Johnny says Belizeans have limited talent


On Friday, 19th February 2021 it will be exactly 100 days since the People’s United Party was swept into office by a landslide victory. During that entire period the Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño has not hosted a press conference to address the nation on any matter of state. Other than the mundane press releases, which appears to be the Prime Minister and his government’s preferred means of communication with the people, the Prime Minister has been missing in action. In fact, either he has done a superb job of dodging the media or his handlers have done an awesome job of keeping him away from the media, by just having him making scripted statements. However, last week the media core caught up with him at a few events and got several opportunities to conducted unscripted interviews with him. After his performance during those interviews, we finally understood why he has not faced the media since the election. Upon hearing the things Prime Minister Briceño said, he reminded us of the following famous quote from Mark Twain. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Prime Minister Briceño started the week of by insulting the Belizean people, when in direct reponse to a question about nepotism in relation to him hiring and or appointing his and his ministers close family members, friends and associates to key government positions he said “…when you’re looking at just say 20 out of hundreds of people that we have to appoint, Belize is a small society. We have limited talent. And so, we have to use what we best have. I mean, and in some instances, we can’t get the very best, but we put a good team. And that’s what we do. We have put good teams, made up of women and men, people in business, people in academia…” Belizeans took offence to that statement and many of those Belizeans took to social media chiding Briceño for saying that Belize had limited talent. The scorching that Briceño took on social and mainstream media was so damning, that a day later Briceño was forced to make an apology of sorts.
Below is what he tried to pass off as an apology “I think it was something that was totally taken completely out of context. I agree that we can’t govern by social media but it’s important to make this abundantly clear. It is regrettable that people have misunderstood or twisted around what I said and for that if there’s anybody that felt offended by what I said I apologize. That was not what I wanted to do”. At no point during that half-hearted apology did Briceño, either accept responsibility for what he said or did he promise not to do it again. He did not even say how he would make amends to those whom he offended. Rather than doing those three thing that are the basic tenets for an apology, he went on to the PUP’s old defense of blaming the UDP and talking about what the UDP did or did not do while in government. His folly did not stop there because in trying to justify his nepotistic behavior, he unwittingly admitted to 40 counts of nepotism (or was it 20), because on the day he made the offensive statement he said it was 20. Below is what he said while making his conditional apology, “…the people the UDP is trying to make a case of they’re forty persons, and we have twenty six PUP area representatives that were elected we’re talking about forty persons and these forty persons are also talented but like them there are many other Belizeans that are talented. When Dean Barrow was the Prime Minister every year her laments that they lose out from loans they can’t get going, or they lose free money that was given to them because there were constraints or capacity constraint, so I think he was referring to that…”
Johnny may be of the opinion that Belizeans don’t have much talent, but on March 3, 2020 he and the PUP will get a chance to witness the most documented and well-known Belizean talent. When it comes to dealing with and dishing out punishment to disrespectful politicians, Belizeans are the best at doing so.