Pup holds rally on Ambergris Caye
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
A strong and encouraging message was delivered at a rally organized by the People United Party (PUP) on Sunday, November 6th on Ambergris Caye. The PUP showcased their intentions of taking over the next municipal and general election with the strong promise of not just better governance, but to rescue the country’s disastrous situation for the benefit of the Belizean people. A panel of special invited guests along with the PUP chairmanship of Belize Rural South spoke to the supporters in attendance about the country’s current situation.
Shortly after 2PM, supporters gathered under a tent by the Boca del Rio Park. Guest speakers included PUP Deputy Party Leader Honourable Cordel Hyde, Caribbean Shores Area Representative Honourable Kareem Musa, and Senator Valerie Woods. Other distinguished guests present included Alberto ‘Beto’ Nuñez, former Mayor of San Pedro, Senator Paul Thompson, Chairman for the PUP Rural South Andre Perez, and Deputy Chairman Dr. Giovanni Solorzano.
Chairman Perez delivered a few words as the rally started. He reminded attendees of the importance and priority to begin the race for municipal and general elections. He pointed out the negligence of the local authorities on the island’s infrastructure, in particular the streets. “The message that we want to spread out, not only in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker, is that the only party that can fix this country and put it back on track, is the PUP,” said Perez. “No other party is equipped with more capable people, that have great ideas to implement in our country, than the PUP.”
Senator Woods then took to the podium. She touched on the natural resources Ambergris Caye has and why it is important for everyone to protect it. Woods called out the Minister of Tourism Honourable Manuel Heredia, Area Representative of Belize Rural South (which includes Ambergris Caye) for not consulting with the local people on the seismic surveys approved some weeks ago. “When you look to the East, that is your bread and butter, the reef. You don’t play with that,” said Woods. “It is wrong of your Area Rep to not be honest with you all. That’s all the people ask from leaders; transparency and honesty. If you decide to represent your area and your people, you must do that with good intentions and be ready to give account to your people. We have never asked to any leader of this country to give more than what they presented.” Woods informed her audience that Minister Heredia had the power to delay the proposed offshore drilling contract on the Belizean waters near the barrier reef, but he did not. “It’s massive disrespect to the people of San Pedro and Belize what this government did behind our backs. And it’s even more upsetting to have heard Heredia stating that it is either oil exploration or taxation,” said Woods. She once more encouraged everyone to continue standing for what is theirs, and to protect the reef.
Next was Kareem Musa, who expressed his reasons for getting into politics. “I had this disillusion, that’s why I came in politics is not what it used to be. It used to be about governing well, plans, developmental agenda; it used to also be about our children, education and proper health care.” Musa describes the current government administration as a hustling, corrupt, and scandalous one. According to him, the last eight years have been torturous and embarrassing with the current Government. “Both locally and internationally, this government has put this country in disrepute,” continued Musa. “Everywhere we go, we hear about this immigration scandal and then we heard about Belizeans having trouble to travel abroad, visas being revoked. No one has faith in Prime Minister and his bunch of thieves.” Musa reiterated that his party is the party of opportunities for Belizeans. “There are many Belizeans who cannot access education. That is what this government wants; keep everyone poor, and dependent on them.”
Before the rally wrapped up, Cordel Hyde stepped to the podium and delivered his remarks. He cited the spending of the Petro Caribe Funds, a total of $325 million on poorly planned infrastructural projects. “They spent none of that money in scholarships, better health care, or in soft loans for our farmers so they can feed Belize, “said Hyde. “The reason being, because when they spent in streets, drains and buildings, they can steal money in funny deals.” Hyde added that the people should come together and not just stand up for their rights, but support the teachers who are being threatened with being getting their salaries deducted after they stand up against the Government. “We have to stand up for them. We have many problems in this country, children going to bed hungry, murders going through the roof, people living in broken homes and these are things that the Government could deal with,” said Hyde. “They want to dock the teachers’ pay and we cannot allow that to happen.” He indicated that the PUP will initiate a petition so Belizeans can demand to the Government of Prime Minister Barrow to pay the educators.”
Organizers of the rally declared it a success and they believe the PUP is gaining the people’s confidence. Presenters all spoke the need for re-registration before any future elections. They believed that the registration list with voters has been manipulated in another strategy for the current Government to win future elections. Thus, the PUP will be demanding a re-registration process to take place in order to guarantee more transparency in the election processes.