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Jun 9, 2011

P.M. speaks on referendum concerning drilling for oil

Dean Barrow

In Wednesday’s newscast vice president of Oceana in Belize, Audrey Matura, lashed out at the prime minister for being disingenuous in respect of the seventeen thousand signatures collected to trigger a referendum on offshore oil exploration.  Matura went as far as saying that having agreed to a referendum, it is now undemocratic for the P.M. Barrow to dissuade his supporters from participating in the vote.  At his quarterly press conference P.M. Barrow stuck to his guns and said that isn’t undemocratic. P.M. Barrow further stated that the Coalition To Save Our Natural Heritage, which Oceana is a part of, cannot on one day agree to a discussion with government on the issue of offshore oil exploration and on another trigger a referendum calling for a ban on offshore drilling.

Dean Barrow

“Well explain to me, I want them to explain to me how that can be anti-democratic.  Isn’t that what democracy is all about?  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  How can it be anti-democratic to say to our supporters, you know what, don’t bother with that referendum.  The government has a position, the referendum seeks, would they have preferred we asked our supporters to go and vote no?  It is precisely because we don’t want a confrontation with them that we’re taking the softer route that we’re going to be saying to our people don’t go out and vote.  I don’t know how…until they can explain to me how that, in any way, confounds the principles of democracy I will stand plan. I said, and I repeat, I don’t understand the Coalition.  They were talking to government about our coming up jointly with a regime that would deal with petroleum exploration both offshore and onshore in protected areas that would contain safeguards that would even look at the possibility of removing certain areas from the exploration plans altogether.  They claim well we haven’t gotten very far, fair point, but government has said it is willing.  Let us engage, let us negotiate and hold us to that.  You can’t say that you want to do that and then you trigger a referendum in which you are asking people to say ban offshore drilling period.”

The strained relationship between the PM and the Oceana VP is heading to court because he is threatening to sue Matura for a release made in respect of a license granted to an oil company that is represented by his law firm.

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10 Responses for “P.M. speaks on referendum concerning drilling for oil”

  1. Rod says:

    Yes his family is profiting from these oil wells in any other country this is called a conflict of interest and bribery why do we allow this guy to get away with this he should be put in jail for corruption plain and simple resign barrow resign now his true colors are coming out on top of everything else now we all know that he is prejudice against the Spanish people of this country sad sad sad resign barrow just resign .

  2. ER says:

    Audrey can’t be serious. She is in for a shock as many many belizeans don’t agree with her and her cause and won’t pay her and her referendum any mind.

  3. BDF soldier says:

    OIL exploration is not benefitting now one in belize,but the Ministers,and thier family members,and their law firms,so why look for more oil,when the millions been made are not been used for belizeans to better their life?

  4. oscar965 says:

    Well ER…i hope that when there IS an oil spill and all of the coast line is permanently damaged and there is no tourism, no fishes, no jobs, no food…even if you are in farming..people will not have the money to buy your food, you will realize that you should have cared. If tourism ends in Belize tomorrow because of an oil spill then we are in SERIOUS trouble and may not survive as a nation. I hope those Belizeans that you say don’t care wake up, crawl out of the hole..and start caring…for not only will the islands suffer but all of Belize.

  5. trikz says:

    Well said Oscar965 the PM just said yesterday on the news that tourism is the motor of our economy,…..so when the oil spills happen we will all get !@#$%^…even if you are a babysitter, a shop attendant, a housekeeper, a waitress, bartender, ice cream man, secretary, accountant, ect we will all be !@#$%^!!

  6. Roy Yates says:

    There is unquestionable technology that can detect oil and gas or any other natural resources any place on the planet without the need for drilling. So if the goivernment want to find out where there is oil in Belize without the damaging the barrier reef or inland reserves area, send me an email and I will set it up from them. This will stop all the hastle and bad blood over this matter.

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    ER:Most Belizeans won’t listen because they’ve been brain washed and corrupt by our leaders.

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why not have them drill behind your house PM?

  9. ruby says:

    Im no politician but Minister I KNEW YOU WERE AN HONEST PERSON ….YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING ESPECIALLY WITH THE SQUATTERS…… I APPLAUD YOU SIR AND RESPECT YOU . LIKE I SAID IM A BELIZEAN BORN HERE FOR 37YRS AND STILL NO OWN ONE LEPIECE OF LAND NOW THME WHA GET ONE JUST LIKE THAT NO DICE!!!!!! WE CANT GO INTO NO PLACE AN TAKE LAND ..

  10. rigrat says:

    Oh dear. Roy Yates says there is unquestionable technology that can detect oil and gas without drilling. Well Mr Roy, can you please tell me why no oil company ON THE PLANET is using this technology?

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