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Jul 1, 2015

Debate on Petrocaribe Loan Amendment Bill Opens

Mark Lizarraga

The debate on the amended Petrocaribe Bill started after two this afternoon. Right off the top it was classified by Senator Lisa Shoman as nothing more than a pig wearing lipstick and a carnival costume. We have part of the opening presentations from that long awaited debate on Petrocaribe.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Sector

“The amendments today and the Petrocaribe law does not address the fact that we do not want a government to continue to incur debt on our behalf not knowing if we can afford to pay back such debt. We champion and advocate for prior discussion, prior presentation, proper debate and proper approval by parliament before loans are made and before spending is done. This is money the government borrows in our name and which we will have to pay back. We do not want any laws or amendments that take away from the guidelines for borrowing and spending in the Finance and Audit Reform Act. We want laws and should be championing for laws that give us more, not less accountability. The proposed amendments today, Mister President, continue to allow and let us be clear we do not and will not encourage or support as a practice retrospective reporting for approval of borrowed monies which fundamentally goes against the very principles of the constitution and certainly those that go against the Finance and Audit Reform Act.”

 

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“The leader of government business and his colleagues cannot hope to escape judgment of the fact that he and his colleagues voted for the Petrocaribe Loans Act, voted for the parent act, in this very chamber and with verve and enthusiasm, tried to make it out as though it was some special arrangement that didn’t fall under the laws of Belize that was suppliers credit. In fact, like Rumpelstilskin, he determinedly tried to spin straw into gold. Trying to deny the nature of the thing…Mister President, if it is not a loan, why did we pass an act entitled the Petrocaribe Loans Act? Why do we have an amendment act that is entitled the Petrocaribe Loans Amendment Act? It’s a loan and we will have to pay it back.”

 

Because of the lateness of the hour, that debate had just gotten underway when we left, but we’ll have a lot more in Thursday’s newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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