Today's Belize News: August 1, 2020 - 08/01/20 12:36 PM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.
Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye join forces with Belize Children’s Assistance Organization to send children to school
The Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye has teamed up with the Belize Children’s Assistance Organization (BCAO) on the island to assist four children with their upcoming school fees. BCAO has been advocating for jobless parents on the island since April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Created by islander Yamilett Cerpa, the organization has helped the less fortunate with basic food items and baby products, and now with the help of donors and other organizations, they are trying to help send children to school.
Various Belizean Sources
Belize's Economic Recovery Strategy
The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, joined by Hon. Tracy Panton, Minister with responsibility for Investment, Trade and Commerce, and Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Food and Agriculture, launched Belize's Economic Recovery Strategy at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza on July 31, 2020.
Mr. Francisco Luis Nuñez passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to express its sincere condolences to the Nuñez family on the sad passing of Mr. Francisco Luis Nuñez, better known as, Teacher Frank or Mr. Frank. Teacher Frank was a true pioneer to education in the Town of San Pedro as he was one of the founders of San Pedro High School in its genesis. Later on, Teacher Frank branched out and opened his own institution of learning, St. Peter's College. We hope his family finds strength in each other to overcome this great loss. Teacher Frank will be greatly missed. May his soul rest in peace.
Dive Into Tourism newest publication is NOW AVAILABLE!
The rippling effects of the Corona Virus Pandemic has changed the tourism industry and air travel as we know it.
Caye Caulker RC School Virtual Presentation
Please take notice that the Principal of Caye Caulker R. C. School will be holding a virtual presentation on Sunday, August 2, 2020, at 2:00pm to share our school plan for the new school year. Please make an effort to log on to The Voice of Caye Caulker facebook at this time to be fully informed of the procedures and protocols that will be put in place. You will be able to send in your questions or call in after presentation.
Elections and Boundaries Dept. visiting Caye Caulker Aug 7,8,9
The general public is hereby notified that the Elections and Boundaries Department will be at the Cave Caulker Community Center. Cave Caulker Village during the period 7th. 8th. and 9th August 2020. between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to accept applications for registration and change of division.
Monthly Rainfall Summary for
The month of June marks the official beginning of the Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season. In Belize it is also the first full month of the rainy season which usually starts around mid-May. June is climatologically the wettest month of the year at the airport and also at many of the weather stations across the country. Weather systems that typically produce rain during this month include tropical waves, Tropical Upper Tropospheric Troughs (TUTTs) and very rarely tropical cyclones.
COVID-19 Update | July 31, 2020
A further 66 samples were processed today for SARS-CoV2. We have recovered 3 patients, these are all from the OW district. We don't have any case today so we remain at 48. We continue to remain vigilant for all suspect cases and our enhances surveillance will continue to test all suspect cases. We continue to urge the community to engage with the prevention measures as we all move along together.
NEW CONTROLLED PRICES FOR LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG)
The Supplies Control Unit (SCU) in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce is hereby informing the general public that effective Friday, July 31st, 2020 new fixed controlled prices will be introduced for the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). This change now reflects the sale by wholesale volume and retail sale by volume in both urban and rural areas.
Expansion of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to Protect Important Reef Ecosystem
The Minister with responsibility for Fisheries, Dr. Hon. Omar Figueroa, has signed a Statutory Instrument for the expansion of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to protect an important reef ecosystem known as the Corona Reef or Cayman Crown located south of the Sapodilla Cayes.
DFC TOURISM SECTOR RECOVERY LOANS
DFC, helping Belize and our Tourism stakeholders through challenging times.
Land title transfers with foreign nationals rule change
BNAR - Belize National Association of Realtors - In a move that our members and industry stakeholders at large have been clamoring for, The Government of Belize has announced that Land Title transfers involving foreign nationals will no longer require The Central Bank of Belize's approval before it can be processed by the lands department. As a replacement, government will now require that the Central Bank simply be notified of these transactions. And in the event a transaction is suspect, the Central Bank will be able to flag that specific application and conduct relevant investigations.
GOVERNMENT DE-REGULATES HALLMARK EXCHANGE CONTROL REGULATION OF LAND TRANSFER & SECURITIES PERMITS FROM CENTRAL BANK
In a Statutory Instrument No. 106 of 2020 dated July 29th, 2020 EXCHANGE CONTROL (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS, 2020 Regulation 8 of the principal Regulations is amended by deleting the words "Except with the permission of the Central Bank" Notwithstanding, the Central Bank needs to be notified in writing providing full particulars of the real estate transaction. It has been pointed out by many land owners and purchasers that the Central Bank, would take in some instances a year to grant permit for certain real estate transactions, involving foreigners, to be completed. This delay prevented land transfer closings to take place and therefore delayed tax collection from Government of Belize and efficient closing by the real estate provider, seller and buyer.
