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Jan 13, 2017

Time to “man up”, Opposition Leader tells Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister pointed out, surprisingly, that in Belize all the cases he has resisted with regard to arbitration awards, the Government has won. But what has been the economic cost? It has been much more than we won, according to Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, who spoke to reporters while the House was in a break. He says it is time for the Government to “man up” and admit its mistakes. But as to enforcement of the awards, the Opposition Leader said he would need to get more information so as not to make a hasty decision – and more importantly, one that does not harm the Belizean people.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“How in the name of all that is righteous; how in the name of, not just Belizean nationalism; how in the name of CARICOM solidarity, can I ever agree to pay these things? The Ashcroft concerns have no recourse here in Belize; they have gone abroad – as far as I know, we have no assets in the U.S. that they can attach. They will certainly try it.”

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Emotionally, of course, we would rather not pay. But I don’t have all the information, and until I could get the information and study what happened, then I could make an informed decision. But I could assure you that a new P.U.P. Government would always, always, be on the side of the Belizean people.  The U.D.P. government has shown, has demonstrated that they have been unable to address the economic situation. Here we had almost four hundred million dollars of Petrocaribe money, money that could have been used to help the productive sector, who has been going through a difficult time. If you remember, in 2015 there was a drought in this country; our farmers, small farmers lost over thirty million dollars. What was the Government’s response – they assisted them with twenty thousand dollars. Yet in the month [before] the election they blew away in October, over forty-seven million dollars, just to win an election and that is the problem with this Government. That all that they have been worrying about is winning elections, and not about doing the right thing – about fighting poverty, fighting crime, looking at the productive sector, to see how we can move this country forward. Now that they have won their third election and now that they are almost at the brink of bankruptcy, all that the Prime Minister can do is to blame the previous Government. It is time for him to “man up” and admit that he has made some disastrous decisions, that is affecting this country, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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