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Feb 25, 2020

N.T.U.C.B. Supports National Student Union of Belize

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has come out in support of the National Student Union of Belize.  The student union on Thursday joined the N.T.U.C.B. in its anti-corruption demonstration in Belize City. But reports emerging from the national university are that members of the staff there are demanding an apology from the student union. A release from the N.T.U.C.B. expresses condemnation, saying the powerful union refuses to believe that, “the one institution who should be promoting freedom of thought and freedom of expression could be acting contrary to its own principles.”  The release goes on to say that the University is not a prison and students are free to leave provided they can find a way to make up for any academic loss during their absence. The N.T.U.C.B. then warns that it will be monitoring the situation and plans to take any necessary action if the management of the University seeks to endorse these types of actions against its students. On the day of the protest News Five spoke to two of the students.


Abbie Godoy

Abbie Godoy, Secretary of Programming, University of Belize [File: February 20th, 2020]

“Following the memorandum yesterday, we realized that the university didn’t release a statement; it didn’t send an email whether or not we were going to be demonstrating, cancelling classes. So this morning, we decided well you know what, we didn’t hear anything back and what we really want to do is go and show our support for this movement; it is very important for every Belizean to come out here. So we decided to walk out of classes; we just asked other students if they were willing to join us. We got a bus on our own accord and were just like we are going to Belize City and that’s what we decided to do.”


Duane Moody

“How many of you guys decided to take that step?”


Abbie Godoy

“I think it was around twenty-five of us, but I am very proud of that number because it is more than one.”


Duane Moody

“Why is it that we are not seeing more young people exercise their voice?”


Sydellie Leslie

Sydellie Leslie, Finance Student, University of Belize [File: February 20th, 2020]

“Well really I think it really ties back to the education system and the way the economy is set up because as I have mentioned in previous interviews, the government is the biggest employer in the country. And there is a certain fear that—not that there is any proof that the government would fire anybody that comes out, but you know. And the problem is in the education system, most Belizeans only go up to high school. There is no implementation of teaching of how the government works, public policy, none of that. So how then can you expect an uneducated populace to act when they are not informed? They don’t know. If we don’t educate people, how do we expect them to act?”

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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