POLITICAL LEADERS CALL FOR VOTER RE-REGISTRATION IN 2017
BELMOPAN – Leaders of the political parties inclusive of the PUP and the VIP met last week to call on the Government to comply with the rule of law and immediately begin the legally overdue re-registration of electors.
The leaders agreed that in light of the revelation that a number of persons were given fraudulent nationality certificates, which allowed these individuals to register and vote in elections in Belize, that a proper re-registration exercise was the only way to ensure that future elections are free and fair. The leaders agreed that the current voter register is compromised and as a result illegal. They also expressed serious concern over the padding of voter lists in a number of key constituencies.
With municipal elections set for 7th March 2018, and the possibility of an early referendum on the matter of going to the ICJ, the leaders are insisting that re-registration occur before the planned re-divisioning announced by the Election and Boundaries Commission. They maintain that re-divisioning before re-registration is a nonsensical proposition, which appears to have gerrymandering of electoral divisions as its sole purpose to create a more favourable advantage for the incumbent UDP.
The leaders are also calling on labor unions, civil society and religious organizations and all Belizeans to support the request for re-registration this
14th February 2017
Dear friends and Supporters:
Greetings. As you have already seen, 2017 will be a year of increased activity in our Party. Also, in
2017 we will be actively taking on the UDP, calling them out for their gross incompetence, corruption and hypocrisy.
By now it is clear to everyone that the UDP is completely out of touch with the Belizean people. In
an effort to try and cover up the many problems they face, they have engaged in a great deal of orchestrated distractions, none more obvious than their efforts concerning Michael Ashcroft and the foreign arbitration awards.
I first wish to make it absolutely clear that we will always stand with the people of Belize, as we
always have and always will. The PUP is Belize. This year, when Mr. Barrow and his incompetent
government introduced the Crown Proceeding (Amendment) Act and the Central Bank of Belize
International Immunities (Amendment) Act two UDP poorly drafted new laws in the National Assembly,he said this was done to protect Belize’s foreign reserves. In a show of our solidarity with the Belizean people, although we had no prior notice of these proposed laws and no opportunity to consult or receive proper advice on their merits, we did what we felt was in the best interest and in the service of the people of Belize and all PUP members of the House and the Senate voted in favour of these laws.
Based on advice I have received from the PUP legal adviser, it is now clear that the foreign reserves of Belize held in the USA are completely secure and at no risk of being attached by Michael Ashcroft or anyone else. Mr. Barrow blatantly lied to the House of Representatives. Also, attached to this letter is an explanatory note, which helps to clarify the position of Senator Courtenay’s law firm.
With the UDP’s popularity and approval rating at an all time low, they now seek to attack and fight
at every turn in their efforts to distract from any real issues. In particular, they have attacked Senator Eamon Courtenay. However, this UDP attack is not about Eamon Courtenay or these laws. The UDP is afraid of Eamon Courtenay. They are afraid of the man who had the former Director of Immigration confess to the mass illegal nationalities and registrations. This is UDP fraud. Now the UDP want him out of the Senate because they fear he will soon begin to question these corrupt ministers. No doubt, the UDP fears what will be uncovered when Senator Courtenay skillfully exposes their heedless corruption.
Of course this sideshow will not distract the people from the real issues:
• the theft of the 2012 and 2015 general elections through massive voter fraud;
• the illegitimacy of this UDP government;
• the absolute need for reregistration to stop the UDP fraud in national elections;
• the Sarstoon debacle and the destruction of our territorial integrity at the hands of
Guatemala and this inept UDP government;
• the rank and rampant corruption in every corner of this UDP government;
• the refusal of Andre Vega to return the $400,000.00 from a questionable land compensation
done by his father the former Minister of Lands;
• the increasing likelihood of default on the UDP superbond;
• the complete mismanagement of government finances and our country’s economy teetering
on the brink of bankruptcy;
• the impendent increase of taxes on an already overtaxed people to raise another $100
million in new taxes;
• the retrenchment of specific public officers to cut $200 million in government expenditures;
• the secret agreements between Barrow and Ashcroft that led to a payout in excess of over a
half billion dollars to Ashcroft, almost entirely in US currency and now leaves us faced with
the real prospect of devaluation;
• the over $600,000.00 so called compensation paid to the Prime Minster’s son after three
years as the executive chairman of BTL;
• the peddling of the shares of BEL, BWSL and BTL to different wealthy Belizeans and
financial institutions including using the people’s money from Social Security to try to cover
their wasteful spending and corruption.
