The state of Belize’s economy is dire and the International Monetary Fund confirmed this week that the country is broke and has been in a recession since before the COVID-19 pandemic. But who’s responsible? The Briceño administration blames the former U.D.P. government, former Prime Minister Dean Barrow in particular. But Senator Elena Smith says that both the U.D.P. and P.U.P. neglected their duties as parties in opposition. She says the teachers are out in force to give them a little history lesson.

Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“I’ve said before and I will say it again. If the government now in power had done their job as opposition, we would not be where we are. And this goes for both governments because our people in opposition only speak when it is going to help them. But if it is for them to put things in place that they know will come back to bite them, they won’t stand up. So we will stand up for that because at the end of the day, it is our people who are going to be suffering for the things that our leaders do. We have to understand that any party in opposition will always use the work of the unions or the activities of the union of their benefits. We don’t invite them to our events, but they come and they join our events. We saw in 2005 with Patrick Faber, he was with us. He got into government and what happened? You saw that. We saw where Mister Briceño, when he was in opposition, walked along with the teachers when we were protesting in 2016. They are in government now; what are they doing? So these things happen. That will not deter us from our goal, from our vision, from what it is that we must do. Oppositions will use every chance that they can get to boost themselves and when then get in government, they forget where they come from. We are the ones to remind them of where they came from and what they have promised to us.”

Channel 5