Well Bob...Like I said, I don't "know" you but I'll betcha that I was organizing political actions and compaigns when you were still a gleam in your mama's eye..

The problem is not MY lack of understanding of the power of the boycott or of letter writing..the problem is YOUR lack of understanding of how the Belizeans who are involved in the tourism industry live and work. Your knowledge seems (again, I don't "know" you) to be from a long distance vantage point.

I would like to invite you to sit down with one of the local dive boat owners, who has put in his time working as crew, saving his money for 10 years until he could buy his own boat and launch his own business...and tell him why you want to bankrupt him because you don't like something the Belize government did or did not do. Ask him if he thinks its a cool idea to do that.
If you are not willing to do that you oughtn't to be calling for a boycott.

You see, when you call for boycotts, you need to move out of the world of the theoretical and into the real world of the day to day working person and see how your plan will impact him or her.
You should also be willing to take some guidance from the local people before you start "helping" them. Ask THEM what they think of your plans.

If there was a desire by Belizeans to have gringos like you start a boycott of Belize to protest abuses by liveaboard companies, don't you think you would know about it?
How many ordinary working folk in the tourist industry have told you they support such a boycott? I will bet its a big fat ZERO.
Take a lesson from one of the most successful boycotts in history: the Alabama bus boycott. Do you think it would have been successful if it had been started by white people from outside? No! It worked because the decision to boycott was made by the local community, who weighed the risks and benefits and started to march ahead.

If you want to launch a boycott of an American company, or a letter writing campaign to urge the Belize government to impose conditions upon re-licensing that company, that's fine. But supporting a boycott of the working people of Belize is not appropriate unless the Belizeans want you to do that.

And I don't think they do. I don't think you've asked them. And that is my point.


Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: [email protected]