Sacred Heart Plan for Reopening of Schools
Sacred Heart College has their reopening plan online.
Happy 50th Belmopan!
The big celebration is today. Belmopan will be commemorating its 50th Golden Anniversary, today August 1st, 2020, under the theme “The Garden is golden.” Here is some flashback of the 1970’s Newspapers about the new capital.
Keith Gilges visited the National Gas Company Limited
Charge d’ Affaires, a.i Keith Gilges visited the National Gas Company Limited (NGCL) yesterday and met with Dr. Gilbert Canton, Managing Director, at the Big Creek Port to learn more about the company’s efforts in addressing Belize’s energy security. NGCL is a public private partnership (PPP) involved in the importation, bulk storage and wholesale distribution of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Belize. The company is an excellent example of American and Belizean partnership supporting economic development. The company’s vision is to address Belize’s energy security needs, while providing a transparent price and quality supply of LPG to Belizean consumers.
Port Workers Return, Stevedores Sit Out, Wait on CBA
The Port of Belize is not receiving cargo ships yet, but it could open this weekend. However, the Port workers came off strike, and things did start to get moving today. Customs brokers were able to clear containers that had been sitting for over a week. Those brokers were also forced to pay storage fees for the days lost to the strike - costs which they say will ultimately be passed unto consumers. Meanwhile, the Vanquish container vessel remains anchored off the coast of Belize City this evening, waiting for the stevedores to get back to work. The Port management, Shipping agents and importers are crossing their fingers, while talks continue at this hour between the Port of Belize and the Christian Workers Union. A press release from the CWU says, quote, "Stevedores in two unanimous votes, decided not to return to work without a signed CBA."
PM Says Nationalisation Off The Table, For Now
And with that measured progress - the Prime Minister today said that with this sign of a possible breakthrough in negotiations, he's backing down on taking over the Port:
PM’s Says Ashcroft Letter "Revealing"
And so while the Prime Minister is closely watching things at the Port of Belize, it seems Michael Ashcroft is closely watching him. Today, when asked to respond to Ashcroft's cautionary letter about nationalising the Port, the PM seemed to revel in Lord Ashcroft's response to his suggestion of a possibly port takeover: "My God, did it produce a rise out of the good Lord Ashcroft. He really was provoked and perhaps he said more than he should have. A matter for him, I will leave that judgement for him to make..."
GOB Will Look More Closely At Belize Bank Ownership
And, the PM says Ashcroft's reference to Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited as the owner of both British Caribbean Bank Limited and Private Investment Limited, is reason enough to give the government pause to reflect on the Belize Bank's acquisition of Scotiabank Belize: "It strikes me that the Government's position in terms of for example the proposed acquisition of Scotia Bank by the Belize Bank is something that this Government will have to take a formal stand on. If the Belize Bank and the if the merger goes through..."
Ashcroft, the Investor
And, the PM also took some shots at Ashcroft, who, for all the bad mouthing he promises to do about Belize's investment climate, just keeps on investing in Belize:
Woman Charged For Wagner’s Lane Arson
On Monday we told you about the fire on Wagner's lane that destroyed one house and severely damaged another. It's been described as apparent arson, the culmination of a domestic dispute. At the time we told you that two women had been detained in connection to the fire. And yesterday morning one of those women, 21-year-old Sheniqua Peters, was arraigned on two counts of arson before Senior Magistrate, Aretha Ford.
Border Jumpers, Again
For weeks we've been telling you about the greatest security threat to Belize's fight against COVID-19, they're border jumpers, and, they're relentless.The latest is Manuel Rubio, an elderly man who authorities found in the company of another man near Fire Burn on the old northern highway. Both men were transported to the Northern Regional highway to be handed over to health authorities for swabbing.
Santander’s Sweet Sound of Success
Over the last few months, we've been telling you all about the financial struggles that the Government and the private sector have been facing, since the Coronavirus pandemic inflicted the world. At this time, Belize and other countries around the globe are struggling to survive the economic crisis that this deadly disease has caused. Well, our next story is a significant departure from all that bad news.Santander Sugar, who made a multi-million dollar investment in the sugar industry in the Cayo District, is reporting tonight that they have concluded a very successful year of harvest and production.
PM Says Re-Districting Suit Could Delay Elections
Turning back now to today's press conference.the Prime Minister discussed the possibility that elections could be delayed by a re-districting lawsuit currently before the supreme court. It's brought by the Belize Peace Movement to challenge the way the electoral divisions are broken down. They say it is not proportional, when the constitution requires that it must be. so, they want to trigger a redistricting exercise, preferably before the next general elections are held.
