By Neri Briceno
The media in any democracy is a part of, and is as important as any of the fundamental elements which constitute that democracy such as the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the opposition and most importantly, the people themselves.
Democracy does not operate within a vacuum and for it to function effectively, the opposition, but probably even more so, an independent media plays a crucial role.
The idea of an independent media is probably an oxymoron since all media empires tend to have some type of agenda. But to be fair, we are talking about those that present sober, correct facts to the public and basically leave the public to draw its own conclusions and form its own opinions.
I have now been writing for the Reporter for a number of years, and while the Reporter and I do not always share the same views and opinions, I have never been told what to write or what to write about or even told in any way or form to tone it down on any issue either nationally or internationally.
As is standard in any written media outlets, the Reporter does its due diligence to protect itself legally which anyone can understand.
For that reason, I have a deep respect for Liz and the organization she runs. Added to that is that the Reporter continues to operate on the south side of the tracks in Belize City, a place which most businesses try to avoid. Even more, it provides employment in a nation which despite what the oligarchy claims, is desperately in need of jobs.
I have met Evan X only twice in my life and it was in a casual setting, therefore I cannot say I know the man. I have met Mose and Cordell probably as many times as I have met their dad and really, I cannot say that I know them personally or professionally. Therefore what I am about to say is by no means a defense of them because I know them personally.
The Amandala/Krem media empire represents part of the free press that Belize needs more of. I respect Evan and by extension his organization, for four main reasons.
One, he speaks his mind and to hell with the critics. We need more of that in Belize. His organization is located and operates in an area that is by far ignored by corporate Belize and most other organizations. He champions the cause of the impoverished, downtrodden and the poor. But most importantly black people like myself who most of mainstream Belize have given up on. Above all, he is an employer.
Now, to hear Mark King, an elected member of the House of Representative say in no uncertain words that his aim is to destroy that organization, is one of the most outrageous acts a sitting member of the House can echo.
While I realize that Evan’s son is his political opponent, one must be able to differential politics from business and most importantly the destruction of an organization that will potentially affect people in the same area he represents.
This is just outright ridiculous, heavy-handed and just outright stupid of an elected official to contemplate.
The media will always play an important role in Belizeanpolitics, business and society. While I detest the political propaganda that most political media houses spew, I would never advocate for their destruction because in some twisted way, they too have a role to play.
Switching our attention to the House, no type of twisting, turning, rephrasing, propaganda or explanation or anything otherwise can explain what our government is doing regarding the baseless Guatemala claim.
Whatever strategy the government is employing, or as they call it ‘silent diplomacy’ is an outright failure and it has become painfully obvious that we are losing the fight with Guatemala at every conceivable level.
Guatemala on the other hand has become stronger, bolder, more resilient and extremely in your face. If it was not for the presence of the Territorial Volunteers, the Sarstoon might well be called Guatemalan territory.
The Territorial Volunteer represents that true-true Belizean who refuses to concede an inch of soil to the Guatemalans and every red blooded Belizean of all political persuasion, should be proud of what they to defend Belizean sovereignty.
The job of the military is to defend this nation from threats both internal and external. The appeasement policy of this nation is rapidly becoming an internal threat to the overall existence of this nation as we know it.
It’s all about the people!