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Feb 5, 2014

Bill passed to address threat by Caribbean Financial Action Task Force

Francis Fonseca

Seven bills were passed today in the house. But the real purpose of today’s House Sitting had to do with a threat by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.  In November, the CFATF announced that it would be blacklisting both Belize and Guyana for non-compliance in addressing deficiencies in the laws on money laundering as well as offshore banking. The CFATF recognized that while some steps had been taken, Belize has not gone far enough to improve the Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism recommendations. The Prime sought the approval of the House to pass new legislation to address the issue before Monday’s meeting of the Task Force. The Leader of the Opposition joined the government in giving support to the legislation.

 

Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

“There is our response as we got knowledge response to the international pressure which is real; cannot be ignored. But which, I think we need to be very clear, which will inevitably lead to, in my view, the complete undermining of the offshore sector, the offshore industry in Belize, which is exactly perhaps what is intended. The reality is that the big boys don’t want us at the table. And the more, we need to acknowledge and accept, the more we complain, the reality is that we have to comply. But the more we comply, the more the standards continue to change.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The Leader of the Opposition is exactly right. You know, the people in the developed world, every time there is a global crisis, every time there is a special crisis that affects us, small countries; especially, in relation to commodity prices and the decrease in commodity prices. Every time they screw us with respect to agriculture, every time they withdraw their preferences, their trade preferences, they tell us we need to diversify. And then when we try to diversify into services—such as is represented by our very thriving offshore financial sector—they remove the goalpost. And indeed, to a large extent, they are very culpable in terms of practicing this do as I say, but not as I do doctrine. Very many of the developed countries have their own offshore jurisdictions. Very many of the developed countries, you see now they are talking about disclosure with respect to our companies act. You can form a Delaware company in the United States by going on the internet and spending two or three minutes, but we because of course there are these huge power disparities, these power asymmetries; we can kick and scream, but ultimately as the Leader of the Opposition says, we have to comply.”

 

In Thursday’s newscast, we’ll have more tidbits from the House Meeting as well as the Senate Sitting. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Bill passed to address threat by Caribbean Financial Action Task Force”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Belize must push back and not fold its off-shore banking. This is where intelligent leadership comes into play. Let’s see if Barrow can develop a financial paradigm to stop this onslaught on our economic lifeline. He did it successfully for corruption; let’s see if he can do it to save Belize.

  2. Common Sense says:

    Belize never gained any “Independence” in 1981, this is further proof.
    Stand up and be Independent NOW.
    Legalize the herb (not a fan, but the financial benefits of increased tourism is worthy of investigation)
    Maintain the offshore sector
    Do this, while maintaining and growing the agricultural sector……Belize will not need to be begging for international handouts and forced into further legal servitude.
    Lets not go the way of Jamaica, Inshallah.

  3. Ali BaBarrow and his band of 40+ says:

    “Every time they screw us”

    That usually happens after you screw yourself and your country.
    Being ethically corrupt, it pretty much is a given.
    If the leadership is crooked, why should it not happen?

    Ask the Guats about the CIA.
    If you can’t play on the world stage, pack it up and merge with another country.

    Btw, Ali I really liked your digs at the OAS and IDB presidents a while back.
    You make friends everywhere.
    So when you get screwed, they be laughing, dumbass.

    If Belize subscribed to the UN convention on anti corruption, the screwing would be a lot less and less painful to the country. Actually things would turn around and people’s lives in Belize would get better.

    Bad news is it would put a lot of government crooks out of a job, like you and your 40. Morally bankrupt fool that you are.

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