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Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" #408598
05/25/11 08:44 AM
05/25/11 08:44 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
We the members of the Belizean Bus Association met today, 24th May, 2011 at 10:00 am and came to the flowing consensus:
1. We have been disrespected and betrayed by our Transportation Minister, Hon. Melvin Hulse.
2. We are calling on the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Borrow, to intervene so we may resolve this matter.
3. West Line should be removed from its present runs.
4. The Belizean Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC) should be re-instated immediately.
5. We should be given the 21 days that was agreed upon by Minister of Transport, Hon. Melvin Hulse, commencing upon removal of West Line.
If we are not accommodated within 24 hours, ending Thursday at 12:00 MD, we will take further action.


Belizean Bus Association
23 Santa Rita Road
Lord’s Bank, Ladyville
501-636-4882/ 501-668-8059
[email protected]

May 24th, 2011

Minister of Transport
Belmopan Bus Terminal
Belmopan City, Belize C.A.

Hon. Melvin Hulse:
We, the Members of the Belizean Bus Association, are calling upon you to immediately re-instate the Belize Bus Owners cooperative on the route they were executing on the Western Highway and to remove the newly formed Westline from the schedule it has been placed on.
In our previous meeting, you had assured us that we would have been given twenty one days to dialogue with our members and also hold an audience with the Board of Transport, however we have not been given that opportunity due to the fact that you have gone against your word and removed the Cooperative from its runs.
We are outraged and do not believe that this was done in the best interest for an amicable relationship between ourselves and your ministry.
Therefore we have come to the consensus that we are allowing twenty four hours, ending Thursday 12:00 MD, during which we are expecting a valid response. In the absence of a response further action will be taken.
We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

Yours Respectfully,

Thomas A. Shaw
Belizean Bus Association (BBA)

Cc: Prime Minister: Rt. Hon. Dean Borrow
Chief Executive Officer: Candilaria Saldivar Mortar
Chairman, Transport Board: Mg. John Flowers
Commissioner of Transport: Garrette Moreo

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408599
05/25/11 08:45 AM
05/25/11 08:45 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Bus Operators Protest Against “Betrayal” By Minister

When we left you on Friday transport Minister Melvin Hulse had agreed to a three week suspension of implementation for new bus routes in the northern region.

But Saturday morning news came down that while the new deal in the north was being postponed, changes in the west were going right ahead. Now, the West and the north are tied into each other because routes for the Belize bus owners cooperative in the West were cancelled in favour of new runs in the north.

So implementing the new western regime - while holding off in the north - amounts in major and immediate losses to them - and instant benefits to a powerful new western operator, Westline.

They only became aware of it on Saturday that they would be losing the majority of their runs on Sunday - so here's what they did on Sunday morning:

Jules Vasquez Reporting
There were police inside and around the compound while BBOC busses - stripped of their road service permits - were locked out of the compound and were parked on the streets blocking entrance to the terminal which they were not allowed into.

Thomas Shaw, President BBOC
"Effective today all permits from the east to west has been revoked and they are not supposed to enter the terminal. So I told my members that they are still supposed to show up and this is the reason why we are out here in support and I need the Prime Minister, I need the Minister to stand up to his words because its quite unfair and enough is enough. This is a democratic protest, as I said we are not out here to fight but I want them to get the sense of this whole thing, he has lied once again. He has betrayed the country. We held a meeting on Friday and we had an agreement with the minister and actually the minister back down on his agreement. I am totally disappointed; I am annoyed due to the fact that these guys have an investment. They have a family, they have mortgages."

Mortgages or not they have to give way to Westline bus.

Thomas Shaw, President BBOC
"The whole scenario that actually start this whole situation is due to the fact that the Westline which is owned by Mr. Chuc - if they didn't put this operator in the west more than likely we wouldn't have a problem in the north, so I don't really know what kind of game the minister is trying to play."

And Westline even if it still has on US plates is the authorized carrier.

Claude Frazer, Chairman - Belize Bus Owners Coop
"So why would you send this? Is this commuter's safety? I don't think so."

"What is commuter's safety?"

Claude Frazer, Chairman - Belize Bus Owners Coop
"Well according to the minister he is implying all kinds of commuters safety with the type of quality of busses and everything but without a proper license plate - it's useless."