PM Supports Embattled Pol Pawpa Mena
And, in those general elections, the Prime Minister says he would like to see Frank Pawpa Mena represent the UDP in the Dangriga constituency. As we have reported, there's a petition form UDP's in the division asking for a convention to replace Mena, who they feel cannot win.But, the PM does feel he can win. He explained why today:
Boots For Pickstock!
And the Prime Minister also commented on that other division which is going through changes, Pickstock. The three term incumbent Wilfred Elrington is stepping down after the election and the PM confirmed the rumours that outgoing Port Loyola Rep Boots Martinez is interested in the job - and he has a brand name campaign manager: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister:"I'll go you one better, I understand that not only is he interested in contesting, I hear that he's already acquired a campaign manager in the person of the one and only Michael Finnegan. I don't know how things will turn out. Again, I am sorry the leader-elect isn't here but that there is that interest enabled, empowered, assisted by the Honorable Finnegan, of that there is no doubt."
UDP Turned Independent Anna Banner Launches in Belmopan
Another interesting wrinkle in the UDP political mix is Anna Banner Guy. The former UDP city councillor wants to run independently, and this afternoon in Belmopan she launched her candidacy:
GOB Launches Economic Recovery Strategy
And, while the news from today's press conference so far has been all about Ashcroft and Politics, really, the three hour long press conference was held to launch government's economic recovery strategy. It's a response to the COVID pandemic where government took input from all major sectors. The Minster of State for Economic Development outlined the pillars of the plan:Hon. Tracy Panton, Minister of State, Trade:"This recovery plan intends to safeguard livelihoods, provide stimulus for business continuity. It is expected to support existing and new enterprises for job retention and job creation..."
PM: The Plan Should Span Administrations
And while his government only has a few months left, the PM says that he hopes a new administration would pick up the plan where his government left off: "This is not a political document and not even a current administration document. This is a national document produced by a national effort. It is my hope that any new administration will bear this well in mind."
PM Defends Durability of Plan
But, is the plan, essentially a re-thread of initiatives we've heard before? And is it too little too late? That's what we asked the PM:.. "No, it's not superficial, it's a necessary immediate urgent response to the fact that events have overtaken us, to the extent that there is repetition of some of what we've said before..."
The Golden Calf Called Tourism?
And, we also asked the Prime Minister - whether tourism - which much of the new strategy is built around - is resilient enough to form the backbone of the Belizean economy, Here's how he answered that: "Of course, tourism as an enterprise and as our mainstay is not perfect. There are some of the problems to which you alluded, in terms of there being a great deal of foreign investment in the hotel sector and foreign owners apart from repatriation doing bookings abroad and so a lot of money doesn't make it to our country. But even with that huge drawback, I repeat, tourism has been in fact an absolutely wonderful mainstay of our economy."
GOB Relaxes Foreign Exchange Regs
And, we also asked about a significant change in foreign exchange regulations that was unveiled as a part of the recovery plan.It is SI 106 signed last week, and it takes away regulatory approval from the Central Bank for certain foreign exchange transactions. The PM said it should make business easier to do: "The rationale is simply to try to produce greater ease of doing business. Principally, this obtains to land transactions. There has been a campaign on the part of the real estate dealers, the lawyers, a sustained campaign. It has been going on for a while. And we've been examining this thing, we've been in consultation with the Central Bank..."
DJ’s Go To School
When the nightclubs close, and the music stops, where do the DJ's go?Well, they've been going to DJ school!It's the brainchild of Evolution Sound's DJ Pinky, a touring music fest for DJs that last week hit a stride.And while it may look like a house party it could be the rise of a platform that gives a boost to yet another industry that's been sidelined by the global pandemic. Here's a glimpse of the afternoon I spent at Sound Check Sunday.
SSB Says Scholarships More Important Than Ever
The Social Security Board today renewed it's 19-year commitment to providing academic opportunities to the next generation. And this morning in a brief and socially distanced ceremony they awarded technical, vocational, high school, associate degree, and bachelor scholarships to 12 students in Belize City and Belmopan.
The Belize Zoo Begs for Your Help
The Belize Zoo depends heavily on the tourism traffic to fund its operational costs. And so, like other stakeholders in the tourism sector, right now, they are in deep financial distress.That's why the Zoo is hoping that tomorrow during their "Feed the Animals" telethon, Belizean donors will be able to make contributions, to allow them to continue looking after the prized animals in the zoo.They say that they've been forced to lay-off staff and cut costs to maintain operations, but you can't exactly explain a COVID "haawd time" diet to a hungry mountain cow.
