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Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Commentary: My views on the Belize-Guatemala issue
By Wellington C. Ramos: The Guatemalan claim to Belize, like all the claims that exist among the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, has its roots in the Treaty of Tordesillas that was signed between Spain and Portugal in 1493 and approved by the then Catholic Pope Alexander the VI of Spain. Neither Spain, Portugal nor the Catholic Pope had the right to come all the way to this part of the world to take away the land of the indigenous people of this planet. Such action is deemed as genocide committed by all those who were involved in this inhumane act. All territories taken by these individuals must be returned to those who were there at the time they came to use force to wage an unjustified war against these people's nation state. In addition, all titles to land obtained by these Europeans must be voided and the lands must be handed back to the true owners, the indigenous people who live in these countries today.

Pro Boxing Fight in San Ignacio Sept. 25
VIP TICKETS $75.00 GENERAL ADMISSION $25.00 7:00pm @ Victor Galveston Stadium


Write Offs Can Only Be Approved By Board Of Directors Of LICU Says Former President
As you heard, one of the accusations made against Gomez by the Board of Directors has to do with unauthorized loan and interest write offs. As it refers to the write offs Gomez has stated that it was mentioned in her letter of termination. But one person that is not buying that reason or any of the remaining 10 mentioned by the president of the Board of Directors Ena Martinez, as a reasonable cause for Gomez’s termination is Emory Jacobs. Jacob’s is the former president and vice president of the Board of Directors and he is also a member/owner of the institution. He told us today the board has got it all wrong and shared that when it comes to write offs, it has to be authorized by the board of directors. “The way the Board run the Credit Union is that on a monthly basis we have management meetings, the manager would present the financials to the Board a copy to each member before the meeting so you could have time to go through it read it and understand it and write down whatever question you may want to ask the manager and that is the way it has been done monthly and if there is any cash shortage you would get it on a monthly basis and you could question it but no five hundred thousand dollars can jump out and appear now in the figures that is craziness I would never support that they cannot prove that.”

Ex-Vice President Of Guatemala Detained For Corruption
Ex-Vice President of Guatemala Roxana Baldetti was detained this morning by Guatemalan Authorities in connection with a customs corruption scandal that led to her resignation on May 8th 2015. The Ex-Vice President was informed of her detention at a hospital where she was seeking treatment for health problems since Sunday. Reports are that prosecutors have also announced that they are seeking to investigate President Otto Perez Molina in the matter and are seeking to have Perez Molina's immunity of office withdrawn so they can investigate his possible involvement. According to reports from the International press, Perez Molina also has denied involvement, and a recent bid to lift his immunity died in Congress last week.

CCCPS Receives donation From JICA
The Corozal Church of Christ Primary School first open its doors in 1993 and since then it has grown by leaps and bounds. What started as a single building has evolved into a 2 story building with continuous growth not only with its physical structure but also technologically. Today, through the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency, the school received a total of 15 laptops just in time for the new school year. David Diego, General Manager for Church of Christ told us more. “This is a partnership between the Corozal Church of Christ primary school and JICA and what happened is that through our volunteer here with JICA we get to know about these computers that it could be bought over in Japan and transported her to our institution so as to enhance our information and communication technology.”

BTB Releases Latest Statistics On Tourism
The latest tourist arrivals statistics for the first seven months of the year were released this morning by the Belize Tourism Board. The figures reveal that overnight arrivals had a 1.6% increase in June and 3% increase in July. The BTB statistics also indicate that Cruise passenger arrivals show an overall increase of 0.2%. The official press release from the BTB says that “the 0.8% drop in cumulative arrivals through the first seven months of 2015 was partially attributed to the consistent decreases in the number of overnight visitors from the Canadian market.” On the Cruise tourism side, the BTB says that there were “major increases” of 16.6% in January and 15.8% in March of this year. A “slight decrease” of 2.7% was registered for February due to the cancellation of two ships “due to adverse weather conditions.”