We, as a Party, need to focus on and hammer home these issues. This illegitimate, corrupt and
incompetent UDP government has run our country into the ground. It is time that we all stand up across Belize. It is time that we save our country from this bogus Barrow and the UDP. This is the only way we can take our country out of the crisis it faces and end the suffering of our people. This must be our work, our singular focus in service of the people.
We must get on with the business of building a Belize that works for everyone.
PUP CONGRATULATES ATTORNEY DOLORES BALDERAMOS GARCIA
Belize City, Friday February 10, 2017
The People’s United Party congratulates Attorney-at-Law, Dolores Balderamos Garcia on her appointment as Senior Counsel. In speaking on her appointment, the Chief Justice of Belize His Lordship Kenneth Benjamin highlighted her stellar contribution through her years of practice and also through her public service in the legislature where she led major changes in the law that positively affected Women, Children and Family Law.
The PUP also acknowledges Balderamos Garcia’s contribution to the development and practice of family law and her unwavering support and work with Women, Children and HIV which she did as Special Envoy during the PUP Government 2003 – 2008.
On behalf of the United Women’s Group (UWG), the women’s arm of the PUP, of which Dolores is a stalwart member, we congratulate her on her great achievement and continue to be proud of her.
PUP SUPPORTS HON. SENATOR EAMON COURTENAY
The People’s United Party voted in favour of the legislation brought to the National Assembly because the PUP believes in defending the national interests and specifically the foreign reserves of Belize. Belizeans will recall that the Hon. John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, brought to light that no notice was given by the UDP regarding the details of the legislation so that proper research and consultation be done.
The PUP has concluded its research and wishes to inform Belizeans that according to the laws of the United States of America, Belize’s reserves in the Central Bank are safe and cannot be attached or executed against by anyone including Lord Ashcroft’s companies.
Section 1611 of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of the USA states:
“the property of a foreign state shall be immune from attachment and from execution, if— (1) the property is that of a foreign central bank or monetary authority”. The advice the PUP has received from US based attorneys is that this law fully protects Belize’s foreign reserves.
The PUP’s legal adviser has drawn to the attention of the Party that the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) Act, which according to the Prime Minister is needed to protect our foreign reserves, has no application in the United States of America and therefore does not protect Belize’s foreign reserves held in US banks. According to Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, “Belize’s foreign reserves in the US are fully protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.” In true
fashion, Prime Minister Barrow continues to demonstrate he is all glitter but no substance.
The truth is that as always, the UDP is once again trying to distract attention from their incompetence, mismanagement and corrupt ways. What the UDP needs to explain is why the Prime Minister, whose law firm continues to represent Lord Ashcroft’s companies, signed a blank check to the former owners of BTL that ended up costing the Belizean people over $557 million for a part of a company that’s worth a little over $100 million? Why did Senators Godwin Hulse and Steve Duncan mysteriously drop their case in the Supreme Court in 2009 when they were challenging the BTL Accommodation agreement?
Today Belize has the most corrupt government ever. The Senate Inquiry into the Immigration scandal has revealed that the former Director of Immigration has admitted that there was electoral fraud in the 2012 General Elections. Now, Ms. Candelaria Saldivar, the sister of Minister John Saldivar has said that Senator Godwin Hulse knew of the Immigration scandal. It has also been exposed that many ministers were visiting the Immigration Department trying to influence the issuing of visas, nationalities and passports.
These are the UDP Ministers and Senators who have betrayed the Belizean people. These are the people that need to do the decent thing. These are the people that need to resign!
For the record, Senator Courtenay has done a stellar job in the Senate highlighting the wrongdoings of this government and continues to enjoy the full support of the Leader of the Opposition.
January 10, 2017
Congratulations to the 13th Senator
The People’s United Party congratulates Osmany Salas, current President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, on his election as the 13th Senator representing NGOs in the Upper House of the National Assembly.