Yohny And The Text Mess
Last night we told you about the text messages that shed a strange light on the blockage of the Port of Belize's main gate on Wednesday July 22nd. Tour Operator Yohny Rosado's bus blocked the gate - and now a cluster of screenshots being circulate din the media say that he wanted money, 40 thousand dollars to do it. And that money, supposedly, was being negotiated with a wealthy business interest.
LPG Lowered, Slightly
The price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which you know as butane, has gone down by a few cents. That's what the Supplies Control Unit of the Belize Bureau of Standards announced today.The new retail price for the urban areas of Belize City, Belmopan, San Ignacio, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda is now 96 cents per pound or $4.21 per gallon. Last month, the price was the same per pound, but 3 cents more per gallon.In the rural areas countrywide, LPG is now retailing for 98 cents per pound and $4.31 per gallon. Last month, the price was 1 cent more pound, and 3 cents more per gallon.
PM Weighs in on P.B.L./C.W.U. Entanglement
Late this evening, the Christian Workers Union issued a release and the news is that contrary to what the Prime Minister asserted this morning, stevedores have not ended their strike. [...]
No Nationalization of the Port of Belize
Also this morning, the Prime Minister was asked about the nationalization of the Port which he said on Wednesday was under consideration. According to him, that is not on the [...]
Boots to Run in Pickstock!
Turning to politics, Port Loyola area representative Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez announced his pending retirement from electoral politics several years ago, indicating that upon completion of this five-year term, he would [...]
What’s Up With Papa Mena in Griga Dan?
As for Martinez’s ministerial colleague, Frank ‘Papa’ Mena, there is still no certainty whether he will be contesting the Dangriga constituency come November. That’s because a petition has been launched [...]
An Economic Recovery Strategy for Belize
The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to affect the business sector. The mainstay, the tourism industry, crumbled causing massive unemployment once the pandemic began to spread. Flights resume at [...]
Introducing B.C.C.I.’s New Executive Council
The biggest private sector organization, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is celebrating one hundred years this year. It’s a milestone for the organization that has endured the test [...]
Barbados PM Calls for United Front to Tackle the Pandemic
The guest speaker at the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s AGM on Thursday night was Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amore Mottley. PM Mottley spoke on the challenges of [...]
Yhony Rosado: “Somebody is Trying to Blackmail Me”
On Thursday, screenshots of WhatsApp conversations surfaced in respect of the chaotic incident at the Port of Belize Limited last Wednesday when striking staff members of the P.B.L. went on [...]
Yhony Rosado Severs Relationship with FECTAB
While he was on damage control mode, Rosado says that the incident at the Port is a battle between giants and the little man is being trampled. Facing a backlash [...]
PM Barrow: U.D.P. Doesn’t Wish to Postpone General Elections
A lawsuit in which government is being sued by several parties, including the Belize Peace Movement, the People’s United Party and Lord Michael Ashcroft, is presently before the Supreme Court [...]
Anna Banner Guy is the Independent Candidate in Belmopan
There’s a third standard bearer for the Belmopan constituency. She is Anna Banner Guy and she is contesting the next general elections as an independent candidate. Guy is a well-known [...]
PM Responds to NEAB’s Concerns about Recent Judge Appointments
Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman and Professor Westmin James have been appointed to the Supreme Court bench on a one-year tenure. Their appointments, however, have raised the ire of the National [...]
Samuel August, Guilty of Robbery
You will remember Samuel August, the former Belize City Council employee who armed himself with a backhoe in the wee hours of October twenty-ninth, 2018 and rammed it into the [...]
Jamie Patnett Charged for Murder, Gets Bail
Twenty-five-year-old Jamie Patnett, who was on remand for the March 2017 murder of eighteen-year-old Kerona Ara, was granted Supreme Court bail of thirty thousand dollars on Thursday after his attorney [...]
Reginald Pott Gets Supreme Court Bail for Murder
Reginald Pott, another man who is on remand for the murder of another young woman was also granted bail of thirty thousand dollars when he appeared before Justice Colin Williams. Pott [...]
Jervis Valencia is Freed of Murder
Also in the court this week, Jervis Valencia was freed for a second time of a murder charge. Valencia was charged with the murder of Moses Gonguez in 2015 on [...]
S.S.B. Awards 52 Scholarships
Since 2001, the Social Security Board of Belize has given out nine hundred scholarships all to the tune of three point eight million dollars. And for 2020, they have added [...]
U.S. Embassy Hands Over Classroom Building to San Isidro School
On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Belize officially handed over to the Ministry of Education a classroom building constructed through the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme in San Isidro [...]