Thomas Shaw, President BBOC
"These are the busses that Mr. Chuc stated that he is going to provide a better service and the first day he is commencing his runs without a license plate which is illegal."

The standoff caused a traffic blockage on West Colet Canal and with that - commuters who had been left in the lurch started jumping on the BBOC bus - which they know so well that was waiting on the canal side - a practical but also a political decision

"I have to support them because they are supporting us every day."

Andy Meyers, commuter
"I have to support this bus because this bus works every day."

But the authorities did not support the mover and stopped the bus at mile four

Andy Meyers, commuter
"I feel bad, really bad as a Belizean that this is happening. People are on timing and they have to go far."

"What I am trying to say is that why are they putting those bus without insurance and without a license plate on these roads for? If they don't want this bus to pass because this has insurance and license."

"Do you have a problem with this bus?"

"I don't have a problem; this bus always took me to Cayo."

Andy Meyers, commuter
"Those kinds of busses we don't want any at all. This bus here is giving us our service and this is what we need. It's just like you are exchanging a black dog for a monkey. We are not with that."

But with police blocking the road, they had no other choice than to wait for the Westline bus - with or without a license plate which the commuters loaded into.

It rolled out - sanctioned if not licensed but the commuters who did not get on were not happy at all

"I know best because when Novelo's bus was running they fly pass you on the road and they don't even stop."

So on this day - taking a principled stand meant standing on the roadside back at West Collet Canal Terminal - Busses blocked the street and commuters had to go to east Collet canal to get on the Westline bus which could not proceed up the canal because that was also blocked.

So while it had to dodge down a side street commuters still weren't happy. Eventually the transport department brought personnel to move the busses and the Westline busses were free to move in and out of the terminal

The situation was relieved without major chaos but for authorities this is only the first skirmish in what may be a long battle of resistance.

Channel 7

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408600
05/25/11 08:46 AM
05/25/11 08:46 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Bus Operators Gather To Strategize

And today, two days after that protest the BBOC and its allies met at the City Center conference room in the city to plan a strategy going forward.

Two of the bus operators told us why they are hurting:…

Jules Vasquez
"What is the status right now Mr. Grinage?"

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"At this moment - jobless."

Jules Vasquez
"What would you normally be doing at 10:30 on a weekday?"

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"We would be going en-route to Benque."

Jules Vasquez
"But that run has been cancelled."

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"That run has been cancelled and given to somebody else."

BBOC member
"My brother - "bullshit" what is taking place here is injustice."

Jules Vasquez
"You feel that you all were betrayed after the meeting on Friday?"

BBOC member
"Yes and all of us from BBOC have that sentiment because we have no major infractions with the Traffic Department. Whenever they call on us, if we have to lose money to take out a run we do it."

Jules Vasquez
"You feel that the BBOC members are being push out of the way to make way for a politically favored person Mr. Chuc and his Westline Bus?"

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"That's a definitely sure thing. It is playing out right in the public."

BBOC member
"None of us, nobody in their right mind would invest their money in an industry where today we have a run and tomorrow we don't know what will happen. There is too much politics in this business. If you are going to regulate then regulate and let the people that are in the business do the business."

Jules Vasquez
"So what will happen now?"

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"I really don't know. I am standing here with my hands fold wondering how I am going to pay my bills, how I am going to feed my kids."

BBOC member
"As we sit with the rest of operators and we are united. Together unity is strength and we will see where we go from here."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you in a financial crisis being that so of the runs have been cancelled?"

BBOC member
"We are all in a financial crisis because we live from day to day and from hand to mouth, so this will just make it worst."

Jules Vasquez
"Now how far is the BBOC and its membership prepared to go in the defense of what it feels is an unjustifiable wrong done against you?"

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"We are prepared to go all the way."

Jules Vasquez
"What does all the way mean?"

Kenrick Grinage, BBOC Coop. Executive Member
"As far as we can go. It's our livelihood."

BBOC member
"Jules, me personally, I am willing to do whatever is necessary to protect my bread and butter and to protect the investment that I have made. Whatever decision we make or whatever we do as a group - we'll do it together."