Yolanda Gomez Speaks Out, She Denies Allegation Made Against Her
Tomorrow the Board of Directors of La Inmacualda Credit Union will face thousands of its members/owners at the Special General Meeting scheduled to commence at nine in the morning at the Muffles High School Auditorium. The Board of Directors will be addressing four points as requested by a group of members/owners who demanded for the special meeting to be held. Among the four issues is the termination of the institutions General Manager Yolanda Gomez. Tonight though there are some members/owners who are questioning whether it makes sense for the meeting to take place. The sentiment comes at the heels of pre-recorded statement issued by the LICU’s Board of Directors late Wednesday night. In the statement, Ena Martinez, the Board’s president, goes into more detail as to why the board decided to fire Gomez after 24 years of service, by outlining 11 major reasons which were discovered as a result of an investigation carried out by the Central Bank and a special financial investigator. Martinez talks about Misdirection, violation of conflict of interest policy in the extent of undisclosed and under disclosed related party transactions to the board of directors, misrepresentation, fraud, substantial cash shortage, forgery, unauthorized rules of the corporate credit cards for personal purposes, Improper cash management, unauthorized loan and interest write offs, deliberate falsification of cash card reports and excessive loan exposure.

The Reporter

Rotary Gift of Life Program holds August clinics
The Rotary Club of Belize held the final session of its gift of Life paediatric cardiology clinics on Sunday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The clinics, provide free cardiology (heart) checkups and treatments to children and youths, and also coordinate with hospitals in the United States to arrange surgeries for patients who are in critical conditions. Through the clinics, the ROtary assisted approximately 83 patients, many of which have been identified as needing surgical intervention for varying heart conditions. Jai Mala-Vasquez, Rotary GOL committee member, explained that the clinic was a novelty this year, exceeding the average number of new patient encounters.

NICH wraps up summer art program with a puppet show
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) brought a month-long summer arts program to a close this past week with a puppet show at the Bliss Center for Performing arts. The program, carried out by the Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) closed off with the show on Saturday, featuring Mexican Puppeteer Raquel Robles Pacheco, as well some of the participants who trained under Robles during the program. Kim Vasquez, Youth Development Officer with NICH explained that Robles teaches puppet-making and the art of conducting a puppet show to both adults and children. “This is her third year with us. She teaches how to make cultural puppets and how to address social using the puppet show”, Vasquez said. “She always caters the trainings she does to meet the specific needs of the communities she’s working with.”

Ahmadiyyah leader encourages his followers to make sacrifices to the comfort of others in distress
Ahmadiyyah World Leader His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has encouraged his followers to be considerate and helpful to their fellow human beings. “According to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, the love that a Muslim must adopt for humanity should be such that he or she should become restless upon seeing any other person in discomfort. A true Muslim must always be watchful of the sentiments of others and must sacrifice his own comfort for the sake of the comfort of his fellow beings”, the Ahmadiyyah leader said. He was addressing attendees to the 49 Annual World Conference (Jalsa Salana) for Ahmadiyyah Muslims in London, England. His Holiness also said that the wider society has been misled as to the true teachings of of Islam and that people who come to know of what the Ahmadiyyah Muslims stand for, their views and perceptions change.

The Belize Times

Barrow Endangers Belizeans – Prime Minister knew Guatemala has asserted control of Sarstoon Island
In one of his worst press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was seen as deceitful and hypocritical and as the person principally at fault for the unacceptable situation with the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island. The nation of Belize has now heard from his own mouth that the Belize Defense Force, when travelling on the Sarstoon River to access their small base at Cadenas, are routinely harassed by Guatemalan naval vessels. This has never been told to our nation before. Neither has there been any information of any formal protests by Belize to the Guatemala government. Nor did the Prime Minister say that each and every such behavior has been documented and rigorously protested. No such thing was said because no such actions have been taken. This constitutes grave lapses and negligence on the part of the Prime Minister of Belize. On whose watch the behavior of the Guatemala has become aggressive and intolerable.

Pride and Shame!! – PUP Leader hails Territorial Volunteers; chastises PM and Foreign Minister
The Leader of the People’s United Party Hon. Francis Fonseca saluted the brave and bold Belizeans who travelled to the Sarstoon River on Sunday, August 16th as part of a patriotic expedition to assert Belize’s territorial sovereignty, at a Press Conference held at the Party Headquarters on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015. Fonseca declared that he was filled with “Pride in our Belizean citizens who on Sunday August 16th, gathered in the beautiful community of Barranco in southern Belize and embarked on a journey of courage and determination in support of Belize’s territorial integrity and sovereign dignity. Pride in those who stood up to Guatemalan aggression in defense of our homeland”. But he also pointed out that he felt very ashamed of the Government of Belize, whose decision to abandon the expedition goers and deny them protection from our military and security forces in the face of Guatemala’s known aggression, was the highest form of dereliction of duty.

