By Jamil Matar
Even in 1998, when the People’s United Party was at its zenith of national approval and had coffers bursting at its seams, it could not realize the insurmountable feat of capturing all the seats in the House of Representatives. These days, hearing them boast of imminently bagging the 31 constituencies is glaringly facetious. Since Belizean politics incorporates mendacity, however, it came as no surprise to hear the PUP crow that they are poised to capture all standing seats on November 11.
While we have listened to so many lofty comforts being tendered by the Opposition, we hear of no economic recovery strategy to realize those recycled platforms on education, health, agriculture, housing, and job creation. We mostly hear of retrenchment of public officers as the ultimate panacea for the country’s harsh economic condition, which, I must add, was triggered for the most part by the coronavirus pandemic.
As a Belizean voter who strives to keep informed, please allow me to bullet some of the major challenges any new Administration will face on the eve of November 11, in addition to trying to meet the immediate expectations of the “Barbarians at the gate” early on the twelfth.
• Finance the cost of some 700,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccinations once these are available.
Meet the deferred servicing of the Superbond
Meet all additional loan obligations due to Covid Relief programs.
Settle the UHS debt
Defray all expenses relating to the ICJ case.
Settle the Mayan lands rights claim at the CCJ
I firmly believe that even with their suggested retrenchment of 50% of public officers and teachers, the PUP, if victorious, will choose to identify other sources of revenue. Weighing their actions based on their recent past performance, I think they will go the easy way out by selling our national assets once more, plus raiding the SSB funds, DFC, the National Bank and our foreign reserves. As I mentioned above, they have offered us no economic strategy to manage our country, a fact that should concern voters.
A longtime friend of mine here in Covid County had the audacity to offer a pro-UDP opinion on Facebook. Mein, my friend was mercilessly hammered about his personal life. I must say, though, he is no pushover and he responded in kind. Reminded me of a time I lent a PUP acquaintance $130 during a difficult time of his. After six months I texted him for my money. The person started to lambaste me about him not being a thief and all. I simply responded to him, “that is the change you are promoting?” Up to this day, it is his same promise of “next week”. From the biggest to the smallest, you cannot trust them, I say.
Anyway my Orange Walkeño friend. Do not let the bullies on Facebook faze you. Keep on trucking! You have an unfettered right to your opinion. After all, we are still a functional democracy, the last time I checked. To the rest of my paisanos, I say, wear masks and keep your distance. If you are placed in quarantine, keep your butt away from the public!
By Jamil Matar