Santander Had a Bumper Year for Sugar Production!
The Santander Sugar Group is reporting a bumper year in sugar cane production. It kicked off the season towards the end of February and today the last truck was escorted [...]
Jankunu Productionz Hosts Two Nights of Comedy with “Covid Chronicles”
Are you ready for some theatre filled with laughter and excitement? Well listen up cause on August seventh and eighth at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts, “Covid Chronicles” [...]
Life for Mason and his accomplices
Today, William “Danny” Mason, 54; as well as Ashton Vanegas, Keiron Fernandez, Terrence Fernandez, and Ernest Castillo, were sentenced to life in prison for the beheading murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, 47, of Dangriga, whose head was found in a bucket in a pickup. The five men had been found guilty of the murder in December 2019. Before sentencing the five men, Justice Antoinette Moore said that there had not previously been any murder as heinous, cruel and senseless as the murder of Lucas, that she could use to guide her in the sentencing, and that this would be the first ruling for a crime of such a particularly perverse nature.
Port withdraws request for stevedores to return to work
In a short press release dated today, Thursday, entitled “PBL withdraws request for stevedores to return to work,” the PBL said that “In a letter to the Labour Commissioner and the President of the CWU, PBL has withdrawn its request for the stevedores to resume work while they negotiate the CBAs,” and that the PBL has requested a meeting with the CWU and the Labour Department to discuss the draft staff CBA counter proposal from PBL of April 3, 2020; as well as the stevedores work hour draft proposal, and the stevedores grievance and disciplinary procedure proposal.
DFC rolls out $10 million loan for tourism stakeholders
The Government of Belize has announced that a consolidated line of credit has been secured for stakeholders in the tourism industry. This financial relief will come in the form of loans that will be administered and distributed by the Development Finance Cooperation (DFC). These funds were provided in part by the Caribbean Development Bank, which, at first, had placed restrictions on lending monies for working capital to affected businesses.
Murder at Pound Yard Bridge
William Emmanuel Rubio, a laborer of Belize City, was stabbed to death at about 7:30 last night in front of a building on Cemetery Road at the foot of the Pound Yard Bridge. Initial reports are that Rubio became involved in an altercation with another man, and during the altercation the man took out a knife and stabbed him in the chest and abdomen.
PM to intervene in PUC/BEL impasse
Recently, we reported on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)’s move to “strong-arm” Belize Electricity Limited to sign a Power Purchase Agreement with Santander Sugar for the supply of energy to the national grid. The PUC asserted that as the sole utility regulator, they hold the responsibility to determine the terms of the agreement. BEL has said that the PUC carried out negotiations without them at the table and cited various pitfalls in the agreement.
BCCI concerned about dormant Port
The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted Belize’s Inflow of foreign exchange, and now the business community is concerned about further reductions in the influx of foreign exchange into the country in the wake of the dispute between the Christian Workers Union (CWU) and the Port of Belize Limited (PBL). Since Wednesday, July 22, when 36 employees were terminated at the Port via text, the port’s services have been disrupted — initially due to a shutdown as a result of security concerns after the protesters on the compound were shot with rubber bullet and tear-gassed, and subsequently due to an ongoing strike this week by the stevedores who unload the cargo ships.
Arson on Wagners Lane
One house was completely destroyed and another was gutted during a fire that occurred last night on Wagners Lane. Luckily, no one was injured, but seven persons are now homeless. The Belize City Fire Service put out the fire before it could have spread to surrounding houses. They then launched an investigation into the fire. Orin Smith, the Station Manager of the Belize City Fire Service, said that the fire was a result of arson, and it has been classified as incendiary.
Imports way down, exports way up in June 2020 – SIB
The report of the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) on external trade for June 2020 shows that in June 2020 we imported 38.4% less goods and exported 41.1% more goods, than we did in June 2019. In June 2020 we imported $103.7million worth of goods, $64.8 million less than the $168.5million worth of goods that we imported in June 2019. The SIB noted that this is the second month in a row in which merchandize imports were down by more than one-third. The SIB says that this is a reflection of “the economic downturn, reduced demand, and continued delays in accessing foreign exchange that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Editorial: PBL masters showing little or no respect for our country
There is only one way to interpret the proposal from the receivership at the Port of Belize Ltd. (PBL) that an international mediator be hired to resolve the impasse between the company and its workers, and that is that PBL, whoever is pulling the strings, has little or no respect for the Ministry of Labor or our country. Every Belizean should bristle at this suggestion of a foreign arbitrator. We are aware that Lord Ashcroft is the owner of the Belize Bank, and that the owner of Port of Belize Ltd., Mr. Luke Espat, for reasons not yet fully explained, owed the bank money, wasn’t meeting his payments, and so the management of the port was handed over to a receivership.