Naughty, Naughty Carla
Last week’s Amandala carried a Letter to the Editor on Belize’s External Debt ostensibly signed by now UDP political aspirant Carla Barnett. The letter was obviously written by an apologist for the UDP. It repeatedly attempted to confuse the reader about the debt incurred by the PUP Government between 1998 and 2005. While most political insiders know that this comes from the pen of the Hallmark Advisory Ltd. elf of Super Bond $1.7M commission fame, it was naughty of Carla to be used in such an obvious display of revisionism. Naughty Carla did not once mention hurricane Mitch in 1998, Keith in 1999 and Iris and Chantal in 2001. The blue ribbon commission of the Economic Commission for Latin America, ECLA, after considerable study deemed Keith alone to be a $560M loss for Belize of which GOB had to reconstruct $211M in projects. Other studies show overall losses on Keith, Chantal and Iris alone to be well over $1Bn. The IDB responded immediately with $25M, but even they knew that this was a drop in the bucket. Naughty Carla knows that the IMF did not give us a penny.

28 year old Joel Bishop beaten to death by 20 men
The vicious brutality and cruelty involved in the murder of 28 year old Joel Bishop over the weekend has evoked shock and outrage among city residents. Bishop was found on the cold cement ground of Newtown Barracks, between MCC Grounds and Princess Ramada around 3am on Saturday August 15th morning. Moments earlier, he had been ambushed by a crowd of young men, reportedly some 20 of them, who launched a cruel beating and assault using bottles, sticks and rocks. Reports are that while Bishop lay on the ground, even a car ran over him crushing his frail body. Exactly what caused this public display of rogue and brutal aggression is not yet known, but it is being investigated by the Police.

The Courageous and Few
On Sunday September 16th, Belizeans at home and abroad held their collective breaths and awaited word from the southernmost region of our nation. Against the stern advice and strict warning from the government of the day, a hundred plus persons, led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) hired five boats and headed out on an expedition to the Sarstoon Island. That island and surrounding area, while indubitably within the confines and borders of Belize, has been the scene of various incidents between Belizeans and the Guatemalan armed forces. As recent as February of this year, a team on a similar mission was taken into custody by Guatemalan authorities and transported to Livingston, an eastern port town inside of Guatemala. The group, consisting of 36 Orange Walkeneons and one from Corozal Town, was detained overnight but were released the following day after Captain Guillermo Avila signed a statement agreeing that he had indeed strayed for a few minutes into Guatemalan waters. The response from our government was to say the least, very weak! On May 28th of this year, there was another tense moment when members of our Coast Guard were aggressed by members of the Guatemalan Navy.

Big Picture – Small Picture
Offshore banks without correspondent banks means no offshore banking sector. The essence of offshore banking is the free flow of foreign currency, primarily US dollars, through the banks without any exchange control. This is akin to conducting banking business in the U.S. but doing it outside the U.S. Without correspondent banks, then you are forced to do banking essentially back in the U.S., which means that Belize’s offshore banks are no longer attractive, and ultimately would lead to a loss of skilled labor jobs in the banking sector. Moreover, apart from facilitating the offshore services sector in Belize, funds that ended up in the Belize offshore banks played a key role in tourism investment in Belize. It has also played a key role in financing citrus and shrimp, major export industries in Belize, among others. This will all now dry up thereby negatively affecting these key industries in our economy. This will mean reduced investment in these industries and most certainly loss of jobs. The loss of correspondent banks by domestic banks can have an even more severe adverse impact on our economy. Ordinary everyday transactions may be impaired if not curtailed. Just the purchase of consumer items from abroad like imported food or imported electricity or imported fuel (not to mention capital items like steel, cement and equipment) will become difficult.

