By Alexis R. Milan
The United Democratic Party (UDP) government drew a crowd of between 5,000 and 6,000 supporters to Belmopan for Tuesday’s House sitting, vigorously supporting the government’s plan to formalize its borrowing and spending of PetroCaribe funds.
The party brought in busloads to Belmopan from all over the country to rally behind its cause.
UDP supporters, some of whom took the day off from their jobs, wore their party colors, waved UDP flags, chanted, danced and blew horns, provided by the party in front of the National Assembly building on Belmopan Hill.
The UDP provided towels and water bottles for their supporters, and Jamal “Shyne” Barrow, the Prme Minister’s son, was on hand helped to distribute water bottles.
Two drone mini-aircrafts with cameras affixed, controlled by the Government Press Office, hovered over the National Assembly all day filming the massive turn-out.
There were even Garifuna drummers and dancers performing in front of the Sir Edney Cain Building when the Prime Minister emerged. He was accompanied by Cabinet members, Gaspar Vega, Mark King and Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez, among others.
Prime Minister Barrow made his way over to the National Assembly Square to greet the massive crowd that had turned out.
Barrow waved and smiled while the crowd roared and blew horns as the UDP’s PetroCaribe anthem blasted from the loud speakers, situated under a tent some distance away. At this point the crowd grew even larger and polic set up a barricade a the very top of the steps to the National Assembly to restrain the crowd from pouring on to the street in front of the House.
UDP Chairman ,Alberto August said that they expected to have well over 10,000 people in attendance, but the police count puts the gathering at 6,000 at its peak.
Party Chairman August dismissed speculation that the UDP had paid people to come out, describing it as opposition propaganda.
“People of this nation are seeing the national development happening countrywide.
“All we needed to do was sound the alarm and people gravitated towards it”. .
August said that while people may not understand the details of the PetroCaribe debate, they are feeling the benefits of the program; hence their support.