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Nov 22, 2022

U.D.P. Joins NGO Community in Calling for Offshore Oil Referendum

Shyne Barrow

Last Thursday, Senator Janelle Chanona, in her capacity as the Vice President of Oceana in Belize, launched a petition drive to trigger a referendum on offshore oil drilling.  On that same day, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement clarifying that no such activity is being contemplated by the Government of Belize.  Notwithstanding the differing positions taken by the environmental N.G.O. and the Briceño administration, Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow has weighed in on the matter, following a press release that was issued earlier today in which the United Democratic Party has indicated that it supports a referendum on offshore oil.


Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“I spoke to Senator Chanona and we discussed the matter and I made it clear that as with my historic position on these matters, marijuana, I support a referendum.  Pact of Bogota, I support a referendum.  There is no greater voice than the voice of the people.  They say the voice of the people is the voice of God.  So whereas the U.D.P. administration enacted a moratorium on offshore drilling after a robust campaign by Oceana and over thirty thousand people signing a mock referendum, I believe that any reversal of that moratorium, especially given our conservation treaty legislation that we recently enacted that wiped away five hundred million dollars of our debt.  I believe any reversal, any alteration of that position needs to be taken to the people.  That is my position.  But I will say on record, I don’t usually agree with the prime minister, but I can understand where he is coming from as far as seismic testing.  I believe, again, it depends on the credibility that you give him and if he’s being truthful, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt because the idea that he presents is reasonable and it is one that I, Shyne Barrow, am… Out:…inclined to support.”

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