from a friend...
Had a visit from the BTB auditor at FALCONVIEW HOSTEL. We don't pay enough tax at our low rates $9 usa per night for a dormitory bunk bed, to even pay their gasoline to drive up to Hillview. I wasn't in, I was downtown checking the emails for reservations. And Silvia doesn't know beans about the business. The auditor found a mild discrepancy in that of the three accounting checks, two of them were not fully up to date for the last visitor a week or so back. I have been just distracted by construction problems. We've since corrected that. But nothing new, except we were blamed for not having the BTB license displayed for this year. We haven't got it yet from BTB! Started trying to get it on Dec. 22nd, but the person answering the phone at BTB said the hotel registration person was out. Later in the afternoon more or less when we phoned again, said the person was gone for the holidays. So we started again after the New Year to enquire to BTB. Finally got a quote for our hostel license fees and went to Post Office on Jan. 4th and bought a Postal Money Order and sent it off to BTB registered mail. This just reminded me, I forgot to bring the darned receipt number for the Post Office with me down to San Ignacio today, to go get the Post Office to track the missing Postal Money Order for our BTB license. Oh well! Tomorrow! We were blamed for not having it though. I more think it is incompetency in the BTB, but will eventually find out? As registered mail must be signed for in the postal system. We do not have a BTB license yet, but it was legitimately paid for within the Government system as best we can and we can legally prove it. However, Silvia said the auditor was helpful and nice. I laughed and laughed about a comment that I'm regarded as "outspoken" he made.
People can look at those things in different ways. I consider myself a patriot seeking to develop Belize and improve government service and encourage our democracy to develop. If one does not give feedback, the higher level CABINET can't know what is going wrong sometimes and if they only have the senior bureaucracy to go by, can be seriously blind sided politically.
But one comment hit me in the subconscious while sleeping. That was we are in business at the discretion of the BTB and they can close us down if they wish. My sleeping inner self, started re-hashing George Price days during the 18 years of self government, when so many political opposition were forced out of business and went into exile, because they were anti-PUP. It can still happen without political reform of the constitution, but NOT I think without a civil war and violence today. The populace is less tolerant today and more educated politically.
Which in turn got me to thinking about the UDP turn in office under Esquivel and he did very well in not allowing the continuation of the previous administration under Price, to continue victimizing political opposition and their businesses. So we owe as a nation a great debt to the UDP for changing the ambience of our fledgling democracy. That said, while I disagreed with the last term PUP, 3 year borrow and spend spree that increased our debt, I am very happy to say that Said Musa and the PUP have kept the newer trend set by the UDP of no victimization of businesses under political opponents. This PUP two terms has carried on that tradition and if anyone under this current crooked Constitution we have, thinks that is not a good thing, must have a hole in the head, or no experience in countries that are run by tyrants like Zimbabwe, or previously Uganda and South Africa, Guatemala and Somoza in Nicaragua. I will give the PUP very high marks and actually in my thinking it is the best gift the PUP have given to our democracy, that opponents businesses are not persecuted using state institutions like the BTB and so on. The arguments in the press which are one sided often and other times rumors only, but have unfortunately a basis in fact, due to lack of political reform, must drive those in political party power wild and to distraction sometimes. But they have not resorted to political persecution and that has been their greatest gift of the PUP these past two terms to our nation growing as it is. This term, as far as I'm concerned the PUP have fulfilled their manifesto expectations with a settlement of the national debt. I don't particularly like their choices, but it was reasonable and honest. I would have been a helluva lot more difficult to creditors and sent them all packing. So in short, I respect that the PUP have fulfilled at least MY requirements for this term, which was a resolution in the short term of the national debt to the best of their abilities.
That said, I think the current arguments in the media about which route the country should go and a lot of it is about political reform are very healthy. Musa says it very well, when he says that Vasquez puts his feet to the roasting fire. And so he does and so he should be able to do? That he can at all in this country today is ten thousand times better than the alternatives if the self government years of destroying and exiling opponents under Price had been followed. Our country is the stronger for both the UDP and the PUP terms in office in that respect. Give due honor to that, especially if you have been in countries run by one party states and tyrants, you will know what I mean. I can laugh and shrug off the BTB comment they can close me down in a FREE society like we have. A comment, intimidation, a threat? Who knows? Do I care? No! But I sure would be thinking otherwise if our society was run differently. Think about it! I'm not the least bit afraid to criticize the BTB and that is something we as Belizeans should be VERY PROUD of, in our small nation. Our democracy is very healthy mon!
- so endeth the lesson on democracy from Ray -( grin! ) ( off stage whisper " quick grab his soapbox before he starts again"! )http://folkmusicfl.tripod.com/adventuresinbelize/http://folkmusicfl.tripod.com/actuntunichilmucknal/
Diane's Guesthouse on Caye Caulker beach
Tina's Hostel on Caye Caulker beach
Tradewinds Suites on Caye Caulker beach
Auxillou Beach Suites on Caye Caulker beach
Tina's Roatan Hostel in the Bay Islands of Honduras