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Apr 1, 2015

Too Little Too Late? N.T.U.C.B. Meets to Discuss Petrocaribe Loans Act

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has come under fire since the beginning of the week, and at this hour it is meeting in an emergency session to discuss a number of sensitive issues pertaining to the Petrocaribe Loans Act.  While the chickens have long since flown the coop, the N.T.U.C.B. is only just formulating its position on the controversial piece of legislation which allows government to borrow and spend without seeking prior approval from the House of Representatives.  On Monday, in the Senate, the union representative, Ray Davis abstained on the vote on the Petrocaribe Loan Act which essentially supersedes the Finance and Reform Audit Act that was passed into law at the behest of the unions in 2010 to give transparency and accountability to the use of public funds. News Five understands that chief among the topics presently being discussed is the fate of Senator Davis. According to union sources, he has failed to reflect their position on several other matters, but the Petrocaribe Loan Act is the most recent and by far the most controversial which is believed to have been put into law because of an ongoing challenge in the court seeking a declaration that the government acted illegally when it spent over two hundred and eighty-six million dollars from Petrocaribe money without House approval.  Late Tuesday, a scathing release soundly criticizing the Petrocaribe Loans Act and disassociating itself from the abstention was released by the Christian Workers Union.  On the face of it, the recently approved legislation is an attempt by government to authorize what is being described as blatantly sidestepping the Laws of Belize.  CWU President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, minces no words in stating the union’s position on the Petrocaribe Loans Act.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, Christian Workers Union

“It cannot make sense.  It cannot be that the information he gave here that because every time the amount, the petroleum that comes in, you don’t know the price and you don’t know the amount that that is the reason for us to circumvent our law.  Man I could then think about many ridiculous, very ridiculous and absurd reason why we wouldn’t comply with many laws.  Then that means that all these young men that are taken in for gun possession and weed possession they shouldn’t go in because I can tell you that they can come up with excuses why the law shouldn’t apply to them.  So maybe we should start passing laws retrospectively so that all those people who are presently incarcerated for weed and guns, to validate their act and make it legal now because that’s what they are doing.  From 2012, September 2012 to February 2015, our government has acted illegally because they have the power in one day, they pushed through a law through its three readings which then suddenly makes what was illegal yesterday and a couple years ago to become legal because you are sweeping or taking back this law, yo di backdate it so that then your illegal conduct becomes legal.  Hmm.  That’s a very, very bad culture we’re setting up and a very poor example of governance.  As a matter of fact, it’s non-governance, it’s non-governance.  You’re no better than any of the criminals out there because you know the law and you did not comply with it but the only difference is you control the law so know you’re going to twist it and bend it to accommodate your illegality.  And people can’t see that?  Well if don’t see that then in this country we are messed up.”

 

We will have more on the outcome of the N.T.U.C.B. meeting in Thursday’s newscast.

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3 Responses for “Too Little Too Late? N.T.U.C.B. Meets to Discuss Petrocaribe Loans Act”

  1. X-Ray says:

    I consider CH5 to be the best TV station in the country of Belize; however, it is the worst when reporting the news. There is continuous distortion and black out of the news, had it not been for the other lesser stations, one would not get the true or real stories. The following quote is a glaring example: “believed to have been put into law because of an ongoing challenge in the court seeking a declaration that the government acted illegally when it spent over two hundred and eighty-six million dollars from Petrocaribe money without House approval.” This is a deliberate lie, that is the total amount borrowed from Venezuela up to that point.

  2. ali moha says:

    petrocaribe is just for some and not for all. only teachers, nurses, policemen, and etc. who want to build their houses are being helped. The people who want to make a business are given loans at the National bank. what about those that are sick and need an extra help? those who need to consolidate bills that are constraining their progress? those who want to study a career? those who need to pay large fines imposed by courts by injustices?. not everyone in this country needs a house or a business. many have houses and businesses but the reality is another. belize GOB, gives only to those that is convenient to them. what about the majority. this country is not made only by teachers, nurses, police men and etc. what about us where do we stand? wake up belize wake up, it is time to wake up!

  3. X-Ray says:

    @ali moha: petroCaribe monies is a fund to improve the development of the country; not to be distributed to each individual pocket. Chetumal Street serves everyone, the cement streets serves everyone not only a few as you try to put it.

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