This week’s big headline was without a doubt the most recent scandal at BTL and the UDP. For decades, Net Vasquez has been part of that privileged and entitled elite who have leeched and profited from their political connections. In his own party, he was previously regarded as a paragon, having been an insider and advisor to both Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel and the current Prime Minister. His fall from grace has come swiftly and abruptly. His entire career both public and in the private sector has now been flushed down the toilet as it has become sullied by scandal. The news exploded on social media and then the traditional news outlets followed confirming that Mr. Vasquez, Executive Chairman for BTL, had resigned his post amid the sordid scandal that he had used the corporate credit card to the tune of thousands for personal purchases. Allegations have also surfaced regarding a brand new Toyota Prado reportedly bought from the dealer for 125k sold to Mr. Vasquez for 25K and then re-gifted to another person for free. Allegations also surfaced in regards to the gross conflict of interest and the impropriety of an advance from BTL to Tropic Vision whose owner is also Mr. Vasquez. That advance amounts to two years’ worth of advertisement.
The PUP have called for a forensic accounting specialist to audit and tell Belizeans exactly what the price tag for this latest escapade will cost us. Mr. Vasquez has bowed to public outrage by resigning his post as Executive Chairman for BTL but he must be made to resign as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of Central Bank, Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Social security Board and his appointment as Auditor of the Integrity Commission must be terminated. It is evident that BTL has been the cash cow for many UDP Cronies, let us not forget that Gregory Anwar Borrow of Brad’s Gaming fame was paid generously for his time at the helm of BTL. During his time there were also many questionable transactions and purchases made. When he left, Belizeans were stunned to learn of his outrageous severance package. The UDP have hung Mr. Vasquez out to dry and it is clear that he will be the scape goat of all the investigation lays bare, leaving the Fresh Prince clean and in the clear.
There are credit card statements that speak of a Chetumal shopping spree that cost Belizeans thousands, no store at the Mall was left unvisited. Even Dr. Simi was paid a generous sum. It was past due for Mr. Vasquez’s retirement, or perhaps it was what he had been enjoying lately at the expense of Belizeans. We cannot know what clouded Net’s judgment, whether greed, entitlement, lust or just the normal cognitive decline associated with age? The fact is that any prestige he may have had as a professional, as a Chartered Accountant, is now in the mud. Mr. Vasquez is from that old school of thought that preaches and encourages entitlement. He believes he has paid his dues to his party and is now trying to collect from the people of Belize.
He has lived most of his life in the luxury provided to him by hard working Belizeans, but it has not been enough. He has now lost all shame and is blatantly stealing and abusing his position and is in a blatant conflict of interest. He is no different than the common man who was jailed for months for stealing a corned beef worth less than five dollars. The big question is, will he be treated the same? We have been promised an investigation, but as usual it will net us nil. We need a police investigation with relevant charges made. It is too bad that Mr. Vasquez has traded all his professional prestige for love. Meatloaf in his famous song wrote “I would do anything for love, I would do anything for love…but I won’t do that.”