financing of working operations of the company. Banks will no longer lend money to BEL and the companies shares now are valued less than zero. It was of course the responsibility of the parent company FORTIS to GUARANTEE loans made to BEL for operating purposes.
The problem arose because of the management style of FORTIS. Which originally was to do everything by loans and FORTIS got into trouble with the auditors of the PUC, or Public Utility Company in Belize when the government changed hands. FORTIS had been lending money to itself through OFFSHORE SHELL COMPANIES the news media had reported, to run the company operations when needed, and earning interest on it´s own loans. The dividends and lack of investment and the padding with interest payments for FORTIS profits, has led to this disagreement with the current government of Belize. Fortis is DEMANDING that a $36 million debt of their National Grid Distribution company here in Belize, call BEL be dropped. According to lengthy media interviews on local television by the Prime Minister, this was identified as a $36 million debt from creative and imaginative bookkeeping during the previous PUP administration when the transmission lines expansion, were charged to the company BEL earnings TWICE. Plus they want a BLANK CHEQUE and to sidestep the PUC, while also raising customer electrical rates.
Needless to say the demand to drop the double bookkeeping charge of $36 million and demand to raise utility rates which has been mentioned on the TV, news are the main reasons for the debate. The Prime Minister has said, his friendly hand is held out to FORTIS of CANADA, for an amicable solution, but has been ignored. FORTIS of Canada are saying TAKE IT, or LEAVE IT!
According to local speculation on the TV News, it is going to be TAKE IT, in an unfriendly NATIONALIZATION, as FORTIS of CANADA are continuing to refuse to guarantee their bank loan operating system for BEL, in order to get the money. The Government of Belize has been financing operations of BEL for weeks now in the millions of dollars, while the refusal by FORTIS to operate their LOAN BORROWING system, by someone other than themselves, ( conflict of interest ) has led to massive debt pile up and a collapse of the electrical supply monopoly within Belize. Time is running out and the government has no choice. You cannot continue to lend millions to someone elses ´national utility monopoly company and let them run a profitable company into bankruptcy while playing ROBBER BARON hardball. Destroying the economy of Belize at the same time. FORTIS of CANADA has more money than the Government of Belize and is bigger than the local government by thousands of percent. FORTIS leaves little leeway for any sort of amicable solution.
If and when BEL is nationalized, then the operating system for what is a profitable utility has to gradually be changed from a loan borrowing system to a CASH RESERVES system. It will take at least 5 to 15 years to turn the company BEL around. If one is to set aside $5 million a year for example, in an operating and emergency set of cash reserves. One where you pay cash on the barrel as you go along. For a profitable company this should be no problem.
One of the better management skills FORTIS had, was the ability to pull in LINESMEN from all over the Caribbean where FORTIS had other electric supply companies, after a HURRICANE EMERGENCY DESTROYED THE TRANSMISSION GRID IN VARIOUS PLACES. Downtime as things got repaired and up and running was a management asset we and other countries enjoyed from FORTIS. In replacement. it now behooves our NEMO ( emergency management organization ) the skill to form knew leadership in forming bonding arrangements mutually beneficial throughout the Caribbean countries, particularly CARICOM countries and set up a NEMO system each year, to fly in linesmen to countries that are hit by HURRICANES and need a BIG FAST PUSH to rewire and re-pole the destroyed segments of local distribution grids.
After NATIONALIZATION, I think I will see if I can take a look at that old used junk turbine generator held for emergencies, which BEL cannot afford to run and see what the technical specifications on it are. Have thoughts about purchasing it, instead of importing one more suitable, and designed for the purpose, to supply electricity to the NATIONAL GRID as a profit making company. Will take some steam boiler system conversion, but we do think we can use it, or one like it, pre-engineered and imported and set up. Just be faster and cheaper, to use something already here, even if it will only run in FULL PRODUCTION for a 3 year life cycle. Give time to learn some lessons and acquire more better designed units if successful.

The Guardian Newspaper in Belize reprinted an article from the TCI JOURNAL, in Turks and Caicos. The small country the article is hinting, are about to KICK OUT FORTIS OF CANADA from the country just like in Belize. Allegations of bribery and accusations of using the DEBT PEONAGE system of operating the wholly owned subsidiary, electrical supply distribution system to enrich FORTIS and impoverish the citizens of the country of Turks and Caicos. In Belize with the same DEBT PEONAGE, plantation company store setup, of operating the distribution electrical system through loan borrowing, from itself, the take with dividends ( running 10% to 15% ), plus other fees and interest on loans lent to itself, through the BEL company in Belize and PPC, the Provo Power Company under the same plantation DEBT PEONAGE system, is amateurishly estimated a return to FORTIS of up to 40% of profits. Instead of a standard dividend rate for a utility. FORTIS SHARES may drop and looks like a good SHORT SALE for FORTIS stockholders with their various subsidiary contracts around the area. BEL is expected to be NATIONALIZED IN BELIZE THIS COMING WEEK. WHEN in Turks and Caicos? Though over there, they are talking about dissolving the contract due to various other illegalities and suing for reparations from locally owned FORTIS TCI and it´s parent FORTIS INC.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Belize debate on teenage single mothers and the lack of a support social program.

Ray, I completely agree with you regarding society supporting mothers, and am in awe of the enlightened countries in Europe that offer such (socialist) benefits as lengthy maternal leave, and free medical care.

Central European countries are the most dedicated countries in the world regarding parental leave. In the Czech Republic, it is standard that mothers stay at home for 3 years with every child. All mothers can decide to take 2, 3 or 4 years of maternity leave. It is also possible for the fathers to take the leave instead of the mothers but it is not common. For the whole period mothers are supported by the state. Also, in Slovakia the standard duration of parental leave is 3 years; for a handicapped child it is up to 6 years. The state pays support of 256 Euros per month for the child's first 2 years. After this period it is 164.22 Euros per month. A similar model is also used in Austria where mothers can choose between 1 and 3 years.

Sweden is one country which provides generous parental leave: all working parents are entitled to 16 months paid leave per child, the cost being shared between employer and the state. To encourage greater paternal involvement in child-rearing, a minimum of 2 months out of the 16 is required to be used by the "minority" parent, in practice usually the father. Norway also has similarly generous leave. In Estonia mothers are entitled to 18 months of paid leave, starting up to 70 days before due date. Fathers are entitled to paid leave starting from the third month after birth.

In the UK, all female employees are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity (or adoption) leave, 39 weeks of which is paid, rising to 52 weeks paid from April 2010, with the first six weeks paid at 90% of full pay and the remainder at a fixed rate. Most employers offer a more generous policy. Annual leave continues to accrue throughout the maternity leave period. A spouse or partner of the woman (including same-sex relationships) may request a two week paid (at a fixed rate) paternity leave.

You can forget the 10 commandments of Jews and Christians. Moses wasn´t strong enough to bring those heavy rocks down the mountain. Not even with a mule.

