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Mar 30, 2015

Senate Discusses Petrocaribe Loan Motion

Lisa Shoman

And today, the Senate met in regular session to debate the Petrocaribe Bill which passed through the House on Friday. The government has the majority in the Senate, so the fate of the discussion was foretold, but that didn’t stop the Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman who says that she cannot and will not support the Petrocaribe loan motion.

 

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“We have a loan motion asking us to approve after the fact, in complete contravention with the law, we are being asked now…the language has changed…to confirm and validate the borrowing. Not to approve it, because they know we can’t approve it after the fact. We’re being asked to confirm and validate the borrowing, and I’m not going to do that Mr. President. And I will tell you why I will not do that. I will not do that on the basis of a paragraph when we have asked time and again – give us the details as to how this is going to be spent. Give us a breakdown. Give us an assurance that there is somewhere accounting of specifically what amounts were spent on what. Tell me what are the capital projects that you’re financing and how much. With this money, tell me what sporting facilities are going to be constructed and how much, and tell me where is the provision of social and community assistance to the poor and socially marginalized in accordance with what government social and economic programs. Otherwise, Mr. President, I cannot and I will not support this loan motion. Not because I do not think that the people of Belize need assistance. Not because I don’t think that this money is something that the government of Belize needs to be borrow. I cannot and I will not approve it because one, it is contrary to the law and two, the members of the Senate have a particular role to play as a check and a balance to make sure that not only the Ts are crossed and the I’s are dotted, but that we have full accountability for those funds that are borrowed.”

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