BBOC has 25 - plus members and hires about 100 persons. They issued a release this evening. They are calling on the Prime Minister, to intervene to resolve the matter and demanding that

1. West Line should be removed from its present runs.

2. The Belizean Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC) should be re-instated immediately and that they should be given the 21 days that was agreed upon by Minister of Transport, Hon. Melvin Hulse, commencing upon removal of West Line.

The release says if they are not accommodated within 24 hours, ending Thursday at noon, they will take further action.

Channel 7

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408601
05/25/11 08:47 AM
05/25/11 08:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Fuss about bus; who will run west and who will run north?

We reported last week on the complaints by the Belize Bus Owners’ Cooperative over new zoning being proposed by the Department of Transport that granted West Line Bus Company Limited morning runs from Belize City to Benque Viejo and returning in the afternoons to Belize City. B.B.O.C.’s President Thomas Shaw made pleas to the Minister of Transport to reconsider or for the Prime Minister to intervene, to avoid layoffs and discourage investment in these already tough economic times. After protests and meetings, the government agreed to a temporary twenty-one day delay in implementing the new zones. But it didn’t quite turn out that way and hell broke loose on Sunday at the bus terminal. Today, the B.B.O.C. reiterated its complaints about what it sees as favoritism being granted to West Line and its owner Sergio Chuc, a supporter of the government. The B.B.O.C. says that by cutting its number of lines down to eight, it will be forced to lay off workers. Following a closed door meeting this morning, the B.B.O.C. wrote to the Minister of Transport setting a deadline of Thursday at midday for action if the routes of the B.B.O.C. are not re-instated. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports about the turmoil in the industry.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

What should have been a regular day on the job for bus operators at the East Canal terminal on Sunday morning, instead erupted in chaos following a last minute decision by the Ministry of Transport to renege on a promise made to the Belizean Bus Association a day earlier.

Claude Frazer, Chairman, Belize Bus Owners Cooperative

“We came out to take out our scheduled runs as we normally do. Even though yesterday we were informed that come this morning we would not be allowed. We didn’t get anything in writing, all it was was a phone call from the Chief Commissioner of Transport Mr. Gareth Murillo and with that we proceeded to take out our runs and this is where it is right now.”

Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw, who heads the Belizean Bus Owners Association, says Minister of Transport Melvin Hulse had initially agreed that the implementation of a new Northern Zone schedule was to have taken effect after a period of three weeks.

Thomas Shaw, President, Belizean Bus Association

“We called a meeting with the minister on Friday and we came to an agreement and I think the media captured that where he stated that he’d give us twenty-one days. And instead of the twenty-one days when my operator went into the terminal yesterday the Commissioner of Transport, Mr. Murillo, told them well “Today [yesterday, Saturday] would have been the last day because your permit has been revoked,” okay. So that’s the situation that’s unfolding here at this moment.”

Around five a.m., law enforcement officers were called in to ensure that the abrupt change of plans be executed without incident when bus drivers decided to proceed with their runs despite the short notice.

Thomas Shaw

“My operators they still came out to take out their runs this morning but one went out but as soon as he got to the four-mile checkpoint they stopped it there. We had other buses parked there where the officers came [and] hotwired it and moved it out of the way. Couple of our drivers got arrested but as I said it is a democratic process and all we’re trying to do is to send a message to the minister because a situation like this is unfair.”

Claude Frazer

The problem, according to Claude Frazer, is that the minister is giving bus operator Sergio Chuc preferential treatment, allowing his company more than fifteen runs to the north.

Claude Frazer

“We have the new West Line coming in and it was obvious this morning if you guys were out here earlier this morning to see that the buses they came out here with California license plates. They don’t even have a Belizean license plate, a green license plate, to show where your transporting commuters.”

For stakeholders the economic impact, when revenue losses and unemployment are both taken into account, will be staggering.

Claude Frazer

“It will be eighteen buses off a run which is equivalent to thirty-six workers unemployed right now and like the rumors were out this morning from some of the old bus conductors and drivers that they had felt the same thing but we had nothing to do with that. I guess he’s trying to favor some U.D.P. supporter but in favor of one U.D.P. supporter you’re crippling thirty-six employees right here who have family. These guys they went out, they have mortgages [and] even with a couple members that didn’t have buses [they] went and stepped to the plate and purchased their buses and now they’re left with a mortgage to pay and no runs.”

