Friday, November 4, 2011



"-BEL is insolvent and $27 million in debt. BEL officials blame the insolvency on the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, saying they were forced to sell electricity in Belize at rates lower than the cost to acquire the power from the state-owned CFE (Comision Federal de Electricidad) electric company in neighboring Mexico. As a result of the nationalization, Standard & Poor’s put Belizean sovereign bonds (which already hold junk status) on its downgrade watch list, “citing concerns about the Central American nation’s debt.”-

Recently Fortis has declared legal war on the small government of Belize, which is the latest news as of November, 2011.

From commentary online.

"Jim, clearly you know nothing of Belize or its economic realities, so let me enlighten you. Fortis, a 5.7B$ company who made profits year over year on its BEL investment essentially cooked it books using some creative accounting that backfired when the Supreme Court of Belize ruled that 36M in inflated cost of power numbers needed to be accounted for as income. Based on the mis-stated losses, Fortis selected to starve the company of funds, driving it into insolvency to try to force a rate increase on a country whose GDP is less than 1/6 of Fortis'. To exacerbate the situation, Fortis declares BEL's insolvency and gives the government 20 days to either find the money to bail them out, or bypass the regulatory and legal process and grant a rate increase higher than the current price of US 22c per KWh, or 5 times what rates are in the US or Canada.

Belize is nowhere near a "Chavista" nation. The Prime Minister took drastic action to prevent his small poor nation from being plunged into blackout because of Fortis' greed. You really need to look more into Fortis' practice in Belize and also similar tactics with their subsidiary in Turks and Caicos. Do your homework before you try to continue to defend this action in the name of democracy."



-Internet commentary-

"Dear Mr. Roberts, Peter Jones is correct, the Barrow administration cannot even remotely be considered a "Chavista" government.

In trying to demonstrate that PM Barrow has close relations with Hugo Chavez, you linked to a 2008 Channel 5 article where Barrow said he hoped for future aid from Venezuela, but that never materialized.

Truthfully, Venezuela hasn't given "many petro dollars" to Belize. Before Barrow took office, a donation of ten million dollars was sent by Venezuela to Belize, for the purpose of building housing for the poor. Former PM Musa used that Venezuelan gift for other purposes. In fact, the matter is still in litigation, Belizeans still haven't seen the money, and no houses were built.

Ashcroft bank in dispute over $10m Belize fund for poor people

Venezuela hasn't done much since then, just a few penny-ante projects:

In 2010 Venezuela gave some free eye exams, and eye surgeries for Belizeans:

In 2010 Venezuela donated some food after we got hit by a hurricane:

Gabriel Sanchez, Charge d’ Affairs, Venezuelan Embassy: “We’re just here to bring a donation from the Venezuelan Embassy. It’s just a symbolic one but we wanted to help Belizean people in this situation because of Hurricane Richard. So this a small donation of dry food and water that we would like to contribute to the Belizean people on behalf of the Bolivarian Government. We have over there fifty boxes of water, four boxes of tuna, four boxes of powdered milk, four boxes of sardines and sausage too.

And in 2011 Venezuela donated 1,500 baby chickens:

As you can see, we're not exactly ROLLING in "petro-dollars" from Chavez here! Some medical care, a few boxes of sardines and some baby chickens, that´s about it.

WE WOULD LIKE SOME FINANCIAL AID FROM VENEZUELA, BUT BARROW HAS SAID HE WILL NOT BEG AND GROVEL, LIKE SAID MUSA USED TO DO. What little we get from Venezuela, chickens or eye cataract surgeries is highly appreciated by Belizeans. Belizeans like Chavez and Venezuela and in fact, we admire the massive efforts Chavez has taken to distribute the oil wealth through infra-structure, such as roads and schools and health clinics to his people in the boonies. We are trying to do the same in Belize, but on a much smaller scale, without much money to do so, unlike Venezuela. We are the poor relation here. All help and donations are appreciated. The Taiwanese are our biggest GRANT helpers.
What is working very well in Belize, though is not enough. These are countries and funds, that are giving BELIZE GRANTS, for specific infra-structure projects, training, education, and other such projects. Japan for instance has established the University solar electric research and development project. Taiwan have built our rice industry almost now to commercial export capacity. These type of GRANT projects, controlled and administered by foreign aid governments are now a very big and SUCCESSFUL part of our annual small budgets. They are pushing us ahead economically and socially, when otherwise we would be stuck as a third world, typical underfinanced, target for international banks to rip us off by LOANS.

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