Senate debates $10 million USD loan for food assistance
On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 the Senate convened to discuss a number of bills, namely: The General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020-2021, the Business Names Amendment Bill 2020, the Companies Amendment Bill and the Limited Liability Partnership Amendment Bill 2020. The Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bill was discussed most extensively, as it entails the Government of Belize receiving a $10 million USD loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development, which exists to provide financial support on concessionary terms to developing nations.
CitCo helps schools prepare for the post-COVID-19 learning environment
On Tuesday, July 28, Mayor Bernard Wagner and Deputy Mayor Michael Norales, along with members of the City Council and standard bearers Allan Pollard, Jr. (Queen’s Square), Oscar Arnold (Collet) and Paul Thompson (Albert), contributed 24 high-performance RCA Voyager Pro touchscreen tablets with keyboards, along with face masks and cleaning and disinfecting products such as mops, buckets, gloves, Clorox and more to various educational institutions across Belize City. Recipients included Calvary Temple School, Queen’s Square Anglican School, YMCA and James Garbutt SDA Primary School.
How the People’s Committee (PC) took over the GWU
As a matter of fact, from the outset the GWU supported the People’s Committee (PC); its founder and only President during the seven years of its existence, Cecil Betson, having spoken at the first protest meeting. Furthermore, the association seemed mutually beneficial. In addition to having a strong organizational machinery, the GWU had in its President and in its General Secretary, H. A. Middleton, national figures. Middleton had also in the first few weeks of the nationalist upsurge attended the World Confederation of Free Trade Unions (WCFTU) in England where he was promised support by the British Trade Union Congress. The union therefore was in a position to lend legitimacy to the activities of the PC.
The GWU’s spectacular early growth
The General Workers’ Union (GWU) catered for several occupational groups and claimed a membership of 350 when it was registered in 1943. Within the next five years its membership spiralled to over 3,000. More important, it was the only urban-based organization whose influence spread to the outdistricts where it was engaged in protracted struggles with the BEC and the colonial government for the right of access to the company’s lands to unionize the workers. Their activities imbued the rural workers with a consciousness of their wretched conditions. As we shall see in the next section of the study, it was through this organization that in the rural areas the political movement in the 1950s first grouped the latent individual protest against the colonial institutions into an overt social struggle.
Governor Burns’ support of trade unionism in B. H. in 1943
The widespread tendency to see the poor industrial conditions in British Honduras as a conflict situation between the local businessmen and wage-laboring element rather than primarily between Belize, as a colony, and the foreign-owned companies, was reinforced by the intervention by the colonial government to secure labour reforms in conformity with the recommendations of the West Indian Royal Commission. Trade unions were legalized in Belize in 1941 only when this was made a condition of the Colonial and Development and Welfare Fund.
Pedal by Pedal of Weekend Warriors Tour de Santino, Sat. & Sun., July 25 & 26, 2020
My last Pedal by Pedal report was on March 15, after which Covid-19 shut us down. I am now back to report on the first major race of the Cycling Calendar since then. It just happens to be my 4th Annual Tour de Santino 2020. This is an event I started in May 2017 to celebrate my birthday, and which I labeled The International Masters Tour de Santino for riders 40 and over. However, due to the closing of our borders, I decided to have a local version for the Weekend Warriors Club instead. By the time we saddled up for Stage 1 on Saturday morning in Hattieville, 70 Weekend Warriors (WW) riders had registered. At 9:15 a.m., we left Hattieville to a nice reception by the village on our trek to St. Margaret on the Hummingbird, for a total of 54 miles.
Stanley “Rice” Robinson, Sr., stalwart defender of the legendary Mighty Avengers, passes
Our sports desk joins the football community, especially in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, in mourning the loss and expressing our condolences to the Robinson family on the passing of Stanley Robinson, Sr., one of the stalwarts of the legendary Mighty Avengers football club of the late 1960s and 1970s. “Rice” or “Timba” as he was also affectionately known, was a tower of strength and consistency on the flank defense of the Avengers in their heyday, and was a Lifetime Member of the Mighty Avengers Hall of Fame. Like a number of his past Avengers teammates, Rice was a regular fixture in recent times at the Verdes home games at Norman Broaster Stadium, the original home of the Avengers. A wake is being held tonight at his daughter’s residence in Santa Elena, and funeral services will take place tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m. at the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
FFB appoints Dale Pelayo as Head Coach for Male Senior National Team
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is proud to announce that Coach Dale Pelayo has been appointed as Head Coach for the Male Senior National team for the Qatar 2020 World Cup Qualifiers. Following the new format announced by Concacaf earlier this week, Belize is scheduled to play four matches, two home and away matches in October 2020, and two matches in November 2020. Dates are scheduled for 5th October, 13th October, 9th November and 17th November, 2020. The Football Federation of Belize has been meeting to develop a well thought out plan for the “A” National Team.
