Benevolent dictator


By Jamil Matar
There are several people in my neighborhood, who are wholly fascinated with the impeachment hearings in Washington, D.C., being televised live on CNN and MSNBC aimed at the President of the United States. Personally, I prefer to watch the news in the evening when the day’s highlights are condensed into one-hour episodes. I am, however, more interested in learning about their system of government rather than rooting for any specific outcome. For example, I learnt that a legal strategy exploited by politicians who get caught with their hands in the cookie jar is, “If the facts are on your side, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table”.
What I have also learnt is that the President of the United States has immense power. In my humble naiveté, I never did really appreciate the full significance behind the references made by American political pundits that the holder of this office is “the world’s most powerful person”. I always thought of this power as being military in nature as against being regal. This power allows for wide-ranging local and international decrees, which no other person nor institution can seemingly reverse, no matter how ill-advised or internationally unappealing that decision may be. It makes me wonder about my little Belize where the ruling Party has so much power. For example, in 1998, when there was a 26-3 PUP majority in the House, a Bolshevik Prime Minister could have passed a constitutional amendment which could have allowed for a so-called “benevolent dictatorship”, as one high-ranking Orange Walk PUP politician openly suggested during the rush of their massive victory over the UDP. With the PUP base being as fanatic as they are and hyped up with their perceived vanquishing of a “lame duck” Government that they might have even hailed such a move. It took Belizeans ten years to realize that there are no “benevolent dictators” in real life, only malevolent thieves.
I heard on the Monday night’s local news that the Leader of the Opposition was calling for the resignation of the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, because of the Guatemalan squatters. If the Prime Minister would entertain the LOO’s advice every time he suggested a Minister should resign, the Cabinet would be peel today. With regards to the squatters, I hope the ICJ quickly rules in our favor and we get back our original borderline and we say goodbye to this ridiculous Adjacency Zone. Have you considered that it was only since our lenders agreed to the Adjacency Zone that the problems with Guatemalan Squatters began? The Guatemalans like to act simple as if they don’t know where their country ends and where ours begin. How come they don’t play the fool with Honduras and El Salvador? Or maybe they do and we just don’t hear about it! Hopefully, I can get some updated shush from OW North next week and share with you. Take care.