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Feb 28, 2012

COLA chides PM for Superbond Comment

The super bond and the thirteenth senator are hot button issues for a number of NGOs.  At least eight of them that range from a one man show to the more established, took a consolidated position that is contrary to the government’s. At the launch of the U.D.P. manifesto last week, the Prime Minister had a particular message for bond holders of the five hundred and sixty-five million dollar Superbond and in respect of the thirteenth senator; well he said that is not on the radar if his government is re-elected. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

As a precursor to the General Election, COLA chides the government for its position on the Super Bond and a thirteenth senator.

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

Geovanni Brackett

“We will never be in support of PM Barrow’s disapproving position on the 13th senator. The people of Belize have voted in a referendum for a 13th senator and we believe that mandate should be respected. Furthermore COLA supports not only having the thirteenth senator, but an elected senate. Advocacy keeps evolving. It is not something that keeps one position. I am certain if you go in history many other countries who have had great movements starts off by talking; it starts off by registering your position and then you hope that something strikes that it moves into something bigger. So we can only be hopeful that as we continue to advocate, we’re glad that we have people who are supporting us here—we wish it would be two thousand or ten thousand—but the fact that we have supporters and we have a united stand; that’s where it starts.”

Supporters, though limited, represented the phone book’s catalogue of grassroots and one-man organizations. KHMH whistleblower Delroy Herera facilitated the press conference where at the head table sat,

Patrick Menzies, now president of Belize Can and Giovanni Brackett, President of COLA. Seated in the audience was Yolanda Schakron, President of Belizeans for Justice, PACO Smith VIP Belize City Mayoral Candidate, Felipe Martinez, head of the Chetumal Street squatters and VIP Belize City Council candidate, Gilroy Usher jr. PUP City Council Candidate, Murphy Mclaren, Head of Commoners, and Steven Okeke, sculptor, author and Independent Mayoral Candidate. They were there to reflect on this statement made by the Prime Minister on the Superbond.

Dean Barrow [File: February 22nd, 2012]

Dean Barrow

“Unless those that are applying that jack-boot are prepared to re-negotiate, they will see that the Belizean people are not going to take it. We won’t lie down so that anybody could tek chance on us and the bottom line is, ‘Mr. Bond holder, Mr. Bad creditor, come to the table and renegotiate with Belizeans. You are obliged to give us a fairer deal.”

Geovanni Brackett

COLA, in conjunction with other NGO’s and organizations, deems these statements to be irresponsible and could have dire consequences for an already financially-constrained Belize. That in mind, we believe that Prime Minister Barrow must be more judicious in addressing the nation considering the fact that he is still the Prime Minister. Granted, even though he was speaking in the capacity of U.D.P. party leader, his words still have national implications since he is still the Prime Minister. Such implications are foreshadowed in a most recent international article, “What to do with Belize’s superbond.”  The article was written prior to PM Barrow’s speech on Wednesday February twenty-second, 2012 at the Biltmore plaza. It reads: “…the bond has taken a sharp lurch downwards since February seventh when Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in a pre-election speech that he would seek “instructions” from the electorate to “do something about the bond”.  That unsurprisingly triggered panic selling and the bond now trades around forty cents on the dollar, down some twenty cents since the start of February.”  We at COLA believe that the statements made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the UDP Manifesto Launch will only serve to increase such panic and place Belize in a position that could have adverse effects.”

Patrick Menzies

Patrick Menzies, President, Belize Can

“Belize Can believes that those responsible for the chaos we now find ourselves in and those that have continued to perpetrate economic woes by giving out much needed monies for investments to cronies and supporters alike must be held accountable for their actions. We therefore say, bring in a commission of inquiry and let’s get to the bottom of this all—let’s declare the assets of all current and previous ministers of government and their offshore accounts. For far too long we have been a nation of laws governed by the lawless who of course righteously exploit the fact that we are independent nation who has the majority of dependent people.”

Geovanni Brackett

“Despite the election season, we asked the Prime Minister to be more tactful in his speech, especially given the fragile situation in which Belize finds itself on the “superbond” issue.  Some perceived threats and implications that may result, for instance, include: Creditors calling in our loans, International Ramifications, Economic Sanctions, Possibility of Trade Embargos to name a few. With these considerations in mind then, the PM must distinguish between election season and his position as the Prime Minister of this country and address the nation accordingly. We call on the Prime Minister to seize and desist from the uses of such inflammatory language.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Also present in the support section was John Brackett, the president of CIFOS who is known for his one man protests against acts such as texting while driving. Former P.U.P. minister Joe Coye was also in attendance.

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2 Responses for “COLA chides PM for Superbond Comment”

  1. bz says:

    Are these guys for real? I find this very funny. They have no clue what they are talking about.

  2. bmp-resident says:

    bz, you the only clueless one here. They are trying to make a difference. What are you doing?

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