Please noh kik down that fence
Aha, this world, this world, my, it is reported that the lawyers who led the charge to freedom from the closet have now been exalted to positions to pass judgment on greater matters. I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t read in the Amandala all that the NEAB churches had to say about it, and I bet the same fear that ran through my bones as I read the story ran through theirs on learning about this unbelievable decision to hire TWO, not one, TWO UNIBAM lawyers to sit as judges on the Supreme Court for a year. This would never have happened in the old Belize, not the one all of us loved so much, not the one Hon. Sedi said was better than the Belize we live in now.
Belize: Africans, Asians and Indigenous Peoples Demand Reparations
In mid-October the Belize Commission: Initiative for Justice and Reparations (BCIJR), called on Belizeans of all oppressed backgrounds to gather at the Belmopan Convention Center for the Second Annual Popular Justice and Reparations Convention. Belizeans across racial and ethnic groups have constituted the only popular reparations initiative in the Caribbean in support of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Reparations Commission created in 2013. At this year’s convention, approximately 150 African Kriol, Garifuna, Mopan, Yucatec and Q’eqchi Mayan as well as East Indian peoples discussed the historical wrongs carried out against them by European colonial powers and what reparations means to, and for, their communities.
FROM BELIZE, WITH LOVE!
Who ignores history, repeats its mistakes. So Mr. Faber has engineered the appointment of two Gender Policy advocates to be judges of the Supreme Court of Belize. How easily tyrants forget: THE BLOOD OF MARTYRS IS THE SEED OF CHRISTIANS. Throughout the whole world, down through the centuries, the persecution of Christians by bloody Caesars helped to spread the Good News throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, eventually even to Belize!
Belize’s amended labor laws made it easy for Port to fire its workers
Dear Editor, Labor is the physical, mental and social effort used to produce goods and services. Without workers, employers could not produce goods and services and earn profits. Laborers are also consumers, so if workers are earning less, and less workers are employed, there is less economic activity, and the business community earns less revenue. In 2019, the share of agriculture in Belize’s gross domestic product was 9.56 percent; industry contributed 11.96 percent, and the services sector contributed about 65.51 percent.
Young’s Engineering addresses City Hall ceiling
Dear Editor, We write to offer clarification to an article printed in last week’s issue of your esteemed newspaper, in which, among other things, our firm was accused of “inadequate supervision” of the remodeling works that took place at City Hall. First and foremost, it should be made clear that the unfortunate incident reported on stemmed from spalling of the original floor system of this 30-year old, poorly maintained and possibly poorly constructed building, which WAS NOT TOUCHED as a part of the remodeling works that we were hired to supervise.
PM praises Frank “Pawpa” Mena
Earlier in the week, we told you about a petition with over 200 signatures calling for the replacement of Dangriga area representative, Frank “Pawpa” Mena. The signatures were those of town councilors as well as registered UDP voters.
PM explains how redistricting case will affect proposed date for general elections
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s censure of Lord Michael Ashcroft continued when the topic of the redistricting case, which is currently before the Supreme Court, came up. He noted that on top of everything, Ashcroft has also inserted himself into the political world.
San Isidro Government School receives a new building
The San Isidro Government School in Bella Vista Village, Toledo District, has received a much needed new building. The building was donated by the US Embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
PM questions Belize Banks acquisition of Scotiabank
The Prime Minister continued his skepticism of Lord Michael Ashcroft’s dealings in Belize by questioning the acquisition of Scotiabank by Belize Bank. He noted the various holding companies that Ashcroft used in order to acquire the bank and Port of Belize.
Santander ends harvest season for sugar cane
Santandar has ending their harvest season and they are reporting record numbers. The company has been resilient in the face of unpleasant weather conditions and the covid-19 endemic.
GOB launches Economic Recovery Strategy for Belize
Today, the Government announced its plan for economic recovery. Belize’s economy took a massive hit from COVID-19, and experienced some stagnation when businesses were forced to close down, and borders were forced to close. Several programs have already been put in place, such as the unemployment relief program, and the newly introduced loan program for tourism stakeholders.
Help is coming for the Agriculture sector
Presenting the agriculture aspect of the economic plan for Belize was Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse. According to Hulse, the plan focuses on climate resilience of the agriculture sector, post COVID recovery, and the diversification of the agriculture sector.
