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Jun 29, 2015

P.U.P. Says Petrocaribe Act Must Be Repealed!

Francis Fonseca

The Petrocaribe Amendment Act was tabled in the House of Representatives on Friday with no objections from across the aisle even though the Opposition wants it repealed. As you would know by now, the People’s United Party area reps walked out in protest before the anticipated debate was to get underway following the eviction of Senator Patrick Andrews at the instructions of Speaker Mike Peyrefitte.  While the Opposition did not participate in the customary vote on bills, it has made its position clear that it does not support the newly amended loan act.  In fact, the P.U.P. is demanding a repeal of that piece of legislation, maintaining that the loan was ill-gotten and its expenditure equally unlawful.  This morning, the opposition called on the media to further explain its position on the important legislation. Both the Party Leader Francis Fonseca and Deputy Leader Julius Espat spoke out against the measure.  The Petrocaribe Amendment Act, according to the opposition parliamentarians, is simply the prime minister advancing his agenda to go down in the history of Belize as the first three-time government leader. 


Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“We cannot and do not support these acts which seek to achieve exactly the opposite of what we would like to see.  These acts, the Petrocaribe Loans Act and the amendments proposed to it are all about avoiding transparency, avoiding accountability and why?  Why?  The question we all have to ask as rational thinking Belizeans, why is this so important?  And in our view it is all because of one man’s ego, one man’s arrogance, one man unwilling to listen, one man who wants his own law to protect himself.  One power hungry prime minister.  As their former standard bearer for Stann Creek West Melvin Hulse put it, the only thing important to Dean Barrow is for him to go down in the history books as being the only person to win three terms back to back.  That is the only important, di only thing important to ahn.  Nothing else is, not loyalty to friends or country.  That is Melvin Hulse.  The prime minister is out of control and taking Belize down a very dangerous road.  This is a man, who in our view, now sees himself as above the law, some supreme leader.  As we pointed out earlier, this was on full display on Friday with the indecent ramming through of the Petrocaribe Amendment Act and two supplementary budgets authorizing the expenditure of an additional sixty-two million dollars.  This is only three months after the U.D.P. government; this very U.D.P. government came to the National Assembly and got approval to spend over one billion dollars of our tax dollars.  This is reckless and unsustainable spending which has caused the well-known international agency, rating agency Moody’s to issue a very stern warning in rebuke only a few weeks ago about the fragility of Belize’s debt sustainability and its ratio to GDP. We will continue to demand on behalf of the Belizean people that these Petrocaribe laws, these Petrocaribe Loans Act be repealed.  These are not laws that can be fixed, they must be repealed and that remains our position.  That remains our demand.”

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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