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Mar 27, 2015

Unprecedented & Controversial Petrocaribe Bill Tabled in the House

Dean Barrow

Day one of the Budget Debate was uneventful and, as predicted, bursting at the seams with much political rhetoric and very little substance. We’ll have some of the highlights, such as they were, for you a little later. But first the Petrocaribe Bill – that little piece of new legislation which has sparked such outrage and condemnation from the Opposition.  In a nutshell, G.O.B. is seeking to push through a Bill which will allow it access to Petrocaribe monies free from House oversight. The government also seeks to pass a law which will allow it to spend those monies as they choose. The controversial and unprecedented bill was introduced today with a few words of explanation from the Prime Minister, who says the outcry is much ado about nothing.  


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There has been this insistence on the part of those on the other side that they will do anything to try to take away from the country of Belize the tremendous boom, the tremendous windfall that Petrocaribe represents. They are advised by lawyers who pick at every last little thing they can find to try to question and to quarrel with Petrocaribe. It is with that context that our own legal advisors made the recommendation to us that we now pass a special act to deal with Petrocaribe and the funds flowing therefrom in a way that will make the provisions that we simply can’t extract from or tease out of the current legislation dealing with loans and dealing with the spending of loan monies. So that is all this Bill is seeking to do—consolidate what has already happened, retrospectively validate what has happened by the way of this specific act focusing on and dealing exclusively with Petrocaribe and provide that going forward. There is now that authority of the House to borrow, in the peculiar circumstances, that prevent us from beforehand bringing to the House the details of the borrowing since we can’t know what the sums are going to be given the sliding scale, given the peculiarity of the arrangement.” 

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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1 Response for “Unprecedented & Controversial Petrocaribe Bill Tabled in the House”

  1. Dwight Gillett says:

    Suggestion: The Petro Caribe Loan should be turned into a Fund. Then, only a portion of the proceeds from the interest earn from the Fund use in social/economic upliftment (legislation required). This way the Fund will be available in perpetuity. A golden opportunity here.
    Signed: Dwight Gillett

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