Chetumal’s Eduardo José Mayo Poot wins Spartan Fitness Club Bodybuilding Classic II
Eduardo José Mayo Poot, from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico won the 2015 Spartan Fitness Club (SFC) Bodybuilding Classic held in Corozal Town on Sunday, August 16, 2015. The competition, hosted by Corozal Town’s Spartan Fitness Gym which is owned and managed by three-time Mr. Belize titleholder Rigo Vellos, saw the participation of fifteen fitness and bodybuilding athletes in the categories: Men’s Physique, Up to 70 Kilograms, Over 70 kilograms, and Overall. Spartan Fitness Club expresses sincere gratitude to those who provided sponsorship to the event and to the fans who came out to support. The competition was officiated and observed by officials of the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation and the results are as follows:

Belize spanks Panama & Nicaragua, after loss to El Salvador – 2015 Central American U-18 Volleyball Championships
Belize has a two-game winning streak, defeating Panama 25-8, 25-14, 25-10 on Tuesday night and hammering Nicaragua: 25:20, 25-21, 25-17 on Monday night at the Central American Under-18 volleyball championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. In the match against Nicaragua, Belize’s Mya Musa and Kori Diego scored 12pts apiece, each hammering 10 kills at the net; while Mya also served 2 aces and Kori had 2 blocks. Team captain Juel Lewis also scored 7 hits, and Anyka Flowers had 2 blocks to score 4pts. Alexis Burns served 2 aces for 3 pts, and libero Alia Alvarez dug up 3 saves in 10 good receptions by Team Belize. Nicaragua also committed 38 errors, to Belize’s advantage; while Belize had 31 errors.

Verdes and Queretero tie 0-0
There were no goals in Hankook Verdes FC’s debut in the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League against Mexico’s Gallos Blancos de Querétaro at the FFB Stadium on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. The Gallos dominated the opening moments, with Edgar Benitez, Mario ‘Mono’ Osuna and Luis Madrigal, pressuring on the field, but as the minutes passed no goal was scored. Verdes’ goalkeeper Benito Morreira was steadfast in his defense of the goal. He stopped all attempts and was constantly called the man of the match by the game analysts. The home team pressured with shots by Yoras Silva and Jarett Davis, who were active in the penalty box and keenly watched by visiting goal keeper Edgar Hernandez.

“An assault on Belize’s sovereignty” – Major Lloyd Jones warns: Guatemala’s actions should not be taken lightly
“Belize has given up rights over Sarstoon Island to Guatemala’s military”, stated former Belize Defence Force Maritime wing Commanding Officer Major Lloyd Jones who offered his expert view on the events that occurred at the Sartsoon River on Sunday, August 16, 2015. “What we witnessed on Sunday was an assault on Belize’s sovereignty. What we had was an armed incursion into Belize and these matters must not be taken lightly,” Major Jones said at a PUP Press Conference this week. The Major explained that while the Guatemalan military or naval forces normally exercise a right of visit near the Sarstoon waters to check on the visitors, having determined that the group of people were Belizean civilians who were not a threat that right had extinguished.

Where was GOB in the Battle of Sarstoon Island?
“It’s a frickin’ disgrace that the Government got NO backbone to support us out here,” blurted out Orlando de la Fuente in an interview on the Territorial Volunteers’ visit to the Sarstoon last Sunday August 16th. To make matters worse, Sedi Elrington, in his “artificial” style stated in an interview with senior journalist Rowland Parks that he does not know if the Guatemalan military was in Belize’s waters and that he would have to see the OAS report. Firstly, we are proud of the men, women and children who formed part of the Territorial Volunteers expedition who went by bus and boat to Barranco determined to enforce Belizean rights over Belize’s Sarstoon Island amidst Guatemalan intimidation and abandonment from the Belize Government at the orders of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It was a victory for Belizeans against a spineless and weak foreign policy of this UDP administration.

Human Bats – The Echolocation Project
Did you know that it is possible for people to “see” like bats do? Using echolocation techniques, the brain can be trained to see using sonar waves, the way bats can see in the night. This means immense possibilities for people who are blind! For the past 10 days BCVI clients Rowan Garel, Juan Reina and Donovan Reneau have been working in-country with echolocation instructor Brian Bushway of the US-based organization World Access for the Blind. Brian has been blind since his teens and has been studied by scientists across the globe after displaying the ability to echolocate. When Brian uses his tongue to make clicks, the sound bounces off the objects around him and tests results show that both the audio and visual cortices of the brain are activated. Just like a bat, Brian is able to see! This Echolocation Project came about late last year when scientist and photographer Carol Foster approached long-time friends Milagro and Joe Garel about Rowan learning the technique. Carol quickly contacted the organization in the US and along with BCVI spent months raising funds to make the dream a reality.

