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Why We Must Stand for Country

Why We Must Stand for Country
March 03
16:43 2019

By Neferetary Marin

Many activists and inspirational speakers and politicians talk to us about ‘people power;’ they use various slogans and graphics to identify with such…but what does that really mean?

In the last election we saw political paraphernalia that said ‘Power to the People.’ When one thinks of power to the people, one thinks of applying muscle to purpose and not taking advantage of our people’s power to elect and unfortunately empower an elite few of the party to rule over our land and people. There is nothing we can do after electing a party and this happens. I have seen it happen.

In my young adulthood, I placed my hopes in the strength of leadership of the PUP in the 1990s, that this country would be elevated into a modern, prosperous nation for all, in the midst of neck-breaking globalization. Globalization came to Belize, all right, in the form of massive loans unlike any we have ever seen; loans that were banked and never seen or enjoyed by our people or country, and that money, coupled with power and an unsuspecting Belizean society, corrupted the PUP absolutely.

It is that unsuspecting Belizean innocence that they want to capitalize on again. Do Belizeans really operate at one level and make history “blow over like a little breeze” as coined by Said Musa? I beg to differ.

Politics is hypocritical, raw, crude, gut-wrenching, cynical and yet necessary. My exit from the PUP was less than glamorous, with a host of mistakes made, but God knows I tried. Politically mature, and with strength and passion still alive for Belize, I ventured into the political no-man’s land. My calling was in activism, social work, charity and political activism. I was a patriot for the love of country and people. I believed Belize was still not fulfilling its potential and Guatemala was aggravating areas that were dear to me.

Serving with Friends for Conservation and Development and APAMO in protecting the environmental treasures that border Guatemala, it was a call to duty to stand up against the injustices of Guatemala against Belize. I believed we should act from a position of strength always. Then Danny was shot dead at his post at Caracol. Now all my fears were coming true. Guatemala knows our weaknesses. In the months that followed, I led activist groups to insist on Government taking that stance of strength that I had been advocating for.

Then the Sarstoon Island came into the spotlight, a matter of sovereignty called into question by Guatemala. In matters of diplomacy and justice I place my passion. I could not stand by and let Belize be taken advantage of. Splinter groups arose all over the country and I took up leadership of the Territorial Volunteers in the Western district. We tried to unite, especially as it related to the Sarstoon Island, but we were easy prey for political motives and were misled by political operatives that used the problem in the Sarstoon for political ends. The fledgling movement gained momentum on the heels of true Belizean patriots risking life and standing their ground. I am sorry to say that these true patriots, in the spirit of unity, allowed political operatives to participate and gain the spotlight their hunger for political mileage craved. The rest is history for we know what new alliances developed out of that leadership.

A new revelation in this 3rd stage of my activism and social work can be assessed in light of Belize’s political climate and social reality. I tried to honestly evaluate the way the UDP government has performed diplomatically and may the love of country and people that I claim dear above my life be my judge. Irrespective of my belief of how horribly the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sedi Elrington handled each successive crisis, I cannot but admit that the teamwork and leadership ability of the Prime Minister with Elrington to hold the ground politically, was the only point of strength the UDP has seen for a long time.

While the country was flabbergasted by ever word uttered by Sedi over the Belize and Guatemala controversy during this period, it was admirable handled by the Prime Minister showing commitment and faith in his Minister. Looking at the political strategies used and spearheaded by Prime Minister Dean Borrow, many Belizeans believe his government is fully matured to handle Guatemala’s claim and God willing even the resolution of the dispute, with Belize taking its rightful position of dignity as a sovereign country.

Sadly, as many Belizeans started to wake up and realized that Belize has been led into deep waters with no floating devices, and no compass, it is almost too late.

We are faced with the reality – a corrupt, arrogant Government in whom we put our trust for three consecutive terms, with basically no Opposition. So on April 10th, 2019 I can only hope that the people of Belize can realize when it comes to the Belize/Guatemala controversy – we cannot trust either the formulators of the Special Agreement nor the signatories of this document.

Not only did they both breach our Constitution, but they gave us these special agreements as a double-sided sword for our defence; a sword that has cut down all our established defences by putting into question our defended and established borders by which our Independence was granted.

The best hedge against corruption, crime, treason and our territorial risk is a vote of no confidence in both the UDP and the PUP for formulating a Special Agreement for those territories and signing on to these risky agreements without any consultation with the people who they represent.

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