And where does Melvin Hulse stand in all of this? Well, according to Shaw the minister says he is powerless when it comes down to a final decision on the matter.

Thomas Shaw

“He told me that he is the minister but the board has the final say so I said minister I know you have the final say. He said the board has so I said since you don’t have the [final] say then I need time to sit with my operators and sit with the board since you don’t have a say. So we had twenty-one days for me to go back to my members then have a meeting with the Transport Board and see where we go from there. But he just pulled back on his word. He said one thing and he’s doing something else and I’m really, really annoyed. I’m disappointed.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The B.B.O.C. also issued a release this afternoon upping the ante on Minister Hulse. The release states: “We have been disrespected and betrayed by our Transportation Minister, Melvin Hulse. We are calling on the Prime Minister, Dean Borrow, to intervene so we may resolve this matter. West Line should be removed from its present runs and the Belizean Bus Owners Cooperative (B.B.O.C.) should be re-instated immediately.”

Channel 5

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408602
05/25/11 08:48 AM
05/25/11 08:48 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


On Friday we reported on the agreement between Bus operators and the Ministry of Transport for a twenty one day delay in the implementation of the newly revised bus runs. It was understood that the operators would then meet to discuss and revisit the schedules and offer an opportunity for them to swap and switch runs without affecting the time the runs would be conducted. This morning at a meeting held at the National Sports Council, operators in the West, particularly the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative, expressed outrage at what they say in the way in which newcomer Sergio Chuc’s Westline has been given preference to run in the west, infringing on their operations.

Thomas Shaw – President, Belizean Bus Owners Association
“As I said we don’t really want the situation to escalate if we can solve it in an amicable way; as the president I am looking forward to that. I am pleading to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport to please intervene and to see how we can stop this nonsense. It is unfair for our operators to be in business, you have your mortgages, you have your family, you have other bills out there to settle and at this medium it makes even more discouraging for you to go out there and make an investment because you are afraid because don’t know what tomorrow will bring. At the end of the day the Minister can make recommendations. He may look at me and take me slightly but I am a no nonsense person and I want the Minister to understand that he cannot take the operators for a ride and that is the reason we are here. He promised us that there wouldn’t be any newcomers. When he stated that he did not have the final say, it is a Board decision well I said what is the point in me speaking with you; then I need to go back to my members, I need to go back to the Transport Board for us to make a decision and that is how the 21 days became possible. The media captured it, the nation captured it; this is international via the internet, people in the United States heard it, people were calling in hand over fist. It is no rumours, this was his statement that we had 21 days to sit back, re-visit the schedule and we go from there. Instead of that taking place on Saturday the BBOC entered the terminal just to hear from the Commissioner of Transport that he got a call that they were not supposed to enter the terminal on the 22nd which was Sunday because their runs were revoked and given to Sergio Chuc. As the president I am totally disappointed, it is total betrayal and I think that we should live up to our words, if we say something we must live what we say, it is democracy.”

With only eight runs in the North, BBOC operators are left in dire straits and workers face losing their jobs. At the end of the day, President Thomas Shaw says the final agreement with the members is to hold the Minister to his promise of twenty one days and that they will give the Ministry and the Board twenty four hours for a response to re-instate the BBOC. If no reply is sent, the Association says they will have to go back to the table and discuss plan B.


Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408677
05/26/11 08:49 AM
05/26/11 08:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Bus operators receive support from COLA and demand old routes

We have been reporting on the precarious situation in the bus industry. Last Friday, the Minister of Transport, Melvin Hulse agreed to suspend for twenty-one days, bus routes approved for the north but over the weekend. However, the suspension did not include the changes already made to Western routes and chaos prevailed at the bus terminal in the city when buses were about to proceed on schedule. The Belize Bus Owners Cooperative says the Minister of Transport Melvin Hulse has disrespected them and they have set a deadline of mid-day on Thursday for him to remove the runs granted to Sergio Chuc’s West Line as well as to re-instate the runs held by the Cooperative. Earlier today, COLA came out in full solidarity of the B.B.O.C. in its demands to the Minister. And according to COLA, if the demands are not met, COLA will support the cooperative in quote “organizing, facilitating and executing of any direction.”

