Who is Really to Blame for Superbond?
As is often the case, the Government has tried to shift blame for the results of the Superbond on the P.U.P. as their predecessors in administration. Alleged “failed” projects cited as proceeds of the Superbond range from the former satellite city Mahogany Heights, to Galleria Maya. But the real purpose of the loans, according to P.U.P. leader John Briceño, was to help rebuild the country after a series of hurricanes dating back to 1999. In any event, he said, the Prime Minister needs to “man up” and admit his failures.
John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader
“Why is it that we did those loans? If you can remember we have several hurricanes when we were in government. We had Hurricane Mitch, Iris, Dean (we still suffer Hurricane Dean right now). Hurricanes that affected us when we were in government – we had losses of 1.2 billion dollars of GDP. We knew that we had to quickly when the hurricane hit us here in San Pedro and Caye Caulker, we knew we had to get monies very quickly to get them going. So we had to borrow some monies, yes, at some onerous interest rates. But we felt that getting the economy going was most important. Making sure that we were ready for the tourist season was very important. So we made a lot of loans with high interest rates, but then what we did after that is that we managed to consolidate the loans – Belizeans do that every day. When you owe at Courts, and you owe for your fuel, and then you owe for your groceries and all of these, you take all of those loans and you go to the bank and say, help me pay all of this and I will pay you at a lower interest rate and over a longer period of time, that is pretty much what the Superbond is all about. So the Prime Minister needs to stop crying over this thing: he said he had the answers, he said that he could solve this. Nine years later and he’s still continuing to cry? Man, he needs to man-up.”