Practice What You Preach!

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The UDP has long ago lost the ability to surprise us.  Their ability to disappoint us however, has been magnified exponentially by these times in crisis.  We can all agree that the pandemic caused the cracks already present in the public health system and those in the socio economic fabric to become wide gaping holes.  Our Belizean middle class, the beating heart of our economy, is now disappearing into this abyss.  Many families are losing their homes, unable to pay their mortgages because it has been five months since they lost their employment.  Many lower income families are on the verge of eviction because they cannot pay their rent and many more fear that their utilities will be turned off for failure to make payments.  The outlook for larger and more powerful economies is bleak.  It then stands to reason that Belize classified as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) will feel the socio- economic impact even more severely.  Our problems, however, did not begin with the pandemic, they have been twelve long years in the making.

Hon. Carla Barnett has been a key member in the UDP administration and a Senator and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.  In these last four years, Minister Barnett has had every opportunity to stop the reckless endangerment to our economy, but she has refused to do so.  As a Minister she has been an accomplice to the rape and pillage of the public purse.  She has stood by while transparency, accountability, and due diligence were thrown out the window.  Worse, she has stood quietly and watched as countless men, women and children sink deeper into the poverty that she both by deed and omission helped to create.

Dr. Barnett has stood up on an international stage and given the performance of her lifetime.  She has appeared sanctimonious while she has pretended that the pandemic and climate change are the root causes of the financial disaster that Belize as a country faces.  She has asked that these countries put themselves “in our shoes” with a bold and bare face.  Can Dr. Barnett not smell the stench of corruption that follows her and every current Cabinet Minister?  Her selective recollection of the events does not allow her to remember all the Petro Caribe monies squandered, the millions wasted on unnecessary litigation, the illegal government spending of loans, the millions Belizeans over paid for nationalized companies.

Minister Barnett did nothing to stop the cronyism or corruption.  She should take heed of her own advice.  Put yourself, Madame, in the shoes of the peasant, the normal Belizean or even the little monsters.  We have felt the effects of climate change for years, yet this UDP government did nothing for the farmer.  Produce has either rot in the fields or shriveled up and died and you have done nothing!  There has been no move to make Belize either climate or financially resilient.  That is the job of the Ministry of Finance and of Hon. Carla Barnett.  She has utterly failed in doing her job, but what is worse, is that she seems so unfazed and unashamed.  It is ironic to ask for empathy from the wider international financial community when you are unable to practice what you preach!