Over the last three decades and more, a pattern has developed in the older sections of Belize City, which are primarily the Albert, Queen’s Square and Mesopotamia constituencies. (Belize City is the population, financial and media capital of the nation of Belize.) Chinese, Indian and Arab merchants/businessmen have been acquiring the land in these older, downtown areas from the roots Belizean owners, and the new owners have erected huge buildings which serve as supermarkets, warehouses and apartment complexes.
The original landowners have mostly moved to the big cities in the United States. When those of their children and grandchildren who have remained in Belize wish to build a home, they usually have to acquire land outside of the old Belize City. These children and grandchildren have built in areas and communities stretching from Belize City along the Northern Highway and along the Western Highway.
Belize has become a country of manifest private wealth, even though government properties and buildings are dilapidated (except for those owned by the Social Security Board) and even though many of the Belizean people are poor, some to the point of desperation. The infrastructural wealth on San Pedro Ambergris Caye is awesome. Immediately south of Hopkins along the sea coast in South Stann Creek, you will find multi-million dollar homes and hotels one after the other, for miles and miles. Placencia real estate has become some of the most valuable in the world, while development on the peninsula has taken place at an incredible rate over the last twenty years.
A lot of the development in the abovementioned areas is tourism-related, but there are many citizens of foreign lands who have built for private residential and estate purposes. What is true of San Pedro, Hopkins and Placencia, is also true of the areas around Corozal Town and on the road from San Ignacio to Succotz, and it will soon be true of the Toledo District.
Belize is a place where many non-Belizeans want to live, a country which has been identified as one with major potential because of its tremendous natural resources, our relatively small population, our tradition of English speaking democracy, and our proximity to the no. 1 marketplace in the world – the United States.
Those people who have been coming into Belize from outside have an advantage in that they are moving from larger, more sophisticated societies into a relatively innocent place. And we Belizeans have had a hard time coping with the changes which have been visited upon Belize, because we were raised in a small and isolated country. In the first instance, we refused to believe what was happening in and to Belize, and in the second instance we became resentful. Overall, we sold our country short because we didn’t know any better.
Our Belize has changed a lot in the last four decades, and we roots Belizeans have suffered many casualties, specifically amongst our young in the urban areas. The time has come for us, if we are to survive and thrive in The Jewel, to open our eyes to the lessons we should be learning from the talented foreigners who have come to Belize. Nostalgia and regret will simply not cut it. None of the people who have found a niche here in Belize are going to give up their niche. In other words, there’s no turning back to the past. It’s about now and it’s about the future.
At Kremandala, we consider ourselves a nationalist institution. In Belize, there are giant globalist forces, of which the most powerful is Lord Michael Ashcroft. We can see that some powerful political leaders in both the ruling PUP and the Opposition UDP have gone Mr. Ashcroft’s way. The result of this is that Partridge Street has been under pressure from different sides, but there is one source of these pressures, and that source is the globalist icon.
The political game in Belize is one which is inherently divisive of our people. We have been taught by our colonial masters that parliamentary democracy is the best form of government, and we have been taught that what you require for this parliamentary democracy are two competing political parties. Of these two, every five years you choose one to govern (tax) you, and the other party opposes for those five years. But suppose there is a force so powerful that it influences the leadership of both the parties equally? This would mean that whichever of the parties wins, such a force wins. And if that force is not a nationalist Belizean force, then our country becomes a pawn in a globalist game. And our precious people become dispensable. We become so many sacrifices in the Europeans’ age old obsession with gold.
Over the last twenty years, Belize went completely globalist. First we sold our passports. Then we sold our lands. Finally, we sold our public companies. Some of our politicians and lawyers became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. The Lord of Chichester even decided to become a naturalized Belizean citizen. Ostentatious wealth became the order of the day amongst the elite.
But the pain amongst our people became excruciating. Our elders died homeless in the streets. Our young murdered each other at a frightening rate. The institutions which had held us together – our churches, our lodges, our friendly organizations, our sporting clubs, our drama groups, our marching bands, our dance orchestras, withered away.
In ignorance, we reached out to the politicians to save us. We never asked if they were nationalist or if they were globalist, because we really didn’t know the difference. But now we know. This what we’re seeing here, this here is globalism. It means hurt and despair for the masses of our people. We have to find a better way, but it’s not a matter of classic red and blue.
Globalism is the way how those who have, get more. Globalism is the third millennium version of slavery. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad used to say, “We must have a piece of this earth that we can call our very own.” The question for us Belizeans today is, “If not Belize, then where?”
All power to the people.