Belizeans, now more than ever, it is time for action. Testing has been dramatically scaled up. We have introduced Rapid Testing at all community and regional hospitals and at Polyclinics. We will be rolling out addition testing sites and mobile testing services to wage war against this virus we need to identify those who are positive so that they know their status and are able to isolate.
The healing of our nation calls each of us to act. We must act now!- Prime Minister John Briceño on December 11, 2020 just before the curfew with Belize having thousands of active cases.
Our active cases are down, thanks to the effort of us Belizeans and the Ministry of Health and Wellness, planBelize taskforce, and the Briceño administration. But the effort is incomplete. We need to sustain this effort or else it will go for nought.
For many weeks in April to May of 2020, 18 cases and a couple of deaths were jarring and of course scary. Fear gripped us Belizeans. Even hard criminals feared this unseen foe—crime went down. But, us Belizeans, in large numbers, became brazen. The initial euphoric self-defence of staying at home was sloughing away. Even as one can argue that the majority use of facemasks and social distance, the effort was comparatively a failure. The coronavirus only needs a few to slip for it to spread.
Leadership was missing:
UDP political leadership was non-existent and this vacuum became increasingly detrimental to Belize. We started to see number of cases that were more than we should have when compared to other countries. Why?
Should we blame the UDP or should we blame the thousands who got infected?
Most likely the UDP’s inert policy towards the coronavirus is to blame. Most likely the UDP’s active greed and nonchalance is to blame. Most likely the UDP prioritizing two leadership conventions was a lethal factor that saw our summer of Covid evolve into a tremendous loss of life. On August 18 cases soared over 500 active ones and this number grew untethered. The UDP couldn’t care less. No one was in charge of Covid-19 in Belize. The UDP were busy fulling their pockets as they DID see their retirement redlights flashing before their eyes.
On November 11, John Briceño and the planBelize team were swept into office with a mandate to enlist the UDP into extinction while curing the economy and, also, manoeuvring Belize’s Covid-19 cases back down under control.
The new Ministry of Health and Wellness saw the need for increased Rapid testing. The logic was clear—identify the infected and see to it that they are quarantined. This basic policy was too much for the incompetent and corrupt UDP to institute. Their thing was…if it did not involve a hustle then it was not worth their while. This same thinking made them REJECT a free 25 thousand testing kits—criminal. Oh….worthless UDPs. Worthless Pablo. Worthless Barrow. Worthless Faber.
Now, after massive increases in testing, Belize is finally seeing and feeling Hope. The numbers are back under 500 actives and they are going down fast. Of course, number of infections and deaths will always be intolerable as long as it is greater than zero. The pain is equally jarring and obscene. But now, we have a general date in which vaccinations will be seen in Belize. Vaccinations plus recovered immunities need to reach to as close to 100 percent as possible. Science says that a country is truly Covid-free when 70 percent or more are in the immune category. That is our goal Belize—vaccinations, hold on.
The large majority of us have been keeping safe. Let us continue working with our new planBelize leadership. We will soon be able to accelerate our move to a Belize that truly works for everyone. The 8pm curfew will be revised with a new Statutory Instrument on February 1. We have the right to a covid-free life. Let’s continue listening to the Ministry of Health and Wellness to keep the curve going down.
We must wear our masks properly at all times.
We must wash our hands repeatedly.
We must get tested.
We must isolate and quarantine when advised by medical practitioners.
And, we are appealing to all to resist the temptation to gather in large numbers during the holidays.–Prime Minister John Briceño’s appeal is the same.
Bloated Contracts: The Mirab Purchase
In the Barrow/Faber UDP world of bloated contracts not even the Public Utilities Commission (the guardian of our light and water bills) is exempt from the 13 year long reign of corrupt deals. As this writer has put it, if the UDP touched it, it got corrupted. The Barrow/Faber touch contaminated everything: the pantry, Boost, infrastructure, children’s tablets, land transactions, Elections, Tourism, Assets sell-off just to name a few. In that list we skipped, Sanctuary Bay, Faber/Coc, Faber/Longsworth, Faber/Tablets, Dermen/Saldivar, Mason/Saldivar, Recondev/Saldivar, Puerto Azul, Immigration Scandal, Salazar, Pablo’s Pharmaceuticals etc. since these are a more obscene genre of infamy.
In the 13 year UDP field of nightmares, the PUC was seen as a rubber stamp to manipulate the electric current rates, water rates, calling charges and Internet charges. If an election is near the rates dipped a bit and just after the elections the rates skyrocketed. With Barrow’s nephew as Chair of the PUC Board, the CEO John Avery was nothing more than an obsequious yes-man. So now, when we hear of a 10.3 million dollar purchase of a building by Memorial Park that belonged to the Mirab group via a leaked document questioning the same RED flags blare all over. With this number of millions you know that the higher echelons of UDP infamy were fully abreast.
What did the UDP gain with a 10.3 million dollar deal with the Mirab group?
Is this not a clear violation of the 5 million cap on government deals needing an open tendering process, according to the Finance and Reform Act?
Is the PUC calling on the Mirab Group for negotiation legal?
Why would the PUC request to buy a building for 10.3 million and continue paying twelve thousand dollars a month rent 14 months after the Mirab deal was signed?
We will remember that on December 5, 2019 this was pre-Covid. This was a time that by popular opinion and as hinted by UDPs, elections were to be called early in 2020. Did this have any bearing on this secret ‘deal’? The secret tag definitely fits as it was not public knowledge until it was queried by the new PUC Chairman Dean Molina. The Mirab Group quickly came out in defence of the deal. Patrick Faber and the UDP went utterly silent except for a little bluster on the curfew—since it is working to fix the UDP’s Trumpian ineptness with Covid, it should be lifted. Faber of course will say he has no knowledge of the Mirab deal and he will not defend it. The UDP is extinct and Faber does not know it yet.
But I digress, a bit, is it coincidental that a utility, BTL and Digi, is renting at the Mirab building for some unknown rental fee? The things in Belize that make you go, hmmm. Should our utility company be renting there, might be an appropriate question.