By Jamil Matar
Here I am at 4 p.m., of all days, on Independence Day, at home, typing my essay, having now missed the third consecutive year of the festivities being held at the Queen Elizabeth Park in the center of OWT. Being an older person, I have had the distinction of witnessing the very first Independence Day ceremonies on September 21, 1981. That year was truly memorable. In truth, I do not desperately miss all the hassle, bustle, and rant of the ensuing carnival procession sashaying across a congested town. In fact, the only reason I mention it is because some dupe is going around spreading a fairytale that the parade route was being directed towards the Orange Walk East Constituency this year because the Mayor, Kevin Bernard, is personally absorbing all the costs of the pomp. Yeah, right! And my grandma used to be a light-post electrician, too!
But I digressed, very far, actually, from my topic since the main subject of today’s submission is to discuss a photograph on Facebook of the attendees at the inaugural ceremonies at the new Headquarters of the Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association on the Northern Highway this Friday past. I noted the presence of the Hon. Gaspar Vega in the audience. This confirmed to me the reports that the gentleman may again be contesting the OW North Constituency. I don’t want readers to make the same mistake as the PUP Party Leader did by casually writing off Gapi as a sure-loss for the UDP. It is not that straightforward or convenient, buddy. In fact, I think it was easier for Monchi before Gapi changed his mind. Nevertheless, I am not suggesting it will be easy street for the beleaguered sitting UDP area representative, either. But it is not an impossible feat, and I will tell you why.
The UDP supporters in OW North are not angry with Gapi because of the myriad of corruption allegations made against him, you know, nor because of his subsequent dismissal from Cabinet; they were fuming because they felt abandoned. There they were, proud Norteños, after years of enjoying the fastidious care and attention of a powerful Cabinet minister, suddenly now having to travel across the entire district to join line to see the Minister from another constituency who, for the most part, has his own headaches to deal with. Another thing, for all the soot against his name, Gapi Vega is a true politician. He cared for and he delivered to his constituents, even up to these days, while not in Belmopan. He is quite the opposite from the one from Corozal whose nickname is “Se Fue”, as against the nickname of the Belizean icon, “Sefe”. As to the PUP, I refer them to the late Mr. Skin Requeña from Esperanza who used to say, the fowl no lay yet, and dem don di count the chicken. I also point them to a favorite phrase of the serving American President, Donald Trump; “we will see”. 2020 is almost here, Monchi, so tighten up!
To all those revelers, still burning their stomach lining with Badman Jimmy at this hour, I hope the “goma” not too bad tomorrow. Take care, please.
By Jamil Matar