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Jun 17, 2005

Renegade P.U.P. rep lashes G.O.B., Ashcroft

Story PictureThe first member of the House to rise and object to the B.T.L. motion was in fact, not the Leader of the Opposition, but rather P.U.P. backbencher and representative for the Albert constituency, Mark Espat. First, Espat complained that he had only been given a few hours to review the motion… but that time proved to be sufficient for Espat to pen a tongue-lashing speech against his own government, divided into ten scenes.

Mark Espat, Area Representative, Albert
For fifteen years now, the Carlisle Group of companies led by Michael Ashcroft and sporting various disguises, such as the Belize Bank, the Belize Holdings and more recently, Mercury Investments, Pillow Talk, Ecom, these companies have pursued a scorched earth campaign to gain control of Belize?s most profitable company, Belize Telecommunications Limited. Madam Speaker, throughout this conspiracy to control and to suck dry B.T.L. and its Belizean consumers, it would appear that this government has been an all too willing accomplice. As it has appeared to the Belizean people that I speak to, Madam Speaker, the relationship between the conspirator and his accomplice is a master-puppet relationship. And the events of the past two years starting with the government?s secret memorandum of understanding to buy out the Carlisle?s fifty-two percent shareholding in B.T.L. in October of 2003 have proven beyond a reasonable doubt just how costly to Belize and how incestuous this relationship has been.?

?A resolution without Belizean control of B.T.L. is not a resolution. This is nothing short of a crying shame, a downright disgrace, and a betrayal of national interest. Every step of the way, Madam Speaker, every step of the way in this scene that I have painted for you, the relationship between Carlisle and the Government has appeared to be one of master and puppet. Carlisle has proven to be the DeBeers of Belize, seeking to extract every carat of profit. Madam Speaker, when it comes to Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Prosser, transactions seem so simple; shares can change hands smoothly and taxes just vanish into thin air. But when it comes to helping Belizeans, whose interest our government is elected serve and to protect everything is a matter of high finance, legal complications, and beyond our abilities. That is why our country yes is so rich, but our people so poor. Madam Speaker, the political creed of the People?s United Party says that the ownership and control of our national resources and treasures must be so managed in order to secure the maximum benefit for the Belizean people, for the Belizean people, Madam Speaker. The creed does not say that these resources and treasures should be managed to secure the maximum benefit for anyone else. It is my belief and it is because of my belief in this creed that I am compelled to oppose this resolution.?

Prime Minister Said Musa
?I hear all kinds of scenarios about going through a morality play with ten acts and scenes, when the people who are criticizing or purporting to speak righteously about this morality play, took part consciously and actively in at least eight of the ten scenes in this morality play. Well who spoke of scenes, who spoke as if though this thing has come totally as a surprise to him? I don?t have to call names Madam Speaker, the Belizean people are out there are listening, the Belizean people knows how the Cabinet system works and the Belizean people will not be fooled by pontification and self-rightous indignation, talking about master and puppet. The only master I have Madam Speaker is the Good Lord–that is my only master. And nobody, no Sir, no Lord, nor nobody will master over Said Musa or this Prime Minister. But to use emotive language about conspiracy and then to try and veil it under the principles and policies of the People?s United Party, that, Madam Speaker, is unforgivable.?

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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