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Sep 26, 2023

Opposition Leader Cans Prime Minister’s Independence Address

Shyne Barrow

Prime Minister John Briceño delivered his annual Independence Day address last Thursday in Belmopan, where an official ceremony was held in commemoration of Belize’s forty second anniversary of self-rule.  His speech succeeded a similar oration delivered by Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow.  They are each other’s harshest critic and today when we caught up with Barrow at the Philip Goldson International Airport, he thoroughly trashed PM Briceño’s address.  Here’s how he describes it.


Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“That was the most lackluster, empty Independence Day speech I have ever witnessed and I’ve been attending Independence [Day] speeches for about a decade now.  Usually the prime minister will, after having outlined accomplishments, he will unveil new targets, new deliverables and wow and mesmerize everyone with these new presentations as to what projects are going to be done, what deals have been closed, what policies are being implemented that they promised under their manifesto, but we had absolutely none of that.  The most memorable thing I heard was that we went from five percent unemployment to two point eight percent which is an absolute lie, completely dishonest.  This determination, this resolve to continue to discount the hundred and fifty thousand people that, according to the new IMF standards, are unemployable is a tragic mistake on our part because those people remain in society, those people can either be threats to our society and burden to the state purse.  What needs to happen is the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Human Development, the Ministry of Economic Development, they need to have some type of liaison office that is working with these people to prepare them, to train them to reenter the job market.  We can’t give up on those people for the sake of statistics.”

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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