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Jan 14, 2015

Ministers Defend G.O.B. in Sugar Debacle

Wilfred Elrington

Government has gone on a PR push to counter an abundance of flak for their role in the recent sugar debacle. While it is true that farmers have decided to sign on with ASR/B.S.I., effectively ending the impasse, many are doing so under protest. The prevailing sentiment is that G.O.B. turned its back on the farmers, forcing them to accept a less than favourable deal with the factory. Whether that is so or not will largely depend on who tells the tale. This morning, Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Godwin Hulse were on the media and they say government did all it could for the farmers, despite misinformation being circulated.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I think the Prime Minister said it very well…it is nonsense upon nonsense, nonsense upon stilts really. Any politician knows that he would be committing suicide if he goes against the people. Our mandate is really to represent the people and to do what is in their interests. They are the people who are going to vote for us, no foreign multi-national corporation. The Prime Minister knows that, I know that, Godwin Hulse knows that, the Cabinet knows that, so that our mandate is to look out for the best interests of the people, and to do that we ensure that we are properly informed as to the facts and the law. We know the kind of balance that we have to make when we are dealing with issues of this type and we try to act very scrupulously, thinking very clearly with respect to each move that we make. The sugar industry is one of the most important industries for the country of Belize. It provides us with a tremendous amount of our foreign exchange, revenue, employment…people in Pickstock are employed in the industry. The last thing our government would want to see is the industry leaving the country because everyone would be hurt in that eventuality, the cane-farmers included. So government has got to play a very delicate role. We have got to try to ensure that a reasonable and mutually acceptable agreement is arrived at. It is in no position to dictate to any of the parties any position that they should take. All it is there to do is to support them in trying to arrive at an amicable agreement.”

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

“God forbid the farmers…and I as a Belizean representing small farmers, would want everything in the world, but we have to remember it’s a commercial agreement between two parties, and both parties are trying to get the maximum benefit. I object fully to the statement of the poor, little ignorant farmer…that is to insult him. He is represented by the B.S.C.F.A. that has qualified directors, qualified people managing it, very well educated; a very eminent lawyer was negotiating on their behalf. Come on man.”

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2 Responses for “Ministers Defend G.O.B. in Sugar Debacle”

  1. Peter says:

    Listening to these two morons is difficult to bear. I can believe their condescending attitude and lack of empathy for the Belizean farmer. It’s bad enough that a foreign company is taking advantage of the farmers…..worse when our own government is facilitating and bending backwards for the foreigners.

  2. From the West says:

    Peter, you have it all wrong. The farmers have gotten used to freebies. Remember duty free fuel, preferential prices etc. In a global economy, freebies are harder to come by, but old habits die hard. Look at the complete stupidity of them stealing the fair trade funds. So after they bankrupted the industry, GOB on their behalf went begging ASR to bail their dumb — out, but ASR is smart enough to protect their investment. Good thing GOB knows that if they shaft another foreign ivestor, things will only get worst in Belize. Mr Hulse is a smart man.

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