Channel 5

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408761
05/27/11 11:13 AM
05/27/11 11:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Bus Operators Not Happy With Ministry’s Response

On Tuesday, the Bus Operators Association gave the Ministry Of Transport a list of demands and an ultimatum to respond by noon today.

Well, the ministry did respond this morning, but the response was not what the Bus Operators wanted to hear. The Operators demanded that all changes to the western runs which went into effect on Saturday be suspended so that the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative can have their regular runs re-instated.

According to Thomas Shaw, Chairman of the Bus Association, the CEO in the Ministry of Transport, Cendelaria Saldivar Mortis today told him that's not going to happen:..

Thomas Shaw, President BBOC
"She told me 'Mr. Shaw we cannot move the Westline because they hae already got a valid road service permit' and that's where we stand. But to my members they are not satisfy with it and as the president I am here in support and they are not in support of it - right now we have Belizeans for Justice, we have COLA with us, we have the taxi union - all of these people are actually united with us and we go from there."

Jules Vasquez
"When you say we go from there, what next?"

Thomas Shaw, President BBOC
"Like I said that we are going to discuss that as soon as you guys leave because I said initially we had our first meeting and we are going to discuss where we go from here and as soon as we get out this meeting you guys can feel free to call us and we will be more than happy to give you a response."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you prepare to entertain civil disobedience?"

Thomas Shaw, President BBOC
"No we will not."

So what's next? Well no one knows really. The meeting to plan their next move finished at 6:00 this evening and at that time the bus operators weren't saying anything.

We'll wait and see what happens tomorrow - but with the mood as bitter as it was this afternoon - we get the sense that it will be an eventful day.

Channel 7

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #408765
05/27/11 11:20 AM
05/27/11 11:20 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Bus operators to demonstrate in Belize City

At midday today a deadline given to the Minister of Transport expired. It has been five days since West Line took over several bus runs to the north and despite protest by rival bus operators it seems that the company, owned by Sergio Chuc, will remain a fixture on the Northern Highway. That’s what Minister Melvin Hulse indicated this morning to President of the Belize Bus Association, Thomas Shaw. Hulse basically told him that there isn’t much that can be done to remove West Line from the route. According to Shaw, he was told by ministry officials that West Line had already been granted a road service permit for the northern runs. But that was not the answer that bus operators were anticipating and this afternoon Shaw met with his membership to inform them that Hulse is also using the age old tactic of divide and rule to get the best of the disgruntled operators.

Thomas Shaw, President, Belize Bus Association

“You are telling me now that you cannot remove West Line. She said well that’s the position Mr. Shaw. She said what you need to do is go back to your members and the quicker you could get your members together then the twenty-one days could be [waived]. I said well we didn’t ask for that. We didn’t ask for no negotiations with five members. If you see the process of what is taking place here today and you see the amount of operators that are in this building at this moment. I heard that the meeting was at nine o’clock [but] I’m not sure if this because she [Candelaria Saldivar] told me that the meeting had [been] postponed because I told the minister that I was going to find out where the meeting would have been and I would show up. But I guess they didn’t really want me to be part of that process and actually what is taking place is conquer and divide and we are looking to separate operators from each other and I don‘t think that‘s fair. As I said Mr. Roger Tun, Mr. Cruz, he get a group of operators together and actually it looked like they formed a board overnight and they are working for the interest or the benefit of themselves and this is not about one or two operators. This is about the entire country and if we are going to operate like this and the minister will actually condone these nonsense. The meeting on Friday, I saw when Mr. Froylan went to the minister to try to talk and he said Andy tell your members I noh di got no private meeting but with your president. That’s what he said and I’m surprised now that two or three other operators are actually having meetings behind the other operators backs or unknowing to the president that is total disrespect again.”

Following today’s meeting at the Sports Council conference room it was decided that there will be no shutdown of the transportation industry. Instead bus operators have agreed to demonstrate in Belize City this coming Sunday.

Channel 5

Re: Fuss about bus; Bus Operators Protest "Betrayal" [Re: Marty] #409178
06/03/11 10:02 AM
06/03/11 10:02 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,407
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The Dean Barrow administration dodged a major bullet this past week
but while narrowly escaping full-blown civil disobedience, they came
away showing major kinks in their armor. Bus operators from across
the nation, joined voices in sending a strong message; do not play
with our daily bread! Early Friday morning, Belizeans awoke to find
all major roadways either blocked or devoid of buses. Despite major
inconvenience suffered by commuters, most were solidly behind the bus
owners and some even went as far as to assist in adding fuel to an
already flaming issue.