Based on past experience, we are forced to note that Mr. Salas’ election is just one stage in a long-delayed appointment. It is now the Government’s responsibility, as committed, to accept that nomination and complete the process of swearing-in the NGO’s choice. Of concern is the fact that government’s political operatives, prior to the nomination today, were openly condemning the election and appointment of a 13th Senator. It would be detrimental to our democracy if government were to backtrack, again, at this point.
The People’s United Party is confident that Mr. Salas is able to discharge his duties as a Senator with integrity, objectivity, rationality and consideration for Belize and her people.
January 10, 2017
Barrow’s Arrogance & Incompetence Cost Belizeans Another $100 Million
Arising from litigation caused by Barrow’s and this UDP government’s incompetent and delusional decision making, Belizean taxpayers will now be forced to make good on another $117 MILLION in debt, payable in US dollars and payable IMMEDIATELY. A failure to make payment within 60 days could trigger the entire Superbond debt to become payable in full.
The preliminary announcements came via reports out of the US Supreme Court, referencing arbitration litigation in which the government of Belize was engaged with BCB Holdings and Belize Social Development Limited since 2009. Government this morning was denied an application for certiorari which was its last resort to stall the enforcement of an arbitration award to both BCB and BSDL, to the tune of $117.2 million, including interest of $29.4 million.
The Prime Minister’s arrogance and incompetence have had a deleterious effect on the economy and will negatively impact the development of Belize for generations to come. Currently the country faces economic peril under the weight of unsustainable debt amounting to well over $3 BILLION and counting. It is a situation which has created the very sinister and real triple threats of higher taxes, retrenchment and devaluation even though the Prime Minister continues to insist that 2017 will be a ‘turnaround stanza.’
The People’s United Party condemns the rank incompetence and mismanagement of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and this UDP Administration which has brought this country to its knees. Mr. Barrow’s
millions are intact, as are those accrued by his family members, but his wrongheaded decisions and delusional grandstanding have created an untenable situation for this generation and those to come.
The PUP hereby calls on Prime Minister Dean Barrow and this UDP Government to come clean with the Belizean people. Tell us the real numbers. What new taxes will be introduced?
We demand to know how the payment of these judgments will affect our already depleted foreign reserves which are at a critical level. How many jobs will be cut from the public sector? Tell us the truth now. We demand to know what plans, if any, incompetent Mr Barrow has to get us out of this mess.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE UDP HAS COMPLETELY LOST CONTROL
December 13, 2016. The People’s United Party is utterly shocked at the bizarre explanation of the departure of Attorney-General and Minister of Natural Resources Sen. Vanessa Retreage by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It seems that Mr. Barrow expects Belizeans to believe that Senator Retreage had only committed to working for a year so her leaving is entirely expected and nothing extraordinary.
We note that Senator Retreage was given the Attorney-General’s post a year ago and was posted to the Ministry of Natural Resources in August 2016, 4 months ago. Neither she nor the Prime Minister mentioned this year-long commitment, so we find that explanation ludicrous and deceitful on the part of Mr. Barrow and Senator Retreage.
There are credible reports that Senator Retreage received threats as a result of investigations being carried out at the Ministry of Natural Resources. The PUP condemns such threats against any public servant who is trying to execute their fiduciary duties.
There have been three Ministers with responsibility for the Ministry of Natural Resources in 13 months – Senator Minister Godwin Hulse, Senator Minister Vanessa Retreage and now Senator Minister Carla Barnett. It is quite apparent that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has lost control of this Ministry and his administration in the past year. We do not accept Mr. Barrow’s frivolous and nonchalant declarations that all is well when it is clear that NOTHING is well.
As more information on questionable transactions at the Lands Department during the tenure of Gaspar Vega, many of which involves Mr. Vega and his family, continues to surface, Belizeans are beginning to question the decision of the Prime Minister to wait for two terms before removing him from that Ministry. The Prime Minister was either
knowledgeable of what was happening and opted to turn a blind eye or was asleep at the wheel. In either case, the mismanagement of government assets and loss of income is attributable to the indecisiveness of the Prime Minister to address such an important issue.