God or Nature has only TWO LAWS. Survive and reproduce to continue the species. I do not believe there is any intervention on the individual creature basis, whatever genus. Whatever there is, is probably based on the statistical average. Not much comfort for those with various religious indoctrinations. It does though, point out as a society in Belize, we are responsible for the health and welfare and education of the mother and young, however they are created and will keep our population either stable, or growing and creating the comfort zone, taxes and workers for future GDP growth for our country and government. Germany has to import immigrants for their factories. The USA has to import their brain power for their technology programs. For a country to survive, you have to manage your human resources and young mothers, or teenage pregnancy can be an asset to our nation of Belize given the proper government climate management. It will happen anyway, and it is up to us as a nation to decide whether we use them, or discard them. Right now, we are discarding them in Belize.

--- On Thu, 6/16/11, Ray Auxillou wrote:

Well that is a more knowledgeable viewpoint with science involved. Glad to see you take that side of the debate. While you can argue these points being a modern, the facts actually through feudal times point out the opposite. Of course there might have been extenuating circumstances such as war and rape, which was constant in most countries of those centuries.
While we WISH for girls to wait until they are 28 or so to have children, that didn´t happen most times, nor does it today. Though it seems to in cities that are now consuming more of the land and population. Square box caves we build ourselves.
I think I would like to repeat that a society that ignores teenage pregnancy and motherhood is short changing their own society. There should be social systems and a culture that gives the young mother, both security, skills, education and respect in the community. A matriarcheal society.
We have the geaneology of the Auxillou´s going back a thousand years pretty much, with sporadic gaps of a few centuries periodically. I notice until Napolean´s time that many of the church records, show the girls were betrothed around age 3 or 4 years of age. Married in fact, by the Catholic Church in France.

--- On Thu, 6/16/11, kay wrote:

Ray, medical and physical facts contradict your statement that teenage girls were made to have babies.

You can have all the "views" you want, but it's better if one's views are based on facts.

Early childbirth is much more difficult since girls' bodies haven't finished growing yet.... the statistics definitely improve after age 20.

Younger mothers may not be emotionally mature enough to handle child-birth and child-rearing.

And no, it wasn't "okay" back in rural agrarian times or cultures, as the risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth for mothers (especially teens) was much higher than it is today.

Here's a few stubborn facts:

Having a first child during adolescence makes a woman likely to have more children overall

Teen mothers are about 2 years behind their age group in completing their education.

Women who have a baby during their teen years are more likely to live in poverty.

Teen mothers are more likely than older mothers to have a second child within 2 years of their first child.

Infants born to teenage mothers are at greater risk for developmental problems.

Girls born to teen mothers are more likely to become teen mothers themselves, and boys born to teen mothers have a higher than average rate of being arrested and jailed.

Adolescent pregnancy is associated with higher rates of illness and death for both the mother and infant.

Death from violence is the second leading cause of death durig pregnancy for teens, and is higher in teens than in any other group.

Pregnant teens are at much higher risk of having serious medical complications such as:

Placenta previa

Pregnancy-induced hypertension

Premature delivery

Significant anemia


Infants born to teens are 2 to 6 times more likely to have low birth weight than those born to mothers age 20 or older.

Teen mothers are more likely to have unhealthy habits that place the infant at greater risk for inadequate growth, infection, or chemical dependence.

The younger a mother is below age 20, the greater the risk of her infant dying during the first year of life.
Medically, the hazards of an adolescent pregnancy include: an overall increase in incidence of infant mortality 2-3 times that of the normal population; twice as many growth-retarded infants born to teen mothers; maternal mortality 60% higher than normal; and a low incidence of prenatal care early in pregnancy. Equally important are non-medical consequences for the teenage parent. In general, the consequences of teen parenthood are more severe for the young mother than for the young father. Teen mothers have a suicide rate 10 times that of the general population.

So, more of the babies die, and more of the mothers die, when they're younger than 20.

--- On Thu, 6/16/11, Ray Auxillou wrote:

I have a different view of that. For sake of debate. Nature, GOD, made teenage girls to have babies. Whether by hormones or enzymes I will not argue. But the time in life for the human animal to have babies is in the teens and twenties, as dictated by GOD, or NATURE. In olden times of farming, this was okay. But in the industrial world of today, the TIMING of babies by GOD no longer fits human behavior.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and Finance Minister and dictator leader of his political party.
Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and suspected consiguerlie for the Prime Minister.
Edmund Castro UDP politician in the current government.
Melvin Hulse, Cabinet Minister of Transport and member of the perceived public impression of our government political rogues gallery.

Thankyou for the article I will repost it on the blog here. So readers can form their own opinion.

From Channel 5 News: Jun 30, 2009
Importer denied permit for Naturas juices

Story Picture

For almost six years, Triple A Imports has been the local distributor for Nectares Naturas from neighboring Guatemala. But all that has changed and the company is being denied the permit to import the juice. Duane Moody traveled to Orange Walk Town to find out why.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Triple A Imports is owned by Amir Carrillo of Orange Walk Town. The business has been operating for ten years and is in good standing. But now it seems that a politically connected distributor is favoured for the import license and is threatening the viability of his company.

Amir Carrillo, Owner, Triple A Imports
“About three months ago, we were informed just verbally by Supplies Control that they were instructed not to issue Triple A Imports any more license for Naturas.”

Duane Moody
“Why is this?”

Amir Carrillo
“I really don’t know as to why exactly—that’s why I’m asking and that’s why I have forwarded letters to supply control, Yvonne Hyde, the C.E.O. and asking for them to give me a reason.”

The Ministry of Economic Development has informed Carrillo via email on June twenty-first that no further permits would be issued to him. Carrillo further says that he has since uncovered that a representative of Vega’s Distributor from Benque Viejo del Carmen last year wrote to his suppliers Alimentos Maravilla stating that government had authorized them as the sole importer.

Amir Carrillo
“They are being approached by Edwardo Vega from Benque which is an importer from Benque—Vega’s Distributors—they are the ones that are approaching this company, they are the ones claiming that they are the only ones that will be able to get the license. They are the ones saying that if the company wants the minister from the Economic Development to forward a letter.”

Duane Moody
“How is it that this person is able to make such strong comments since last year May and they did not whether the licenses were going to be discontinued for you?”

Amir Carrillo
“Well I don’t know but that is what I need to know. I am just lost because I only know that I am not getting the license and that they are giving it to someone else.”

Duane Moody
“Vega’s Distributors is it in anyway connected to the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize?”

Amir Carrillo
“Yes I believe it is his brother.”

At stake is the livelihood of twenty full time employees.

Amir Carrillo
“We currently employ about twenty full time employees and five or six depend were solely on this brand. You see Naturas was one of the first brands that we had gotten this distributorship and it turned out to be the flagship of all the products that we have. So it will affect my business a lot and I will be forced to have to let go some people. I just want this to be solved, go back to normal so we can work as normal and with proper business ethics, with level playing field, open competition.”

According to Carrillo, it is pure politics involved since Vega Distributors is owned by the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega. Duane Moody, reporting for News Five.

Carrillo also provided a copy of an email in which Carlos Guerra promises a formal letter from the Minister of Economic Development which would confirm that

--- On Wed, 6/15/11, Ray Auxillou wrote:

Would somebody resend me that article on the import permit business with Vega´s brother.