The bus owners were reacting to a decision by Minister of
Transportation Melvin Hulse that saw a reshuffling of existing runs to
accommodate relative new-comer and UDP crony Sergio Chuc. While not
uncharacteristic of this administration, Hulse’s move was just too
blatant an act of favoritism to go unchallenged. Prime Minister
Barrow himself recognized Sergio Chuc as a UDP official and hinted
that Hulse may have made a mistake. The Prime Minister stopped short
of chastising his minister however and gave not even remote indication
of reversing said indiscretion. Mr. Barrow went as far as to suggest
that Chuc’s status as party official should in no way prevent him from
receiving road permits. Not in your view Mr. Barrow, but justice
should at least seem to be done. Interestingly enough to date, no
evidence has yet been presented that Chuc even has legitimate road
permits. Most buses either still have on foreign licenses plates or
bear no plates at all.

The most incredulous aspect of this whole scenario is that Melvin
Hulse would think that he could get away with it. The bus owners first
became aware of the plan when they were informed a couple of weeks ago
that they would have to make room for Chuc. What Hulse did, was to
demand that members of (Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC) surrender
their western runs to Westline (Sergio Chuc’s company) and take up
runs in the northern zone which were being taken away from operators
like Chell, Gilharry and others. What was Hulse thinking? Did he
really believe that these operators would just quietly surrender their
means for a living and not protest?
When the operators initially protested, Hulse promised that he would
hold off implementation of the new schedules pending a 21 days
consultation period. That assurance was given on Saturday May 21st
but less than 24 hours later on Sunday 22nd, the bus operators found
themselves locked out of the terminal and forbidden from conducting
their usual runs. For the Prime Minister to now suggest that Chuc
could file for injunction to keep things as they are is ludicrous and
misleading. If anyone should be filing for an injunction, it is the
original holders of the permits who were pushed aside illegally and

Kudos to the bus owners from north, west and south which were able to
organize and execute a complete shutdown of the country’s major
highways without the government having a clue. On the previous
evening’s newscast, Jules Vasquez had asked one of the representatives
if there were any plans for industrial action. The answer was an
unequivocal “no” which apparently left the government breathing a sigh
of relief and in no hurry to pull up their pants. By four o’clock on
Friday morning, all traffic was brought to a standstill and tires were
ablaze across the road in at least two key locations. This in spite
of a secret meeting held with a few crony operators up north who
apparently convinced Hulse and company that they could avert any such
action. What transpired in effect was a case of the ambusher being

The same scenario played itself out again later that day when no less
than the Prime Minister found himself the quarry in another guileful
snare. Confident that he had bamboozled himself into a compromise,
the PM quickly called a press conference where the two representatives
of the main cooperatives were expected to revere his tirer d’affaire.
Mr. Barrow revels in playing hero and savior, despite the fact that
most of the predicaments that he rushes to rectify, are ultimately of
his own or one of his fawner’s doing. Fortunately for Mr. Barrow,
Roger Tun stepped in front of the proverbial bullet and while
destroying his own credibility was able to rescue Mr. Barrow from a
very embarrassing situation.

The most shameful player in the whole series of events was Patrick
Faber. Like a whimp holding up a child to protect himself, Faber
insisted that all students, hook or crook, present themselves to
classrooms in order to take the second half of their CXC’s
examination. Most students rely on public transportation to get to
and fro their schools. This put an additional guilt on the conscience
of bus owners and no doubt played a key role in their decision to call
off their blockade.

The crisis, for now at least, seems to have been averted. One would
hope that the lesson will not be lost on this administration but
knowing their arrogance and ignorance, that is much to hope for. The
people of Belize are on edge. Cost of living is through the roof,
crime is out of control and jobs become scarcer by the day. With a
fresh group of graduates set to enter the job market, look for
conditions to get even tenser.
No true patriot would hope for the types of civil disobedience that
we have seen destroy other countries but with this government’s
mule-headed policies, we can only view it as we do hurricanes. Not a
matter of if but when!

-- G. Michael Reid

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
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Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
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