The People’s United Party calls for an immediate independent audit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The people of Belize have demanded transparency and accountability in the management of their finances and assets, and not the obvious deflections, distractions and optical illusions practiced by the Prime Minister at every turn.
GARIFUNA SETTLEMENT DAY MESSAGE
by: Hon. John Briceño
Leader for the Opposition
and Leader of the People’s United Party
at Official Ceremonies Dangriga
19th November 2016
“Rich, Proud and Powerful, let us continue to Preserve it.”
Rísiti, Pántati, Gabafuti, Iúnrahówa meme la
In 1492 in the early morning hours Columbus landed with his soldiers and ships encountering what the historians referred to as a new world. This singular moment set off a chain of events that saw the coming together of peoples and events that would profoundly change the world forever. The burdens so many people from so many places had to shoulder as a result of this encounter has formed in all of us an inseparable connection that continues to define who we are today.
For us in Belize, one of the most profound occurrences in our Nation’s history occurred in 1802 with the arrival of the first Garinagu, who came here tired from their travels, having been cast out from their homeland. Still, their desire to live as free men and women and their determination to be who they were, proud Garinagu, never wavered. Three decades later a second and larger group would join them on these shores on a bright November day, a Day we all now celebrate as Garifuna Settlement Day.
In the many years since that historic November Day in 1832 countless Garifuna Belizeans have summoned up the courage of their ancestors to fulfill their dreams and to build Belize, not only for themselves, but for all of us. Inspired by their ancestors the Belizean Garifuna refused to be victims of a cruel colonialism and today we find the success and achievements of our Garinagu in every walk of Belizean life. The indispensable contribution of Garifuna Belizeans span from educators to engineers, from doctors to scientists and from priests to politicians. Their knowledge of the land has seen the south rise in agriculture production and productivity; their love for the sea has seen a thriving fishing industry and the celebration of Garifuna culture has created richness that has enhanced and internationalized our culture.
Today Garifuna culture is Belizean culture and the Garifuna nation is now trans-boundary and trans-border, recognized worldwide and so respected that the world community has determined that Garifuna Culture, our culture, must be preserved for all time.
It should come as great pride to those brave men and women who came to our shores in 1802 and the others who came in 1832 that today all Belizeans embrace and celebrate Garifuna culture, for it is a complete rebuke of the kind of colonial thinking which sought to destroy and to break the backs of a people who were always prepared to fight to the death in defense of who they are and for the desire to live free.
For these reasons it is fitting that this year we celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day proclaiming the pride, power and wealth of the Garinagu. “Garifunaduáü.” We celebrate that pride for it is resilient. The mere fact that this amazing and incredible culture survived the colonial era, as Jeremy Enriquez puts it, “is quite an exceptional feat to celebrate.”
And so as we celebrate today, let us be thankful for your brave ancestors whose determination brought you home to our Beautiful Belize. Be inspired by their courage so you can continue the legacy. Be committed as they were committed and teach your children your amazing culture and together let us always recommit ourselves to Building a proud nation and a Belize that works for everyone.
Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!!!
GARIFUNA SETTLEMENT DAY MESSAGE
by: Hon. John Briceño
Leader for the Opposition
and Leader of the People’s United Party
at Official Ceremonies Dangriga
19th November 2016
Rísiti, Pántati, Gabafuti, Iúnrahówa meme la
Lidan irumu 1492, aban weyu lubá larugan aba lábürügü Columbusu habu lisudaran tuma büri lugune lidan le unbei hagúara aturiahatian aban iseri ubóu. Ladüga susereti ligía aba hadunragu amuñeguéinarügü gürigia luma büri susereti lun lasansiruni ubóu gumugua dan. Lidan gíenti hadúnragun amuñeguéinarügü rasa ladüga meme susereti le aba ti mosu la habayarahan aban luweirin ihürügu aba lubeiti sian la wafareiraguni wasügürü wawariuwagúa dagá lumoun fecha le.
Woun wagía ya Balisi, hábürügüle furumien Garinagu ya lidan irumu 1802 lau bucharuaü lárigi fayáü lárigi habugawagún hageiragien, ligía aban lídangien susereti le gárigitimábei. Mémegi, maredeti hayumahan lun hawiwandu kei wügürian hama würían líburetian luma pantaü kei Garinagu. Darandi irumu lárigi aba hábürügü ya saragu hawoun aban weyu lidan Unsu Hati, lebubei awanha lubéi afeduhei hafedun Garinagu guentó.