I must have missed this at the time. From this article back in 2009, Gaspar Vega did the same as Hulse has done with the Bus Operators. Through the use of cabinet political controlled permit decisions ( Ministers Discretion ) Gaspar Vega stands alongside Hulse in the perception of CORRUPTION and use of government institutions and departments, in stealing a business in Belize from somebody to give to a relative, if this is true. I´ll accept the article as true, as Gaspar Vega, the Deputy Prime Minister has had other allegations over the past few years of corrupt practices. Just never followed up on them, as they didn´t seem too big at the time.

Anyway, the lineup we have now for the private PERCEPTION OF CORRUPTION in the CABINET of UDP politicians, Melvin Hulse with his stealing of lucrative bus runs using the PERMIT PROCESS, GASPAR VEGA with his stealing the import franchise from an Orange Walk importer, to give to his brother in Benque Viejo. Since this happened to me in the lumber business, 50 years ago, I believe it. So my perception is these two are perhaps legal within the law, but are pirates and criminals in my perception. The other two corrupt people in my perception are the Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who in his authorative elected dictator position BACKS these guys in their corruption. Also his NEPOTISM feeding his family and relatives off the public feeding trough of tax revenues. Then the fourth, person would be Edmund Castro,the guy, area representative in the Belize River valley, misuse of public funds illegally.
The PUP are not going to be able to capitalize on these fellows in the next election, as 90% of the previous PUP administration were similarly corrupt.
I do not know how you can seperate the PERMIT, LICENSE and Ministers DISCRETION from Cabinet politics and certainly those that run for public political office, look upon such SELF ENRICHMENT schemes as their RIGHT, a PERK of being a politician running the government of Belize. We have been trying to change the PERMIT and LICENSE process for 50 years and the pirates that join gangs, called political parties have seemingly their sole purpose to get rich off government and people. Rather than serving in a management capacity of our country.


Attitude of Belizeans to the government of the day.
I'm not sure. I don't think the majority of Belizeans are surprised by this train wreck. They have no confidence in their political leaders any more, nor faith in the integrity of the court system (they know that these are high rollers we're dealing with and if the common street thug can't get convicted - what do you expect). Political Parties in Belize have no vision for the future, they simply control resources for the term that they are in office and use their political powers to play games designed to enrich themselves and their business associates. Barrow is doing it using the legal skillset he has - fiddling with the constitution and chanelling legal fees to those around him. Ralph and Musa used financial wizardry to channel grant funds to private projects and DFC loans that were never meant to be paid back.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fortis of Canada vs the small population of BELIZE.

FORTIS OF CANADA which owns 70% of BEL the local utility company plays HARDBALL with tiny Belize population?

Fortis of Canada it is reported on our local news programs, wants us to drop the $36 million owed by BEL for double dipping and overcharging in their bookkeeping during the PUP regime, when they BEL could get away with it. Also apparently they want a rate increase. There is no actual fiscal problem with BEL is my understanding. Except that by FORTIS of Canada playing hardball. According to the news discussions, I am led to believe that FORTIS are following a planned game of brinkmanship. What I understood, as manager of BECOL and BEL, Fortis are not using their managment skills to benefit the company. In fact the opposite is what is understood. They used to handle the loan borrowing part, for day to day operations themselves. But got caught double dipping. They want the privilege of lending money back to themselves to increase their dividends, add on loan interest payments sucked out of BEL and profits to run the company. Fortis do not wish to use their own money to keep the operations going and my understanding from the news is that they are only taking money out, not putting in any investment money, or managing cash flow sufficiently well, to cover what they say are running loans system of operations. They currently own 70% of the shares in the company and have a managment contract.
I say BARROW needs to just take it over. In the long run, the company is solvent and just needs better management, not a ROBBER BARON mentality squeezing the population of Belize for more and more money. That is the impression one gets from the PUC.
BTL the telecommunications company is running better than before when LORD ASHCROFT owned it, after nationalization. So probably will BEL and BECOL?

--- On Tue, 6/14/11, Charlie Trew wrote:

From: Charlie Trew
Subject: Bz-Culture: Adele Ramos: BEL Blame Game
To: "Belize Culture"
Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 2:20 PM

From Amandala:

Posted: 14/06/2011 - 10:31 AM
Author: Adele Ramos -

Prime Minister Dean Barrow told Amandala today,Monday, that his administration will prepay another $4 million to keep the nation’s lights on, as he— “one way or another”—tries to find a solution to the crisis Government has said is hovering over the head of the country’s premier power distributor, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).

“It must be clear where this is headed,” said Prime Minister Barrow, declining to get into specifics.

One proposal that has been tabled is nationalization of BEL via a government buyback. When we first began to report on this story 11 days ago, Prime Minister Barrow had said he had no intention of executing a temporary takeover of BEL, under laws that permit an emergency takeover for 30 days with a possible extension.

Last Wednesday Prime Minister Dean Barrow declared BEL to be bankrupt, as it has called on the Government yet again to prepay $4 million towards its bill for street lighting, so that the company can meet its financial commitments to its Mexican supplier, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). Government will be about 4 months ahead in payments.
At the last report, BEL’s chief executive officer, Lynn Young, told us that the company holds $20 million in arrears to two of its main suppliers of power, and it was unable to meet those commitments.
Prime Minister Barrow told Amandala this morning that Government makes its last prepayment to BEL this week, and that will last another 20 days or so.

“We won’t give a penny more to BEL,” Barrow commented.

What happens if BEL doesn’t pay Mexico? Last week, Barrow indicated that the situation puts the country at risk of being disconnected from Mexico’s supply – a situation that could plunge the nation into blackouts.

On Friday morning Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with Young to discuss their options.

“The Prime Minister asked Mr. Young to convey to Fortis Inc., the majority shareholder in BEL, the Government’s interest in purchasing majority shares in BEL so as to assume control of the company,” said a press release from the Government. “Mr. Young undertook to immediately relay this message to Fortis Inc. and to convey their response as soon as possible,” the release further said.
Prime Minister Barrow said this morning that he has received an e-mail from Young proposing certain terms and conditions for the repurchase of shares, but the majority shareholder is indicating that whatever price the Government pays has to include the $36 million correction that the Public Utilities Commission made in BEL’s rate review back in 2008.

“That is something we could never accept,” Barrow told us.

In its 2008 Annual Report, BEL had said “...a $36.2 million charge for ‘excess revenues’ or disallowance of previously allowed costs was booked [by PUC]. This resulted in a net loss of $10.8 million for 2008, as compared to $29.9 million net earnings [profits] for 2007.”

The PUC had retorted in 2009 that BEL in 2008 had made a surplus of $38 million, and so “...the PUC is satisfied, and further assures the public, that BEL is not facing any financial crisis, as has been repeatedly claimed, and that there is no financial instability in the electricity sector as a result of the PUC’s 2008 Annual Review Proceedings Final Decision.”

Accompanying this article is a graph which charts BEL’s growing profits since the 1999 privatization. BEL’s profit in 2007 was nearly triple what it was when Government divested its majority ownership in 1999.
Fortis was a minority shareholder at the initial privatization in 1999, but its shareholding swelled to 70% in 2006, when the profits of BEL grew from $18.9 million to $26.1 million. Its profits almost hit $30 million in 2007.