Of this and that…
There is a show down. Chronixx is coming. “Looser than Lucy” is coming. They will be in Belize. They have shows. The shows are the same night. September 9. Flesh vs. consciousness. Trinidad vs Jamaica. Drunkingness vs. Parrowness. Little Belize is growing up. Too fast. Maybe Belize is too small. Too small for both. Wonder who will win. I say nakedness and wine up. Rastaman don’t stand a chance. Pokonoboy win. The song competition was lucky. Lucky that this youth is real. He is a senior performer. He had a Phillip Goldson. He had a George Price. He had a Mr. Peters. He deserved to win. What a fluke. He did win. Lisa. You big. Large. Tall up. You are having the best week ever. First a woman press conference. Then you string up BTL. Blast dem. Then you brakes the Guatemalan. They mi di lie. You get four senior PUP Ministers to put them in check. Four Foreign Minister. Then bam. You put on your shades. A pair of BDF boots. Then you gone to brace the Guatemalans. You di win.

Sunday, August 16, 2015 was an important and exciting day. My group and I filled up on fuel, and we left the Ladyville area before 10am. We knew it would be a long drive to Big Falls, Toledo for the Power to the People Rally and Consultation. We had arranged earlier to stop for a brief lunch in Silk Grass Village on the Southern Highway, so we factored that time into our plan to arrive in Big Falls by 2 pm, the time for the scheduled start of our PUP event. The previous day, our Chairman of BRC Pepe Garcia left, along with Senator Lisa Shoman and others, for Punta Gorda, intending to spend the night in PG, before going on the excursion to the Sarstoon River and Island as planned and coordinated by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, on Sunday. My thoughts during the drive south were of course with all the brave Belizeans who decided to proceed as planned to the Sarstoon, despite the cowardly stance of the Belizean government that it was not only ill-advised, but also downright dangerous to go to the Sarstoon. We all know of course that our infamous Foreign Minister sat idly by and left the lies of the Guatemalan Foreign Minister completely unanswered.

We have lost Sarstoon Island
We lost the battle for Sarstoon Island. evoke It was a bittersweet defeat at the mouth of the Sarstoon River which separates us from our neighbor. This happened early Sunday afternoon August 16th, 2015. The day had started out like any other day. Jehovah’s mighty sun rose in the east as we headed south by road. When the first rays hit the sky, they scattered the clouds in crimson splendor across a land that once was so free alongside the Caribbean Sea. Wil Maheia had organized another of his border expeditions. His territorial volunteers would travel to the Sarstoon Island and if possible try to place the Belizean flag on it. If not possible, the island would be circled by a flotilla of hired boats.

What about salary increase for the Faculty and Staff of the UB??
Dear Editor, Both the Public Service Union and the Belize National Teacher’s Union have neglected the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and the University of Belize and their need for a salary increase. We all know that UB is run by the Government. The Government pays their salaries, Government appoints the President, Government determines if UB can raise fees or not, the Minister of Education appoints the Board of Trustees. The amalgamation to form UB included 4 Government institutions. UB is controlled and managed by the Government of Belize. UB is still owned by the Government of Belize! When Government froze increments for public officers, UB froze the increment for employees. When Government reduced payment for study leave for 80% to 50%; UB reduced payment also (Government reinstated the 80%, but UB did not). When Government granted salary increases; UB gave salary increases. Now, UB is ironically a Statutory Body. Wasn’t this so all along?

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Cayo police looking for Rayford Staine in drugs case
While conducting foot patrol in San Ignacio Town around 10:00 a.m on Friday morning, August 21st, police officers saw man known to them as Rayford Staine, throw some green, leafy substance as they approached him near the Cayo Welcome Center. The suspected cannabis was retrieved and weighed, amounting to 12.8 […]

Motorcycle thief sought by Cayo police
The San Ignacio Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Cesar Romero, who stole a Meilun motorcycle valued at $3,000 that belonged to police constable Tedford Augustine of Geoegeville Village, Cayo District. Romero stole the red and black motorcycle from underneath Augustine’s home while he was asleep […]

Drugs found in church yard
Base on information received, San Ignacio police conducted a searched on Friday August 21st, inside the compound of Nazarene Church on Burns Avenue in that municipality which led them to the discovery of a black plastic bag with green vegetable substance weighing in at 26.7 grams of cannabis. Since no […]

Foul play not suspected in death of Cayo teacher
On Friday, we broke the news on the female body discovered in San Ignacio Town. Today, an official police report from the San Ignacio Police formation has been issued with the details surrounding this unfortunate incident. According to officials of that formation, around 1:05 pm they responded to a call […]

