In December of 2012, 79 year-old Minister Louis was forced to cancel his trip to Belize because he fell ill from exhaustion and dehydration on a tour across the Caribbean. He's better now and the Leader of the Nation of Islam is coming to Belize on Monday. Today, the coordinator of his visit spoke to us and he told us why he should be warmly embraced by the Belizean people, young and old:
Nuri Muhammad "Minister Farrakhan is schedule to come back into Belize on Monday the 4th and he is happy to be coming back because he knows the level of disappointment that happened in Belize and the Bahamas as a result of his incapacity. More than half of the population was not even alive at the time that Minister Farrakhan came 27 years ago. I think that his message 38 and 27 years ago would be very similar to his message today because that message is a universal message. One important aspect of it is that you have to discover a sense of purpose in your life. You cannot live your life switching everyday into this and that and the other. You must find a purpose and then you must discipline yourself to work towards the achievement of that purpose. Out of that comes self-improvement. Out of that come improvement with those who are around you."
Daniel Ortiz "Minister Farrakhan is meeting with some of the highest leaders of our country. Is that an indication of the prestige that this gentleman holds in other parts of the world?"
Nuri Muhammad "Without question. The Honorable Minister Farrakhan wherever he goes is treated as a head of state, even though he is not in fact the head of any particular state. Some of us like to say that he is the head of a state of mind and is seen as a positive motivating factor in the development of human beings."
Minister Farrakhan arrives in Belize on Monday at 3:30 p.m., and for his 5 day visit, he plans to visit with all of officialdom including the Governor General, the Acting Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and he will address community leaders, University Students, prisoners and the Muslim community. His visit will culminate with a public address at the Bird's Isle Next Week Friday at 6 p.m.
Leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, arrived this afternoon at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on American Airlines. It is his third visit to Belize; the last was twenty-seven years ago. Farrakhan was scheduled to visit Belize in early December but the trip was cancelled at the last minute because of illness. At the time he promised that he would still visit and today, Minister Farrakhan is back on Belizean soil. The media was invited to the Phillip Goldson International Airport for a press conference with the seventy-nine year old Minister, but somewhere along the way plans changed and only the Government Press Office was allowed to speak to him. But as he left the VIP room at the PGIA the soft-spoken, charismatic Farrakhan shared some words with the media and persons gathered to welcome him, even if it was through the security fence.
Louis Farrakhan, Leader, Nation of Islam
“I am very happy to be back again after twenty-seven years and I am looking forward to meeting as many people of Belize as possible in the five or six days that I shall be here with you. I am honored to be here; happy to see you all and I am looking forward to our making a contact. You are what I live for.”
Security was in full effect at the PGIA as Minister Farrakhan arrived for a six day tour. Since members of the independent media were not allowed into the VIP room, the Government Press Office was assigned to conduct a short interview with Farrakhan. Our colleagues at the Press Office have provided footage of the message to Belizeans by the international figure.
Louis Farrakhan, Leader, Nation of Islam
“My message all throughout the Caribbean is that no one island can exist in a global economy by itself. The problems of Belize are the problems of the whole Caribbean. So what we see a natural union between the Caribbean to the east and north and south to Central America. So I think that the future of Belize has to tie in to Central America as well as to the whole Caribbean—natural trading partners, natural investors in the wealth of this country. And from what you show me, the banana industry is suffering, the sugar industry is suffering; agriculture is suffering and the crime rate is going up and you have gang problems here with young people. It is the same throughout the Caribbean and the United States as well as Africa. It is not an accident. This is very much planned. So I think the way forward is the unity of the people of Belize, three hundred thousand, and the unity of the Caribbean and the unity of Central America.”
Minister Farrakhan also paid a courtesy visit on Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his office in Belize City. He is scheduled to speak to Belizeans on Friday at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City.
At this hour, the public is getting ready for Minister Louis Farrakhan to make his major public address at the Bird's Isle. It was supposed to starts at 6:00, but it hasn't yet.
That is the final and culminating event of his trip - and it is meant to be memorable. Today, at a closing press conference, he told the media why he couldn't wait for an opportunity to address all of the Belizean public. Jules Vasquez reports:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
Flanked by the phalanx of security that accompanies him everywhere, Minister Louis Farrakhan stepped into the Santa Rita room at the Radisson in a genial mood - but in the 67 minute press conference, he was mercurial, at times easygoing and jocular, at times explosive and fiery, and occasionally, he smoldered.