However, in 2008, the company recorded a $10 million loss, blaming the loss on the regulator, PUC. Fortis’ lead representative on BEL’s board, Stan Marshall, had said that if BEL could not get a rate increase, the consequence would be rolling blackouts.

For 2010 it reported profits of $3.4 million—the second lowest for the company in over a decade.

Meanwhile, dividend payments have been frozen for approximately three years.

In its press release issued today, Fortis, BEL’s parent company, again casts the blame for BEL’s reported financial demise on the PUC.

“BEL has been in default of covenants under its long-term lending agreements since 2008 and has had no access to credit during this period,” it added.

Prime Minister Barrow, who disagrees that BEL’s financial woes are the fault of the PUC, said that BEL had previously made two proposals for the sale of the Fortis shares that he cannot accept: one is to allow an unlimited rate increase and the other is to increase its credit facility with Mexico, guaranteed by the Government of Belize, from $10 million to $20 million.

Barrow said that he would not flout the decision of the PUC to make the $36 million correction, upheld by the Supreme Court.

You can weigh in on this issue through our online poll by voting at Look at the right hand side of our webpage for Amandala’s weekly poll box.

The question is: Should the Government of Belize find a way to take back control of BEL from Fortis Inc. of Canada, including a buy-back, if necessary? So far, 76.5% agree that the government should take back BEL.

The Belize Social Security Board, a statutory body, owns roughly 27% of BEL. At the time of privatization, 1,400 locals bought shares in BEL.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Time passes on, as local Belizean investors wait for the investment climate to change and improve!

Investing in Belize Electrical Production to sell to the National Grid

This is a tricky thing politically speaking. Every year, something comes up and I ponder and dream and plan of how to get into the electrical utility supply business for the National Grid. Unfortunately there are no incentives from legislation and government actions. On the contrary, the party dynamics of every business in Belize and anything influenced, or controlled by party politics, make such an idea a very RISKY thing from a local set of investors viewpoint. The government changes the goal posts location all the time.

Still that time of year has rolled around again, and I look and research setting up a company to produce a 1 megawatt plant as a prototype. Lots of variables, ideas and options here and all I would want is a guaranteed price, lower by .4 cents Belize per kwh, than whatever BEL pays any other producer say, of 5 mgwatts or more they buy from. My electricity would always be cheaper, thus guaranteeing my local market share, one hopes?

Unfortunately I´m a lot wiser about politics in Belize, with age, and such an investment would be HIGH RISK. Which is why I contemplate currently a set of plans to build a 250 kw prototype, but in modular form to go to 10 mgwatts in expansion. Still, other than the NEED by the country for electrical independence, the political tampering risks are waaaay too great to give it a try just yet. Another year passes, another opportunity, just sitting there waiting, for the right encouragement for Belize locals to invest in the country electrical supply system.

Friday, June 10, 2011

PM Barrow gains 2 % on his UDP government report card - to 53%


PM Barrow announced in a television interview, that the government will take back BEL from Fortis of Canada. Plan A he said, was to come to some sort of agreement with Stanley, owner of FORTIS of CANADA to make an amicable solution. Otherwise PLAN B will be done. The government is spending $4 million a week to pay the bills of BEL and keep the electricity flowing through the National Grid.
PM Barrow explained that FORTIS want a rate hike outside of the regulations of the Public Utilities Commission ( PUC ), plus a BLANK CHEQUE.
The PUC says BEL is profitable at current rates. The public believe FORTIS is siphoning off excess cash, rather than re-invest.
PM Barrow explained that FORTIS has run BEL into bankruptcy and the shares are valueless. I believe there is only one share, a $1 share which was given to FORTIS by the PUP many years ago? PM Barrow explained that a government bailout in the financial condition of the government was not possible. We would have to borrow the money from some foreign bank, like the USA has done. We cannot do that unless we control the company, he said.
The deal will be done, by PLAN A, or PLAN B within 20 days, due to the emergency situation of the BEL finances.
I approve of this move and am awarding the Prime Minister and his UDP government 2 points on his report card for the decision.
The small populated countries of the Caribbean are continuously exploited by ROBBER BARON International Corporations, with assets and finances more than the small governments they are dealing with, expecially in the utilities field. They use imaginative bookkeeping, offshore shell companies, instead of re-investing, they lend themselves money from themselves to siphon of more profits in the name of loan interest, management fees and other extras. The bleeding has to stop sometime. The country has the technical expertise, so there really is not much problem.
It does look like BECOL the HYDRO DAM will also have to be taken over, as BECOL and BEL are siamese twins, joined at the hip and the financial arrangements between them cannot successfully be seperated.
Lacking is a forward looking plan and legislation to encourage NET METERING, to stimulate local home grown investments in the electrical production field. In order to make Belize self sufficient in electricity. Most of our electricity is bought from Mexico. I myself, have been looking at a 1 megawatt steam turbine driven electrical generator. There is however, no security, or legislation encouraging me to so invest.
In the past, the PUP government, used to give FORTIS a blank cheque as they did not want to understand, or be bothered with the utility business problems. PM Barrow´s decision is a breath of fresh air, where we will try to stand on our own feet and be self sufficient. GDP growth is only possible based on the availability of cheap energy in the form of electricity mostly.

Social Security Board are against the Prime Ministers bank interest rate policies in Belize.


Local banks have been more or less forced to lower interest rates, which in turn are now 5.5% for Certificates of Deposit. There is an abundance of cash in the banks and they do not want any more. The theory put forth by our Finance Minister/Prime Minister was that lower interest rates would stimulate borrowing and thus make investment more practical. This ignored the arguments that investment comes from share capital sold to investors on the basis of risk. Starting businesses on the basis of bank loans, running 23% like First Caribbean is a bit like committing suicide.
In the meantime, the Social Security Board with our money is gambling that if they give the owners of a Shrimp Farm business, $15 million in a loan at 8%, to buy back their bankrupt shrimp farm, the second time around they can make a go at it. In other words, the Social Security Board are sort of acting like an Investment Bank, not like lenders for profit.
The SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD are at odds with the policies of the PRIME MINISTER/FINANCE MINISTER, in that the lowering of interest rates by banks as his policy, no longer earns them as much money as they were accustomed to. Two government departments at odds with each other.
I myself have the same problem and have recently cashed in one of my Certificate of Deposits from my bank and am now living on these savings, as the interest rate being offered is not enough to pay my bills and at age 74 years, now I have to find a way to make my savings work for me in some other field and go back to work.

These people get land from the government, which they then use as collateral for loans from the government. In essence, the government provides both the collateral and the loan monies,a win-win situation for the private entities and a lose-lose situation for we the people, the taxpayers. And poor people get nothing, just their homes and life work destroyed by heartless, cruel, self-serving politicians.

Debate on Social Security Board loan policy.

Belize News - Belize Leading Newspaper | Breaking News - Amandala Online URL:
SSB springs $14 mil for Fresh Catch!