Sunny skies in Belize as T.S. Danny closes in on islands
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies and warm weather is expected today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little to no rainfall. Winds blow from the East at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be light chop – choppy. High temperatures today are expected […]

Oil prices below US$40; will they stay there?
USA Today reported on Friday that for the first time in six and a half years, prices for oil dipped – however briefly – below the psychologically important threshold of US$40 (BZ$80) per barrel. It is mixed news for Belize, which has seen prices in LPG (butane) and gasoline dip […]


You’ll be Sorry if You Miss Belize’s September Carnival, So Make Plans Now
If you need an excuse to dress in an outrageous costume, apply mud paint to your face and dance through streets, you don’t have to wait for the Lenten season because Belize invites the world to celebrate its independence each September by staging an extravagant Carnival. A long winter is on the horizon and chances to cut loose won’t come again until February, so make plans now to be part of the 2015 extravaganza in Belize City. How did Carnival in Belize get its start? Thank parents who decided to dress their children in costumes 40 years ago to add excitement to the nation’s bland 10th of September Battle of St. George’s Caye celebration. Every year, the costume parade generated more enthusiasm. Adults wanted to be part of the celebration and with it came the evolution of a Carnival that now showcases the country’s ethnic diversity. This mash-up of Afro-Caribbean and Creole cultures with a dash of Mayan and assorted other influences shaped the parade that’s staged today.

The “Battle” for Sarstoon – a first person account
As usual these are my observations and opinions solely, and, of course, my conclusions for my own purposes. It is NOT a news report. The women! Carolyn Trench-Sandiford woke me up a few minutes after 4:00 a.m. and quite adeptly drove us to Barranco Village. Although I had awakened at 3:00 am and had gotten up and made coffee, I went back to bed and for some inexplicable reason fell back asleep. I was awakened from blissful sleep when she hollered for me outside and I cannot thank her enough. I would’ve hated to have missed going to the Sarstoon. As a citizen I am thankful for the efforts of the Belizean Territorial Volunteers to try and wake up Belizeans from their induced sedation where the existential threat that Guatemala’s claim is to the nation of Belize. The BTVIPNP saying “No” to the ICJ does not make a lot of sense to me but the effort to draw attention to Guatemala’s posture, (stance and action), as well their more critical-than-not analyses of and commentary on the GOB’s dispute management in this regard is very needed at a time when the official opposition has been too circumspect in my estimation.

For Rose’s Birthday Season, the gifts that keep on giving
I think I outdid myself this year. In 2014 during that special monthlong holiday known as Rose’s Birthday Season (it ends Sept. 7, more or less … ) I gave my wife an especially thoughtful gift — new fenders for her bicycle! What? I hear you snickering. But let me tell you something, diamonds are not a girl’s best friend when you are pedaling a bicycle through water-filled, truck-eating potholes during the rainy season in Belize. Good fenders are! Last year, during Rose’s Birthday Season, there was no concrete road in front of our home but they were building one and the heavy equipment cut deep tracks into the rain sodden road, tracks which filled, merged and were deep and wide enough to sustain whole ecological systems, if not the Loch Ness Monster. OK, this year we have the road. I do not know where the rain is but we could sure use some of it now.

International Sourcesizz

Cuba’s tourism gains will be at others’ expense
Neighbouring islands in the Caribbean stand to lose out as more Americans head for larger, and quite possibly cheaper, new competitor in their midst. The sight of the Stars and Stripes being hoisted over the newly opened US embassy in Cuba was one of the most visible signs yet of the diplomatic rapprochement between the long-term foes. If President Barack Obama gets his way, the US Congress will soon go further still and lift its 55-year-old trade embargo on the island. Such a move would be a major boon to the Cuban economy, not least by unleashing a torrent of big-spending American tourists on the island, which has largely been starved of such arrivals for more than half a century. This, however, could prove disastrous for some of the small islands elsewhere in the Caribbean which are heavily dependent on tourism. They could see much of the US tourism trade they have come to reply on decamping to the large, and quite possibly cheaper, new competitor in their midst. “Although the embargo and travel restrictions remain in place, an eventual lifting of sanctions would be a watershed event for the region,” says Claudia Calich, emerging markets debt manager at M&G Investments. “Countries that have the majority of tourists coming from the US are the ones that will stand to lose the most as these tourists head to Cuba instead. That could be disastrous for some.”

