Horse Racing and Insult Trading in House
The debate on the adjournment is a free-for-all of topics considered by representatives to be of national importance or concern. The Police intervening to stop a horse race meet in Santa Elena Town on Sunday was one such topic today as two neighboring Cayo area representatives squared off over it inside the National Assembly. Cayo Northeast area representative Orlando “Landy” Habet claims a day of fun was spoiled by Cayo Central representative Rene Montero, who in turn accuses him of politicizing the matter. We have the highlights of their confrontation.
Orlando Habet, Area Representative, Cayo Northeast
“Madam Speaker, at the end, we were told, because the Police, as they told us they were doing their job; but we understood then, that all this was coming from instructions coming from the member for Cayo Central. I cannot – and I know, Madam Speaker, I would not see our Prime Minister supporting something like this; I couldn’t see the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Sports, going against a sporting activity such as this, Madam Speaker. I do not know, Madam Speaker, if the member for Cayo Central no longer wants to be involved in politics and does not want to go for re-election; but what people were saying is that this, Madam Speaker, is likened to political masochism. From the sentiments of the people of Santa Elena who are his constituents, I would like to say that this is tantamount to political castration; I can’t see this going anywhere else.”
Rene Montero, Area Representative, Cayo Central
“Madam Speaker, no one approached this committee and [told] them that they were going to have a horse race; we heard it, the Committee heard it, through the public. So the Committee… (Interruptions) The Committee – no, I am not part of that committee. I am not a member of that Committee. Madam Speaker…”
Laura Longsworth, Speaker of the House
“The Committee convened a meeting on the tenth of March to see if they could accommodate that group that wanted to have that horse race. That group, Madam Speaker, refused to attend the Committee. The Police approached them, and told them that they cannot have that race, because it was not safe – not safe for the public, not safe for the horses, not safe for the jockeys, members. About two months ago, Madam Speaker, that group went ahead and conducted a race, and a horse, Madam Speaker, got injured, and all the guts and so – it was a horrible scene. It had to be put to sleep, because of their irresponsibility, Madam Speaker. They want to do their things without respecting the authority. And Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker, there is no need. The Honorable Member for Cayo Northeast is trying to politicize this, Madam Speaker; he acted irresponsible, he could have come and talked to the Committee, and perhaps we could have accommodated him. No, Madam Speaker, they told the Police that no one will stop them from having that horse race on the twelfth; even though the Police tried to explain to them [that] the Committee put a public notice, Madam Speaker, that this race track was under repair and should not be used, because it is unsafe: it is unsafe for the public, it is unsafe for the horse owners, and it is unsafe for the horses.”
Montero went on to read a text he was forwarded, allegedly from Habet to officer commanding San Ignacio Police, Superintendent Richard Rosado, containing a threat that something may happen to him if the P.U.P. get into Government.