(Posted: 10/06/11) Essentially, the Mena family secured the loan to buy out the Mena family... The
Social Security Board (SSB) is considering a $15-million loan for Nature Fresh Belize Limited which would enable the newly formed company to seal the buyout of the assets of Fresh Catch Belize Limited, which was put under receivership last year by First Caribbean International Bank

The Social Security Board (SSB) is considering a $15-million loan for Nature Fresh Belize Limited which would enable the newly formed company to seal the buyout of the assets of Fresh Catch Belize Limited, which was put under receivership last year by First Caribbean International Bank.

Fresh Catch Belize Limited is owned by the Mena family—so is Nature Fresh Belize Limited, according to
chairman of the Social Security Board’s investment committee, Nestor “Net” Vasquez.

“The new company is from the same family... As far as I am aware, the shareholders are members of the Mena family,” said Vasquez.

Speaking with Amandala Thursday night, Mr. Vasquez said his committee made a recommendation to the SSB’s board of directors to approve the loan back in May.

Amandala has learned that Nature Fresh Belize Limited was officially formed on the 19th of May 2011.

According to a notice published in The Star newspaper of Cayo, the SSB is offering $14,912,339 to Nature Fresh Belize Limited for 10 years at a rate of 8% on the reducing balance.

Asked how he would respond to criticisms the public might have of SSB’s decision to lend money to a
company to buy out the assets of a venture, from essentially the same set of investors, that had been put under receivership last year, Vasquez said that the Mena family has produced more equity than they had in Fresh Catch before, and they have more than 100% collateral.

We asked, what is the collateral? Apart from lands, Vasquez said he was unable to specifically recall anything else when we spoke with him tonight.

According to Vasquez, the Menas now have a much smaller indebtedness to cope with and because of their plans for value-added services, including packaging services to small fish farmers, the production prospects look good.

He told Amandala that the investment committee made the recommendation after doing its due diligence. He said the SSB had enough financial information to evaluate the loan application.

Amandala also contacted Emile Mena, who is also a member of the SSB’s investment committee, for comment, but he declined to give us any specifics.

He did indicate to our newspaper, however, that he couldn’t vote on this loan transaction because of his relationship with Fresh Catch. Mena declined any comment on Nature Fresh Belize Limited, when we asked him about the company.

Documents filed at the Belize Companies Registry reveal that the listed subscribers are Tracey Ebanks and Lisa Peyrefitte, and Nature Fresh Belize Limited was formed by a company called Apex Trust, an affiliate of the W.H. Courtenay law firm.

Vasquez said Fresh Catch, before it went bankrupt, had initially asked the SSB for $6 million.

The only loan records we could find online for SSB in relation to Fresh Catch is a $3.3 million loan listed in the 2005 annual report at 12% interest for a one-year term.

Vasquez said that Nature Fresh can do a lot more with the $15 million than the original plan had envisioned.

The Menas – Joe, Emile, Joseph and Bryan – had informed workers on July 23, 2010, that Fresh Catch had been experiencing financial challenges for quite some time. The company was on the hook for a US$10.6 million loan with First Caribbean
International Bank, which also foreclosed on a second business, The Wood Depot, which had been a guarantor for the debt of Fresh Catch.

Vasquez told Amandala, “...we believe that the company will be able to have the earnings necessary to repay the [SSB] loan. We are dead certain they have more than enough collateral.”

He also said, “The banks no longer want our [SSB’s] money.”

According to Vasquez, the average interest rate paid now on bank deposits is around 7%, when SSB used to get 10%.

“Two banks have written to say 5.5% is what they will give,” he added.

He said that the reasons for investing in Nature Fresh are not only would SSB recover its money, but also, the venture would earn foreign exchange, employ workers and have positive spin-off effects for small farmers, who could sell their fish to the new enterprise for packaging and export.

In the published notice coming from SSB’s CEO Merlene Bailey-Martinez this week, the SSB says, “Members of the public wishing to express any concern may send a copy of this notice along with comments to: Chief Executive Officer; Social Security Board; P.O. Box 18; Belmopan, Cayo District; Belize.”

Vasquez said that the publication of the notice is required by law.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


BEL the Belize electrical transmission grid company, is bankrupt?

So says, the Prime Minister of Belize according to messages being tossed back and forth on the internet forums. FORTIS is reputed to be the owner of the shares in BEL, but the Prime Minister is being quoted in talk forums, that the BEL shares are worthless if this is true. The Prime Minister has paid up to $4 million to Mexico for imported electricity, intended to keep the supply of electricity steady, or the business community and the economy will collapse. The $4 million is said to cover 12 days of electrical supply bought from Mexico.

No government so far in Belize, and the current government is no different, has yet passed legislation often requested by Belizeans over the past 15 years, covering NET METERING. Which would allow private citizens and companies to legally sell electricity, without fear or favor politically, to the National Grid. Thus stimulating innovation and entrepreneurialship for us to become self sufficient electrical producers. Thus staving off such economic threatening disasters such as this. A monoply was wanted as in the UK parliamentry, Robber Baron model of government in the past, to the present. That system we have, and this disaster of our own governmental policy mismanagement making is the result. If two out of six expected hurricanes hit Belize this season, we can expect the situation to get worse. OVER CONTROl is the fault in this type of governing model.

In the meantime, it is thought and debated by the public of the need to NATIONALIZE BEL, the distribution company for the power grid while the company is bankrupt and the shares are worthless. No payment would have to be made to the parent company, FORTIS of CANADA, as I understand it? BEL then could be offered to a NEW OPERATOR on terms more advantageous to Belize.


From the public comments on the Belize Culture Listserve:

Anne, thanks for explanation. I had not recalled all the details, but in light of that final $30mil transaction it seems to me that Forttis should bail out BEL if BEL can't pay.


On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 9:22 AM, anne wade wrote:

BEL got the transmission line from the original owners of the dam for $1 as it was the sensible thing for that company to do - BEL being the transmission and distribution provider is responsible for maintenance of its system. Part of the package when some adjustments were being done to the original master agreement between the two companies. Please remember, that cost for hydro power would have factored in the cost of building the lines anyway, and the Belize consumer would be paying the cost of hydro power in the electricity rates they pay. So selling for a $1 was not because the company wanted to gift BEL. They were getting their investment back from the rate payers. It was the sensible thing to do. (BEL gets back maintenance costs from consumers.)

However, when Fortis bought the generator shortly after, they had BEL agree to pay them 30million for the hydro lines. In essence, BEL gave back the lines to BECOL (Fortis) and agreed to pay them for it - one way of skimming 30 million out of BEL for Fortis. And BEL wants the consumers to again, pay for their 30 million dollar gift to Fortis.This message sent to the Bz-Culture Mailing List from MEL :
The whole financing structure of the dam was a raw deal. They could borrow a move out of Ashcroft's playbook. Let BEL go bankrupt. Create a new national electricity distribution company - bel- lower case not upper case; and renegotiate terms with BECOL.