All that weed…
No, I mean the other sort. Smells worse, and just as much trouble. Piles of brown stinking seaweed, sometimes six feet deep, rot on beaches from Barbados to Belize. “I don’t think it will affect the tourism in Tobago,” said Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed this month. UWI Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles disagrees. Last Monday, he called sargassum “the greatest single threat to the Caribbean economy I can imagine.” He wants a Sargassum Emergency Agency. Sun, sand, sea and sargassum? Island economies depend arms, legs and neck on tourism. But Hadeed says Tobago “is not only the beaches…it is so beautiful and friendly.” Yes, up to a point. There’s more to life than beaches. Scuba diving, for starters. But stink up the beaches, and you have trouble. If in doubt, check TripAdvisor.

Declaration of the Secretary General of the OAS on the Situation in Guatemala
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, expresses his concern over the recent political developments in Guatemala, including calls from various sectors of society to postpone the elections scheduled for September 6. In accordance with resolution AG/RES. 2877 (XLV-O/15) Support for the Electoral Process in Guatemala, adopted by the General Assembly of the OAS on June 15, 2015, and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the Secretary General stresses that it is essential that the elections be held under the existing constitutional framework. The Secretary General reiterates the inalienable right of citizens to express their will through the ballot box, thus ensuring the continuity of the democratic process in Guatemala. In addition, he calls on all sectors of society and the authorities in the country to respect the laws and the Constitution.

Guatemala ministers resign after impeachment bid against president
The last remaining ministers of Guatemalan President Otto Perez's original cabinet said on Saturday they could no longer work in his government after prosecutors sought to impeach him for corruption, piling pressure on the head of state to resign. Economy Minister Sergio de la Torre and Education Minister Cynthia del Aguila said they were standing down a day after the attorney general asked the Supreme Court for permission to prosecute Perez over a suspected customs racket. "I took office without political affiliation. We're disappointed and cannot continue in our posts," de la Torre told a news conference in Guatemala City. Asked whether Perez should resign, de la Torre said: "That is up to the president, it's not for us to answer this." The president has denied any wrongdoing, but his position is in increasing jeopardy after prosecutors on Thursday also arrested his former vice president over the customs scandal and said they believed the 64-year-old Perez was in on the scam.


  • Belize Healing Project, 4.5min.

  • Our Family Reunion, 4min. Cozumel/Belize/Honduras /

  • BELIZE! Day 5 :) Time to head home., 3min.

  • BELIZE Day 4! Our island adventure :), 5min.

  • Belize, 11min.

  • BELIZE Alla scoperta del Territorio, 8.5min. Immagini suggestive di un Paese sommerso dall'acqua, viaggio tra gli Indigeni e una giungla piena di sorprese.

  • Hood News (Belize), 56min. News from around Belize by Enoch Hudson.

  • Belize La Isla Bonita, 7min. Belize - La Isla Bonita - carnaval.

  • Belize Vac 2015, 40min. Belize Vacation 2015 Manta at min 4 Crab at min 6 Blue Hole at Min 8 Turtle at min 11:30 Shark at min 14 Fish at min 16 Tikal Guatemala at min 21 Must see min 32:50

  • 3rd Day in Belize Half Moon Cay, Part 2, 8min.

  • 4th Day in Belize Deep Dive, Part 1, 6min.

  • 4th Day in Belize Deep Dive, Part 2, 5min.

  • 3rd Day in Belize The Aquarium, 2.5min.

  • 4th Day in Belize Playing with Nurse Shark, 10min.

  • 2nd Day in Belize Turtle & Reef, 7min.

  • 3rd Day in Belize Into the Blue Hole, 9min.

  • 2nd Day in Belize Big Group & Another Big Shark, 8min.

  • 1st Day in Belize The Remora is back, 4min.

  • Belize it or not, 9min. Jordan Family does Belize - 2015.

  • NG Student Expeditons Belize 2015, 4min. Highlights from my trip to Belize with National Geographic Student Expeditions!

  • 1st Day in Belize Cool Swimthrough and Big Shark, 5min.

  • Belize Honeymoon 2015 (Glover's Atoll), 4.5min. Layton and Sarah Dessert's Honeymoon at Glover's Atoll, Belize.

  • Snorkeling Ambergris Caye, Belize, 2.5min. We've snorkeled these spots tons of times, but have never gotten such great videos of moray eels, stingrays and sea turtles.