But, overall, Farrakhan says the maturity of his 79 years has tempered his rhetoric:
Louis Farrakhan - Leader, Nation of Islam "So my anger; listen to me good! It was against our former slave masters and their children. I had no love for them whatsoever, and today, they have to earn my respect, by being in fairer, and more just in the way they treat my brothers and sisters, my people. I am filled with the energy now of love, and the bitterness that I experienced, by seeing what happened to my people - the anger that I had, even the hatred that I had, and the desire to destroy those who destroyed my people, I realized that I couldn't be an effective teacher of the will and wisdom of a God who is the author of all causes, if I didn't understand what he had in mind for our suffering. So with understanding, you grow to study more and bitter less."
And that love he says is what keeps this 79 year old looking and sounding young, despite a hectic schedule of public speaking engagements:
Louis Farrakhan "How do I remain so vital, so energetic, so youthful? It's because I'm in love. I am in love first with God, the creator."
But he's not quite singing "Don't worry Be happy," Farrakhan is an admitted conspiracy theorist:
Louis Farrakhan "Of course I'm a conspiracy theorist. How can there not be a conspiracy theory if 1% of the people own 98% of the wealth? Talk to me! Black on black crime is social engineering by wise men and women who have planned what we are doing. We are actually puppets on a string of a puppeteer, and it is the wisdom of God that will cut the string."
And the conspiracy he says is also against him:
Louis Farrakhan "How did I survive in the great United States of America talking like how I talk and walking like how I walk? It is not like the enemy does not want to put his hands on me, and yet may do so. They don't like what I say; no! I pay a price, brother, a big price. God has not let me pay the ultimate price, so I have out lived brother Malcom by double his age. I have out lived Dr. King by double his age, and I personally don't believe that God is going to allow anybody to assassinate me. They may put their hand on me. That's what they're planning to do, because they can't take what am doing. I'm here in your country, and they are monitoring everything I say, everything I do. And their excited because, my God, the people are listening to that man and you know what? The people are listening to that man."
And he says because of that, he's been ostracized and demonized:
Louis Farrakhan "I can sit with Prime Ministers and Presidents in Africa in the Caribbean Central and South America, but I can't even sit with a Senator in America because they fear the power of the Jewish people to relegate the to pain and hurt if they're seen with me. Though they will sneak around like Nicodemus."
And a lot of that, he blames, bitterly, on the media:
Louis Farrakhan "What does your group - not you - the group that is called the media that is controlled in every society by money interest? Why am I hated? I'm soon to be 80. I robbed no man; I raped no woman. I beat no child. Who's going to speak truth to power except somebody that is un-bought? You don't have enough to buy me."
And 40 years after he came to Belize, the un-bought, unrepentant and obviously untamed Farrakhan hopes to deliver that message to the public tonight:
Louis Farrakhan "When I was first here in 1975 Belize was predominantly black. It's not that now. From what somebody told me yesterday it's 25% black today. When you were over 50% 40 years ago; was that an accident or was that by desire? If we don't pay attention 25 years from now we will be extinct, so tonight, I cannot wait till tonight! I want to tell you who is behind and what id behind the decimation of the black population."
On Tuesday's newscast, we'll tell you about his public address at the Bird's Isle. At this hour, it hasn't started so if you're interested in hearing more, there's still time to get out there.
Farrakhan Says, "Do The Christian Thing", Give Guatemala Sea Access
Minister Louis Farrakhan wrapped up his visit to Belize on Friday night with a major address at the Bird's Isle. He spoke for over two hours on subjects ranging from food security, to regionalism, to the national anthem. But he touched the most newsworthy note, when he suggested a way forward for relations with Guatemala.
He said we should do the Christian-like thing and share.
Minister Louis Farrakhan - Leader of the Nation of Islam "This is Belize. This is Guatemala, and this is the water that we're arguing about. They say that half of this belongs to them. But, you got some oil and they say right out here, this water; they may be oil right out here. So we argue with each other; that's my water. No, that's my water. Look, none of it is yours. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness there of. Where would the argument be with Guatemala, if she's Christian and you're Christian, and she has no outlet to the sea and you do? What's wrong with Christian brothers saying, 'Here, take this.' But you want to take it to the courts. Well, you can do that if you wish, but all the courts are going to do is give one side a victory and the other a loser, and then what; the hatred still continues. All of that is what the enemy wants, to see you hating each other, and then he starts manipulating your dislikes so one day, you're going to war over this. It's not necessary; all of it belongs to us. I didn't say just Belize; God wants to give you the whole earth."
Guatemala currently has access to the Caribbean Sea through Puerto Barrios.
Farrakhan also spoke on the importance of political unity between the PUDP:
Louis Farrakhan "Is there something wrong with the system of governance? They are 2 parties that belong to the whole which is Belize. If Belize is to become whole, the parties must not treat each other as enemies; they are a part of a whole. Now, Government Officials, I want you to listen to how the people are responding to what I am saying, because they know that what I'm saying is the truth, and it has to change."