On Fri Jun 10th, 2011 7:21 AM PDT lynn . wrote:

>Yep. Was it last year (or the year before) that Stan Marshall of FORTIS more or less
>threatened rolling blackouts and brownouts if BEL didn't get a rate
>Is it BECOL that owns the main transmission line? I seem to recall one of
>the companies got the main transmission line for $1 when the deals for the
>dams were done.
>On Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM, Mary Toy wrote:
>> The key to the whole situation is BECOL and nationalizing BEL will
>> accomplish absolutely nothing. BECOL owns the dams and BECOL is the money
>> machine. Nationalize BEL and you get nothing – except debt to BECOL.
>> And, is it my imagination or does this same situation happen every single
>> year about this time. (And that’s not really a question.)


From my viewpoint, if you have an employee like FORTIS who cannot do the job, then we should do it ourselves. Obviously we cannot do worse, if FORTIS cannot manage the electric distribution company.

UDP loses 10 points for corruption in office, backed by the gang leader, Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. NEW DOWNGRADED SCORE 51%


UDP Report Card docked 10 points for CORRUPTION in office. New approval rating score 51%.

This was a difficult decision to make. The recent BUS system chaos, evolved over time and in secret. The discussions and debates and motivations and moves made have been endless in the television media on local cable TV. It took a few weeks for the facts to become clear and opinions to be formed. It finally became clear that the local bus operators holding permits for the most lucrative runs, that they need to function, and thus provide service as well, on bus routes that do not pay, were being taken advantage of, in a pre-planned pre-meditated intent as a hostile raid on their market share, by an organized cabal within the controlling UDP government, led by Transport Minister, Melvin Hulse. Before anybody says anything else, this is my opinion alone and not that of my wife, or brother-in-law. It is just that an opinion, my opinion. As a patriot I have been dithering since the Prime Minister, leader of the political gang, that makes up the party controlling government announced to what was in my opinion OUTRIGHT THEFT, through use of political office. Fear of political persecution, the misuse of government apparatus, the police and security forces and other government departments are all the things, I have wrestled with in fear and doubt in doing this 10 point deduction decision, from the approval rating of the UDP government.
The jury was in and the decision was already made, this was THEFT MOST FOUL and typical of a small country local investors experienced in Belize in the past. I recall from my own life 40 or 50 years ago in a different time and era, when my import lumber business was stolen by the government of that day, and a Cabinet Minister used the power of political office and the apparatus of government to do so, through the permit process stealing my import lumber business. There was another instance, when the price control apparatus function of government wrecked a DEEP WATER RED SNAPPER fishing business, by putting a $1.50 per pound controlled price on fish that cost me $4.50 to produce in a ten day fishing trip. In both cases I lost the businesses and the boats and gear I had invested in. CORRUPTION and GREED and misuse of government departments and processes is never nice to experience in a small heavily controlled country. So my heart goes out to the planned raid on the bus routes of the existing holders of permits for bus routes, in a hostile raid for market share, by in my opinion, by a CRIMINAL Cabinet Minister using the BUS PERMIT process. The whole thing was done by surprise and in SECRET, to spring on the unwary bus owners that they were to be bankrupted by the Transport Minister of Cabinet, in favor of a connected political party adherent member, to take over the bus business, market share, with a new bus scheme and a batch of 24 buses that had been languishing in storage from another failed MONOPOLY GAMBIT, in the lucrative section of the bus transportation business.
The day before, the bus owners had presented their case, the media had done investigative reporting and as the facts unfolded over a two week period, it was clear this was a political controlled and misuse of the functions of a government department raid. The only question was, if this STEALING of the lucrative bus business routes, was widespread approved by the UDP political party controlling our government, or was it an isolated situation?
The bus owners in media interviews had said they no longer could TRUST the negotiations by UDP Cabinet Transportation Minister, Melvin Hulse and would trust in the fairness of the Prime Minister to judge the issue. ( The PRIME MINISTER always mouths platitudes as to his intregrity and says repeatedly he will only work within the law and so forth. He claims he is honest, even though his NEPOTISM is a widespread scandal.) That said, it was with every good will, we waited developments and like the bus owners, to see if the Prime Minister would rectify the wrongs, we see as CRIMINAL, MISUSE OF POLITICAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY on behalf of the bus owners being raided by political corruption.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave his local TV media interview last night. It was with sinking heart, I heard him use mealy mouthed justifications, rationalizations, to legalize CORRUPTION by his UDP CABINET in office, from my own experiences in the past and today in the present, I thus have formed my opinion. So what do we have now? What we have is corruption of political office most foul. Not as bad as the previous government of PUP, but certainly not what has often been advertised by this PRIME MINISTER in the past three years.
A good political record has just crashed with a horrendous BANG by the Prime Minister´s political party. It is a good job he has previously announced that he intends to resign at the end of this term. The PRIME MINISTER has finally put the nail in the coffin of his much ballyhooed intregrity. It´s a shame,because the UDP have done well given the circumstances they inherited when coming into office. Many difficult decisions have been made and you cannot please everybody. As an individual with a REPORT CARD on government UDP performance managing our countries finances and assets, I have only one method of showing my dissapointment in our government managment. That is to take 10 points off the UDP report card.
I have to leave it to the activists, the NGO´s struggling to join a struggle I have been doing to build this country, since the mid 1960´s, for which once I suffered EXILE by political persecution by George Price, the FIRST MINISTER at the time. Which was resolved later by intervention of the Governor General of the time and George Price.
There is also FODDER now for campaigning against the PRIME MINISTER and his crooked UDP party CORRUPTION, by his political opponents, the VIP and the PUP in opposition. SHAME this! I had hoped the Prime Minister had the sense to disown the whole mess caused by TRANSPORT MINISTER, Melvin Hulse´s maneuverings. I feel really disappointed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How Belize and Latin American countries can get rid of Government debt.

How Latin American countries can get out of debt, including Belize.

The Global Debt Crisis: How We Got In It, and How to Get Out

By Ellen Brown

URL of this article:

Global Research, June 6, 2011
Web of Debt

Countries everywhere are facing debt crises today, precipitated by the credit collapse of 2008. Public services are being slashed and public assets are being sold off, in a futile attempt to balance budgets that can’t be balanced because the money supply itself has shrunk. Governments usually get the blame for excessive spending, but governments did not initiate the crisis. The collapse was in the banking system, and in the credit that it is responsible for creating and sustaining.

Contrary to popular belief, most of our money today is not created by governments. It is created by private banks as loans. The private system of money creation has grown so powerful over the centuries that it has come to dominate governments globally. The system, however, contains the seeds of its own destruction. The source of its power is also a fatal design flaw.

The flaw is that banks advance “bank credit” that must be paid back with interest, while having no obligation to spend the interest they collect so that borrowers can earn it again and again, as they must in order to retire the debt. Instead, this money is invested in various casinos beyond the borrowers’ reach. This leads to a continual systemic need for more new bank credit money, more debt with more interest attached, to prevent widespread defaults and deflationary collapse.

Today this problem is particularly evident in the EU. The Euro is a fixed currency system that does not allow for expansion to meet the demands of the private lending casino. The result is that EU member nations collectively are being crippled by debt.

There are more sustainable ways to run a banking and credit system, as will be shown.

