The final, in an almost endless round of adieus have been given. At long last, the House will soon be dissolved and we will go to the polls. We are sure that many will miss the perks and extravagant lifestyles they enjoy. Belizeans though, will shed not one tear to see many gone and gone for good. In particular they will not miss the self-proclaimed first lady of Belize. As a Commonwealth Nation, the Head of State is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Her representative is the Governor General of Belize and the First Lady is then Lady Norma Young, his wife. In England, the wife of the Prime Minister can never be referred to as the First Lady, it is considered rude and a breach of protocol. Similarly in Belize Mrs. Barrow is the Special Envoy for Women and Children, when she cares to remember, and the wife of the Prime Minister.
Mrs. Barrow has tried to parlay her rise in Belizean High Society at different times into a budding career as a model, a world renowned jetsetter and even feigns as a philanthropist. She has done none of this for the benefit of our women and children nor has she done any of it for the love of Belize. Perhaps the most important detail is that Belizeans have paid the hefty price tag on the superficial aspirations of one hell-bent on climbing the international social ladder. It is said “The Devil Wears Prada,” but on occasion she also fancies Hermès scarfs, Birkin bags, Cartier watches, diamond rings and those coveted red bottom shoes. She dipped into the BTB coffers to pay 100k for a spread in Harper’s Bazaar, a publication that targets the Middle East, and publishes only 10,000 copies. It cost Belizean tax payers, and especially those involved in the now hard hit tourism industry, a very pretty penny.
The wife of the Prime Minister also spent thousands on a fund raising trip to Dubai. We were told a trust was set up to receive those funds, we were given no details as to how much monies that extravagant visit cost nor the amount of donations received into the trust. It has been an exercise in futility to call out publicly for an audit and public disclosure of the financials of those philanthropic organizations Mrs. Barrow directs or is affiliated with. These organizations are the Lifeline Foundation, the Inspiration Centre and the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care wings at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and the funds raised were done so by claiming the beneficiaries of those funds would be Belizean women and children. Mrs. Barrow was also involved in the organization of two, twenty thousand women strong rallies each costing the tax payers of this nation close to six hundred thousand dollars. This does not take into account the cost of the wasted working hours of the public officers forced to attend the frivolous affair.
Mrs. Barrow in her last farewell to the nation seemed to channel Evita Peron, but unlike Argentina…Belize will not cry for Kim. The Birkin bags she collects on average cost about 250k. Assuming, he did not spend one red cent, it would take a Belizean peasant working for minimum wage just over thirty two years to earn the money that one handbag costs. The 600k used to bolster the shallow needs of a super inflamed ego could feed many hungry families in need. Kim has always been for Kim, never for the most vulnerable women and children she has pretended to care for and in whose name she raised millions.
Almost thirteen years later, the lives and living conditions of Belizean children in particular are worse, not better. Women are murdered and many have disappeared without a trace, yet the Special Envoy did not raise her voice or use her considerable influence to speak for those who have no voice. Instead she continued to raise money using the inhumane living conditions, the violence and poverty her own husband’s administration forced them to endure. This is the bitter end, and in response to the farewell we respond…Bye Felicia!