Expansion project for Sapodilla Caye in the works to protect important reef system
The Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve will be undergoing an expansion project to protect an important reef system known as the Corona Reef, or Cayman Crown, located south of the cayes. The Corona Reef is a situation at the southwest terminus of the Cayman Trench within Belize’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to undergo expansion project
The Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve will be undergoing an expansion project to protect an important reef system known as the Corona Reef, or Cayman Crown, located south of the cayes. The Corona Reef is situation at the southwest terminus of the Cayman Trench within Belize’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
PM responds to Michael Ashcroft concerning PBL
The Prime Minister also spoke at length about the two paged letter from Lord Michael Ashcroft. In the letter, Ashcroft pointed out that previous attempts at nationalization of other companies, such as Belize Telemedia Limited and the Companies Registries, has ended in excessive repayment by the government as well as excessive debt.
PBL staff returns to work following negotiations
The situation at Port of Belize has reached some sort of resolution as PBL workers went back to work today. This follows a meeting between the two parties that took place yesterday.
Two stevedores accuse CWU for witholding their retirement fund
Two stevedores have come forward to express their dissatisfaction with the Christian Workers Union. In a letter, the two men stated that the CWU has breached its duty for fair representation of stevedores during the...
Armed robbery reported at grocery store in San Ignacio; several shots fired
Minutes ago armed thieves robbed 28 Supermarket on Bullet Tree road in San Ignacio. Neighbors report […]
The Belize Zoo to host “Feed the Animals” telethon tomorrow
The Belize Zoo is hosting a “Feed the Animals” Telethon tomorrow from 1 to 6 […]
PUP standard bearers lead protest at Elections and Boundaries
Contributed: Standard-bearers of the People’s United Party (PUP) in Northern Belize led a protest today in front of […]
Belize’s Economic Recovery Strategy
By Prime Minister Dean Barrow: This year our country is enduring one of the toughest challenges of its entire history […]
Eye witness flips the script, accused man walks from second murder charge
Belize City resident Jervis Valencia walked free from his second murder charge this week, after […]
Over 1,000 Americans repatriated home from Belize
The United States Embassy today issued a statement thanking United Airlines and the Government of […]
Government of Belize to expand the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to protect important Reef Ecosystem
The Minister with responsibility for Fisheries, Omar Figueroa has signed a Statutory Instrument for the […]
Chamber hosts Centennial Annual General Meeting
The 100th Annual General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry was held […]
Government of Belize discouraging international travel for public officers
The Government of Belize, as it continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic in country, is […]
PM says stevedores back to work; nationalization of Port appears to be off the table
Prime Minister and substantive Minister of Labour, Dean Barrow, has confirmed that stevedores aligned with […]
Economic recovery document “not a retread”
To suggestions that the Economic Recovery Strategy is a “retread” of previous plans that were […]
Godwin Hulse: Agriculture must build resilience, change and develop to survive
Agriculture has survived significant shocks from drought to floods to COVID-19. Minister of Agriculture Senator […]
Tracey Panton: Economic Recovery Strategy to preserve jobs and families
Minister for Trade and Investment, Tracey Taegar Panton, said the Economic Recovery Strategy is intended […]
Prime Minister honors leadership team behind Economic Recovery Strategy
Citing a recent article concerning the “black swan event” of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister […]
New Mexican Ambassador to Belize appointed
The Mexican Congress has ratified the appointment of Martha Ofelia Zamarripa Rivas as Ambassador to […]
Belmopan to mark 50th anniversary on Saturday
“The Garden [City] is golden!” So say organizers of Saturday’s official festivities in the capital, […]
International Organization for Migration organizes a double humanitarian charter flight for stranded migrants
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Belize organized its second humanitarian charter flight on […]
Former US presidential candidate dies after contracting COVID-19
Herman Cain, an American Republican candidate who ran for president in 2012 passed away after […]
Delicious Lunch At Blue Water Grill and Nerding Out…Philatelically
The last day or two have been a bit grey…rains for the first time in weeks but also a teeny weeny bit of relief from a hot hot sun. A perfect time to visit our friends at Blue Water Grill – and have a nice and socially distanced lunch in town. The sun is back today… Many restaurants – especially those who rely on tourism for a bulk of their customers – are closed right now. Blue Water Grill has stayed open – starting with lunch deliveries and then opening their open beachfront patio for those eating in. To try to help out some of their employees and to use their facilities for a community feeding program that makes hot meals for those in need. The owners admit – it hasn’t always been easy. There have been a few evenings without a customer in sight. We stopped by at noon and based on the plethora of parking spots outside, I was expecting that we might dine alone.