Saragu irumu lárigi weyu ligía lidan Unsu Hati 1832, watian bugan Garinagu Balisina luagu hagurasun hayunagu lun hagunfuliruni hawenedi hayunagu lun haweiridaguágüdüni Balisi mámarügü hóuniwagua, woun sungualuágu. Kei hayunagu mabuluchagúntian lebubei gawara la larihíniwa hárigi Garinagu lidan sun lácharagun ibagari Balisi.
Arihúati hárigi Garinagu Balisina haganagua arufudahatian dagá hamoun inginéru, dagá hamoun surusia, akutihatian, fádirigu hama lídantian politiku.
Uguñe weyu lanichugu Balisi anichugu Garifuna an hiúngua lumuti baraüwa Garifuna láfadaragun saragu ageiraü, abahüdüwa ligía geyegu ubóu asta lun laríengúniwa lau lunti la lareidahóun gumugua dan.
Mosu weiri la hapanta wügürian hama würían ha meha ábürügübaña 1802 hama híbiri ha ñünbibaña 1832 lau barühamá la, afeduha haméi sun Balisina, lanichugu Garifuna, lugundu ti bürügien amu la lira luei luwiyeri binadu saminaü le yebe busienbei lagumuchu hau gürigia ha aransebaña lun hónwengu ageindagua lun hawinwandun kei habéi luma lun mamudirún hamá.
Ladüna lubéi ti lun wafeduhani Hafedun Garinagu irumu le agumeirei lupanta, lubafu luma lirisin Garifuna. “Garifunaduáü.” Afeduha wamuti pantaü ligía luagu lawandadi. Kei laríenguni Jeremy Enriquez, “aban adügaü le mama furumienguárügüti le gadünati lafeduhóun” le rügü magumuchaguágüdü lani lugumadi Ingüleisi anichugu le.
Wafeduha lubéi ti uguñe, ruwama seremei hawagu hiúnagu derebugutian ha achülüragüdübádiü águyu lidoun lirufugun wageira Balisi. Inchahaláü hagurasun magumuchagu lámuga alagan le hígirubei. Bunagua humá kei hábunagu hiúnagu lun harufudahani hanichugu houn hirahüñü, deregegua wagía me gíen woungua lun wiúnrahani wageira lau pantaü, aban Balisi le nadagimeiti houn sun.
Gunda la Hásügürüni Hafedun Garinagu!!!
November 14, 2016 – At a special meeting held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 in Ranchito Village, Corozal District the Northern Caucus (NC) of the People’s United Party (PUP) was updated on the process, procedures and requirements for the recall of a Member of the House of Representatives.
After a very spirited discussion where the members were informed of other land scandals during Hon. Gaspar Vega’s tenure as Minister of Natural Resources the PUP Northern Caucus resolved that:
1. Hon. Gaspar Vega should resign immediately from the House of Representatives because the land issues involving his son Andre Vega, Sharon Pitts, his niece Rosita Aragon and compadre Derrick Gillette clearly point to blatant nepotism, cronyism and egregious cases of conflict of interest.
2. The PUP Northern Caucus supports and will endeavor to undertake a successful recall of the Hon. Gaspar Vega in view of the clear evidence of his dishonest acts.
3. The PUP Northern Caucus calls for the immediate disclosure of the Compensation List at the Lands Department.
4. The PUP Northern Caucus calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that monies from other land transactions of similar nature be recovered.
5. The PUP Northern Caucus calls on the Prime Minister to hold accountable the present and past CEO’s of the Ministry of Natural Resources (Accounting Officers), whose signatures appear on the various questionable agreements with Andre Vega, and Sharon Pitts. The Caucus also demands that adequate charges levied against them for their role in these land hustles.
6. The PUP Northern Caucus calls for an independent inquiry/investigation of the Lands Department during the tenure of Hon. Gaspar Vega.
For further information or queries contact Ms. Thea Garcia at 678-3210