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Nov 10, 2017

Yhony Rosado And Friends Protest “Corrupt” G.S.T.

A small protest against corruption was held this morning in front of the Complex Building on Mahogany Street this morning. It was organized a group of very vocal activists and had the support of grassroots organizations. In the front lines we found tour operator Yong Rosado, who is feeling pressure from the GST Department. He has been billed in excess of five hundred thousand dollars for unpaid taxes which Rosado says will put him out of business. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Tour operator Yhony Rosado is indebted to the Government of Belize to the tune of a little over half a million dollars.  The proprietor of Cavetubing.com has been in business as a well-known, independent stakeholder in the cruise tourism industry for many years.  For the Department of General Sales Tax, his chickens have come home to roost.  Rosado has been hit with an invoice that, he says, threatens to shut down his livelihood entirely.

 

Yhony Rosado

Yhony Rosado, Tour Operator

“The GST is charging me almost a million dollars, what do they think I sell, drugs?  Not even if you sell drugs you can pay a million dollars with GST.  So the GST just gone mad, pure corruption because I’ve been lifting up my voice against this government.  If that is a sin then there casting it out now.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now, one could argue that this is your private business, the fact that perhaps you haven’t been paying your taxes over time and now this is the result of it.”

 

Yhony Rosado

“I’ve been paying from day one.  For anybody that asks that question you just asked me, they’re wrong.  Pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar.  I’ve been paying Caesar what’s for him.  Now Caesar is coming for my house, that’s wrong.”

 

Rosado is crying foul because he firmly believes that a witch hunt has been launched against him.  What he has done today is muster grassroots support to rally around his cause.

 

Raymond Rivers

Raymond Rivers, Supporter

“Everybody need fi get audit outta Tourist Village.  Chukka, tell dehn Yhony, all dehn next company need fi get audit along with Mr. Yhony if unu wahn bring it like that because this is pure corruption.  This man give over a hundred thousand dollars every year to activists and to youth movements, but the government noh di count that.  So eena seven years he done gih seven hundred thousand [dollars].  He noh owe government nothing, thank you.”

 

The revenue collecting arm of government, following an audit, calculated a bill and forwarded it to Rosado.  It is reasonable to assume that perhaps the businessman just hasn’t been paying his fair share of taxes over the years.  Nonetheless, he has brought out his people to protest in front of the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building under the guise of an anti-corruption demonstration.

 

Yhony Rosado

“The support is very easy because the whole country is punishing under corruption and I just have to come out here and everybody comes out.  I don’t know where this crowd comes from but I’m positively sure there are COLA supporters, there are Moses Sulph supporters, Rivers’ supporters, there are Sticks’ supporters and my supporters.  But this is an anti-corruption thing.”

 

[Nat sound of protestors]

 

Chants of government corruption notwithstanding, is Rosado prepared to pay up or work out an arrangement with the GST Commissioner?

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you have any intentions at this point to be able to pay this bill one way or the other or to see how it can be settled with government?”

 

Yhony Rosado

“If Dean Barrow could help me rob three banks I could pay the bill.  The last time they robbed a bank, Scotia Bank in Spanish Lookout they only got two hundred thousand, I need seven hundred thousand [dollars].  So I will need a politician to help me rob three banks.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“This time of year, Yhony, is when the tourism season is beginning to kick up.  How has your business been faring off given the fact that you’re indebted?”

 

Yhony Rosado

“My buses are parked, the business is down.  High season can’t help no one.  If high season could have helped me I wouldn’t be out here.  I’m not a fool, I’m a smart businessman, I’ve been working from since I’m little.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now what has been some of the actions taken against you in light of this bill that you owe?”

 

Yhony Rosado

“They haven’t taken no action.  They have just given me a bill and I’ve learned through the attorneys, I’ve learned through the accounting abilities to these special people, I’ve learned that they have their own court system in there and when they give you a bill you have to pay.  They gave me a bill with [improper] notification.  They gave me a huge book full of bills without me defending myself that is corruption.  You don’t lash your child without asking or telling him why you’re lashing him.  They whipped me out and that’s abuse of power.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “Yhony Rosado And Friends Protest “Corrupt” G.S.T.”

  1. Eye in the Sky says:

    GST is a very corrupt organisation in Belize.

    You fight this skum of the earth Yhony.

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