In an attempt at a lesson, Edmond Castro uttered to Belize that the world spun slowly. His analogy was in defence of why the Ministry of Transport couldn’t find a quick solution to the most recent Bus Owners Association bluff. The bus owners are at odds that foreign buses from Mexico and Guatemala can come all the way into Belize when the reciprocal cannot happen especially with Guatemala, the country that has literally taken us to court for our Belizean Land.
The latter sound patriotic and it is easy to jump on the Bus Owners bandwagon of solidarity. But there is more. The bus owners claim that passengers are being transported from points within the country. They requested that passengers be relieved of their human rights of leaving the bus. Passengers sometimes get up and request to alight the bus whenever they wish, within reason.
If I, a Belizean, am at this dirty terminal filled with Kiosks owned by foreigners selling to Belizeans why should I be restricted from boarding the nice air conditioned comfort of any bus at the terminal? There is no obvious ticket system in Belize so it is consistent. As long as I pay the price and alight the bus I should be within my rights. Telling me which bus I should get into are dark shades of discrimination seen in movies with a Rosa Parks character.
A month ago, there was a preliminary agreement between the government and the bus owners again sans the actual passengers and commuters. Now, the bus owners seeing no change returned to their stance of NO REGARD for the commuters for some national shutdown. They have had only lousy medieval buses made ages ago and should not even meet licensing standards. They are happy to place normal Belizeans on hard chairs designed for school children on short rides. In the USA, when these are not road worthy they are sold to Belize for our commuters. Sad!
It was clear in post-meeting interviews that bus owners were looking to make money. That is their right. It is clear that they cared for the tourist dollar and providing buses for them. That is fine.
It is super clear that Clear the Land knows NOTHING about running a transportation system designed to please Belizeans. When he was voted in, there was a hope that he would help Belizean lives not foreigners, not foreign bus owners, not only local bus owners, and definitely not himself. That is definitely NOT fine. The total system and especially the passengers are at odds.
After Airport Authority checks, Immigration misbehaviour, Village Council rule-breaking, Taiwan rumours, Cycle raise handout and others, Castro can only be deemed at crass and incompetent.
The ‘new’ agreement does not ring as new. Some manifest is supposed to stop Belizeans from using these buses travelling on Belizean soil. What is wrong here is that Belizeans are relegated to horrible buses and horrible leaders. Their time has ticked off so long ago.