Christmas Message 2013

By: Neri Briceño

As we enter the holiday season, it is amazing to observe that another year is going by and we are once again in the heart of the Christmas Season. This is an appropriate time to urge all Belizeans to take stock of their lives and reflect on the real reason why our Lord Jesus Christ was born.
In a time of economic downturn, social unrest, growing unemployment and rampant corruption, we must collectively pray for the future of our battered nation. If the nation does not rethink the present path taken, then undoubtedly we will find an extremely bleak future. Belizeans must awake from their slumber, be more forceful and take a more active role in the governing of our nation. Most importantly, Belizeans must not allow themselves to be manipulated by the rhetoric of deceitful politicians. As a nation, we must always put God and country first and enact the concept that the greater good of the nation trumps all party and personal interests.
Belize, with all its wealth and natural resources, has enough for all citizens to enjoy a comfortable life, complete with a high standard of living, education, and health care. Under no circumstances should any Belizean go hungry, homeless or without adequate healthcare when there are people in the country who almost literally have money to burn. The scale of inequality and the disparity between the rich and the poor is simply not sustainable and harbors potential for future social conflict.
The government’s responsibility is to improve the life of all Belizeans. This must be done by creating an avenue for investment, social justice and equality among all citizens. No one should enjoy more ‘rights’ than another. The state cannot use its overwhelming force to uphold the interests of some connected citizens, while it also uses its power to oppress the rights of others.
The government once elected must be inclusive of all citizens, including those who supported it and those who did not.
That in itself is the core of any healthy, robust democracy.
The people have a responsibility to preserve real democracy, not only for themselves, but for the nation itself and for future generations to come.
Those who fail to correct the wrong that is being perpetuated against the nation must therefore relinquish the right to complain because that in itself offers no solution to the country’s ill.
The way the nation has historically been managed and continues to be administrated, will ultimately lead to it’s collapse.
This is because it does not allow for full participation of all citizens in what is rightfully theirs and simply offers a cosmetic appearance of real democracy. The cost of living in Belize is more synonymous to survival because there are a myriad of factors that deprives citizens of happiness or the pursuit of it.
We cannot continue encouraging a system of winner takes all. Change must and will come and Belizeans must be prepared to get involved and get their hands and feet dirty, if that is what it takes to force meaningful change. Our future lies in our own hands and we must reach out and make of it a better Belize.
On behalf of my family, I wish the nation of Belize and all its people a Merry Christmas and happy New Year. I want to especially send special greetings to the staff and management of the Reporter Newspaper who have been my biggest supporters in getting my message across to my beloved nation.
It’s all about the people!

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