How Banks Create Money

The process by which banks create money was explained by the Chicago Federal Reserve in a booklet called “Modern Money Mechanics.” It states:

“The actual process of money creation takes place primarily in banks.” [p3]

“[Banks] do not really pay out loans from the money they receive as deposits. If they did this, no additional money would be created. What they do when they make loans is to accept promissory notes in exchange for credits to the borrowers’ transaction accounts. Loans (assets) and deposits (liabilities) both rise [by the same amount].” [p6]

“With a uniform 10 percent reserve requirement, a $1 increase in reserves would support $10 of additional transaction accounts.” [p49]

A $100 deposit supports a $90 loan, which becomes a $90 deposit in another bank, which supports an $81 loan, etc.

That’s the conventional model, but banks actually create the loans FIRST. (Picture how a credit card works.) Banks need deposits to clear their outgoing checks, but they find the deposits later. Banks create money as loans, which become checks, which go into other banks. Then, if needed to clear the checks, they borrow the money back from the other banks. In effect, they borrow back the money they just created, pocketing the spread between the interest rates as their profit. The rate at which banks can borrow from each other in the U.S. today (the Fed funds rate) is an extremely low 0.2%.

How the System Evolved

The current system of privately-issued money is traced in “Modern Money Mechanics” to the 17th century goldsmiths. People who left gold with the goldsmiths for safekeeping would be issued paper receipts for it called “banknotes.” Other people who wanted to borrow money were also happy to accept paper banknotes in place of gold, since the notes were safer and more convenient to carry around. The sleight of hand came in when the goldsmiths discovered that people would come for their gold only about 10% of the time. That meant that up to ten times as many notes could be printed and lent as the goldsmiths had gold. Ninety percent of the notes were basically counterfeited.

This system was called “f
ractional reserve” banking and was institutionalized when the Bank of England was founded in 1694. The bank was allowed to lend its own banknotes to the government, forming the national money supply. Only the interest on the loans had to be paid. The debt was rolled over indefinitely.

That is still true today. The U.S. federal debt is never paid off but just continues to grow, forming the basis of the U.S. money supply.

The Public Banking Alternative

There are other ways to create a banking system, ways that would eliminate its ponzi-scheme elements and make the system sustainable. One solution is to make the loans interest-free; but for Western economies today, that transition could be difficult.

Another alternative is for banks to be publicly-owned. If the people collectively own the bank, the interest and profits go back to the government and the people, who benefit from decreased taxes, increased public services, and cheaper public infrastructure. Cutting out interest has been shown to reduce the cost of public projects by 30-50%.

In the United States, this system of publicly-owned banks goes back to the American colonists. The best of the colonial models was in Benjamin Franklin’s colony of Pennsylvania, where the government operated a “land bank.” Money was printed and lent into the community. It recycled back to the government and could be lent and relent. The system was mathematically sound because the interest and profits were returned to the government, which then spent the money back into the economy in place of taxes. Private banks, by contrast, generally lend their profits back into the economy, or invest in private money-making ventures in which more is always expected back than was originally invested.

During the period that the Pennsylvania system was in place, the colonists paid no taxes except excise taxes, prices did not inflate, and there was no government debt.

How Private Banknotes Became the National U.S. Currency

The Pennsylvania system was sustainable, but some early American colonial governments just printed and spent, inflating the money supply and devaluing the currency. The British merchants complained, prompting King George II to forbid the colonists to issue their own money. Taxes had to be paid to England in gold. That meant going into debt to the English bankers. The result was a massive depression. The colonists finally rebelled and went back to issuing their own money, precipitating the American Revolution.

In an international first, the colonists funded a war against a major power with mere paper receipts, and won. But the British counterattacked by waging a currency war. They massively counterfeited the colonists’ paper money, at a time when this was easy to do. By the end of the war, the paper scrip was virtually worthless. After it lost its value, the colonists were so disillusioned with paper money that they left the power to issue it out of the U.S. Constitution.

Meanwhile, Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, was faced with huge war debts, and he had no money to pay them. He therefore resorted to the ruse used in England known as fractional reserve banking. In 1791, Hamilton set up the First U.S. Bank, a largely private bank that would print banknotes “backed” by gold and lend them to the government.

The ruse worked: the paper banknotes expanded the money supply, the debts were paid, and the economy thrived. But it was the beginning of a system of government funded by debt to private bankers, who lent banknotes only nominally backed by gold.

During the American Civil War, President Lincoln avoided a crippling war debt by returning to the system of government-issued money of the American colonists. He issued U.S. Notes from the Treasury called “Greenbacks” rather than borrowing at usurious interest rates. But Lincoln was assassinated, and Greenback issuance was halted.

In 1913, the privately-owned Federal Reserve was authorized to issue its own Federal Reserve Notes as the national currency. These notes were then lent to the government, eliminating the government’s own power to issue money (except for coins). The Federal Reserve was set up to prevent bank runs, but twenty years later we had the Great Depression, the greatest bank run in history. Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, wrote in 1934:

“We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve.”

For the bankers, however, it was a good system. It put them in control.

Setting the Global Debt Trap

Prof. Carroll Quigley was an insider groomed by the international bankers. He wrote in Tragedy and Hope in 1966:

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.

“The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements [BIS] in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank... sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans..."

The debt trap was set in stages. In 1971, the dollar went off the gold standard internationally. Currencies were unpegged from gold and allowed to “float” in currency markets, competing with other currencies, making them vulnerable to speculation and manipulation.

In 1973, a secret agreement was entered into in which the OPEC countries would sell oil only in dollars, and the price of oil would be dramatically increased. By 1974, oil prices had increased by 400% from 1971 levels. Countries lacking oil had to borrow dollars from U.S. banks.

In 1981, the Fed funds rate was raised to 20%. At 20% compound interest, debt doubles in under four years. As a result, most of the world became crippled by debt. By 2001, developing nations had repaid the principal originally owed on their debts six times over; but their total debt had quadrupled because of interest payments.

When debtor nations could not pay the banks, the International Monetary Fund stepped in with loans -- with strings attached. The debtors had to agree to “austerity measures,” including:

· cutting social services

· privatizing banks and public utilities

· opening markets to foreign investors

· letting currencies “float.”

Today, austerity measures are being imposed not just in developing countries but in the European Union and on U.S. States.

The BIS: Apex of the Private Central Banking Pyramid

What Professor Quigley foretold about the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has also come to pass. The BIS now has 55 member nations and heads the global financial pyramid.

The power of the BIS was seen in 1988, when it raised the capital requirement of its member banks from 6% to 8% in an accord called Basel I. The result was to cripple the Japanese banks, which until then were the world’s largest creditors. Japan entered a recession from which it has not yet recovered.

U.S. banks managed to escape by dodging the capital requirement. They did this by moving loans off their books, bundling them up as “securities,” and selling them to investors.

To persuade the investors to buy them, these mortgage-backed securities were protected against default with “derivatives,” which were basically just bets. The “protection seller” collected a premium for agreeing to pay in the event of default. The “protection buyer” bought the premium. Owning the asset was not required. Like gamblers at a horse race, derivative players could bet without owning a horse.

Derivatives became a very popular form of gambling. The result was the mother of all bubbles, exceeding $500 trillion by the end of 2007.

Because of securitization and derivatives, credit mushroomed. Virtually anyone who walked in the door could get a loan.

The tipping point came in August 2007, with the collapse of two hedge funds. When the derivatives scheme was exposed, the market for derivative-protected securities suddenly dried up. But the U.S. stock market did not collapse until November 2007, when new accounting rules were imposed. The rules grew out of the Basel II Accords initiated by the BIS in 2004. “Mark to market” accounting required banks to value their assets according to market demand that day. Many U.S. banks, like those in Japan in the 1990s, suddenly had insufficient capital to make new loans. The result was a credit crisis from which the U.S. has not yet recovered.

The BIS has now become global regulator, just as Quigley foresaw.
In April 2009, the G20 nations agreed to be regulated by a Financial Stability Board based in the BIS, and to comply with “standards and codes” set by the Board. The codes are only guidelines, but countries that fail to comply risk downgrades in their credit ratings, something so costly that the guidelines have effectively become laws.

An article on the BIS website states that central banks in the Central Bank Governance Network should have as their single or primary objective “to preserve price stability.” That means governments should not devalue the national currency by inflating the money supply; and that means not “printing money” or borrowing credit created by their own central banks. Like the American colonies after King George took away their power to issue their own money, governments must fund their deficits by borrowing from private banks. T
he bankers’ global control over currency issuance has become virtually complete.

The effects of this policy are particularly evident in the European Union, where EU rules allow deficits of only 3% of government budgets and prevent member countries from either issuing their own money or borrowing credit advanced by their own central banks. Member nations must borrow instead from the European Central Bank, private international banks, or the IMF. The result has been forced austerity measures, as seen in Greece and Ireland. The system is so unsustainable that commentators are predicting that the EU may break up.

The Way Out: Return the Money Power to Public Control

To escape the debt trap of the global bankers, the power to create the national money supply needs to be restored to national governments. Alternatives include:

· Legal tender issued directly by national treasuries and spent on national budgets.

· Publicly-owned central banks empowered to advance the nation’s credit and lend it to the government interest-free.

· Nationalization of bankrupt banks considered “too big to fail” (after expunging or writing down bad debts on inflated bubble assets). These banks could then issue credit to the public and serve the public’s banking needs, with the profits recycling back to the government, defraying the tax burden on the people.

· Publicly-owned local banks (state, provincial, or municipal).

Publicly-owned banks have been successfully established and operated in many countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, India, China, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia.

In the United States there is currently only one state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota. The model, however, has proven to be highly successful. North Dakota is the only U.S. state to have escaped the credit crisis unscathed. In 2009, while other states floundered, North Dakota had its largest budget surplus ever. In 2008, the Bank of North Dakota (BND) had a return on equity of 25%. North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the lowest default rate on loans. It also has the most local banks per capita.

North Dakota
has had its own bank since 1919, when farmers were losing their farms to the Wall Street bankers. They organized, won an election, and passed legislation. The state is required by law to deposit all its revenues in the BND. Like with the sustainable model of the bank of colonial Pennsylvania, interest and profits are returned to the government and to the local economy.

A growing movement is afoot in the United States to copy this public banking model in other states. Fourteen U.S. state legislatures have now initiated bills for state-owned banks.

The model could also be replicated in other countries. In Ireland, for example, where the major banks are insolvent and are already nationalized or soon will be, the government could deposit its revenues in its own publicly-owned banks, add sufficient capital to meet capital requirements, and leverage these funds to create interest-free credit for its own local needs. That is exactly what Alexander Hamilton did when faced with government debts that were impossible to repay: he put the government’s existing funds in a bank, then borrowed the money back several times over, employing the accepted “fractional reserve” model.

Japan’s solution
is also a variant of what Alexander Hamilton proposed two centuries earlier. Japan retains its status as the third largest economy in the world although it has a debt to GDP ratio of 226%. Japan has “monetized” the national debt, turning it into the national money supply. The government-owned Bank of Japan holds Japanese government debt equal to 100% of the nation’s GDP; and because the government owns the bank, this loan is interest-free and can be rolled over indefinitely. An interest-free loan rolled over indefinitely is the equivalent of issuing money.

Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how the power to create money has been usurped from the people, and how we can get it back. Her websites are and

Belize bus system, PAST, PRESENT and maybe FUTURE?

We used to use 3 ton and 5 ton Bedford Trucks for buses in Belize. Nowadays, the last 30 years we have been using used SCHOOL BUSES from the USA. What we really need is to move foreward to more modern buses on national bus routes, to buses with airconditioning, plush seats and a toilet. These school buses are often overcrowded, and worn out and are called CHICKEN BUSES with reason.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Belize manufactured SOY SAUCE builds on trends of local food processing progress.

There was an exciting video interview shown on the new prototype SOY SAUCE development. Do not know where it is. But a thatched roofed, cement floor building with a lot of stainless steel big pots, to boil and mix ingredients by hand ladels, to make SOY SAUCE. The cooperative women in the project, being taught by the Taiwanese Chinese mission were excited about making and bottling SOY SAUCE. They said we import $1 million worth of SOY SAUCE a year. So there was a viable business. They were fermenting some kind of beans, adding incredients like LECITIN, and other stuff that goes into SOY SAUCE. A true developmental enterprise. Loved to see it. Maybe they can export to Mexico and Guatemala?

Soy Sauce produced in Belize

good evening, Ray....

yes, the soy sauce project is very exciting, I know we'll be first in line to try the new product when it arrives on shelves in Cayo.

the project is happening up in Corozal and Orange Walk, and involves 10 womens' groups from different villages and towns... Chunox, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, San Felipe and others.

oh, and the beans are soy beans, of course

Soy Sauce Produced in Belize?

Belizeans love soy sauce on all that Chinese food we eat….but what about making soy sauce?

That's the aim of a new project in northern Belize - making soy sauce out of soy beans which grow easily in Belize. The Ministry of Agriculture Central Farm Agro processing unit in collaboration with Taiwan's Agricultural Mission is currently hosting a three day practical training in processing soy sauce.

This training goes along with production of soybeans is being implemented in Corozal and Orange Walk. The practical training will cover basic procedure from handling, cooking, fermenting until the final process of the material. A total of 10 women groups both from Orange walk and Corozal district are participating in the training.

more info:


The bottled product lasts from 8 to 12 months. The Ministry of Agriculture with the assistance of the Taiwan Government is presently carrying out a survey to seek markets for the Soy Sauce. After the survey is conducted the product will be introduced into the local market.
Screen_shot_2011-06-01_at_7.52.03_PMCarmelita Perez- Reporting

All these seven drums contain 50 lbs of soy beans which for the past six months have been fermenting in 55 gallons of purified water and 15 bags of salt. The longer the mixture ferments the better the taste of the Soy Sauce. For the past six months these women have been taking care of the drums making sure they are properly sterilized every time the mixture is stirred so as to avoid contamination.

Today the mixture is ready to be converted into Soy Sauce and we start off by taking out some of the soy liquid from each drum after which it is prepared for cooking. The moment the soy mixture is placed on the fire to cook it has to be stirred constantly to avoid burning; this will also give the Soy Sauce a better taste.