Force Ripe Print E-mail
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Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00

My grandmother, the late Ms. Martina Carpizo, did not like us eating “green things” when we were young, so although she had several mango, plum, orange and guava trees in her yard, we had to wait until these fruits were ripe before we could have them. To avoid temptation, our Mammy would, during the season, pull the “full” mangoes from the lower branches of the tress and hide them away to ripen.

The children would, at every opportunity, sneak into the little thatched storeroom and vigorously squeeze the mangoes to hasten their ripening process, and when they got soft enough, Mammy would, to our delight, allow us to eat these. I tell you, we enjoyed those bruised mangoes with salt and pepper, in spite of the bitter aftertaste they left in our mouths. We later learnt that such practice is called “force ripe”.

In today’s world of politics, the pattern of persistent repetition of the same topic by Amalia at Channel Fox reminds me of the force-ripening tactic kids would employ in having their way. This PUP die-hard now comes across as desperate in trying to trigger a general election well before it’s due time, in an effort to gorge on the corrupt fruits that she and the Old Chap have tasted and become addicted to.
Even after circumstances have exposed the so-called whistle blower as untruthful, Channel Fox refuses to let go, claiming new evidence, which even a Standard IV student can cut and paste, in the continuous pit bull attack against Hon. Castro.

I must inform you that this Goebbels’ tactic is a trademark of this journalist. We cannot forget the time when Amalia hooked her claws into an accusation against Hon. Manuel Esquivel, insisting against proof that the then Prime Minister had illegally put ten percent of the Ramada’s shares into his name. At that time only a successful lawsuit by Mr. Esquivel and strict directives from the Supreme Court could stop her from the continuous slander she printed each week in the Times regarding the same falsehood. After the case concluded and she had been fined, she came down the steps of the Court seemingly in victory rather than defeat, wearing a bright blue and white dress, the smirk on her face as creepy as midnight silence in a cemetery.

But I digressed, so let me return to my original story. This morning during the Prime Minister’s press conference another of the Old Chap’s surrogates, true to form, tried to corner Mr. Barrow in condemning Castro on the same accusation concerning visa recommendations. The PM brushed it off as a non-issue.

I had shared this same opinion some time ago that merely to make a recommendation for a visitor’s visa to Belize is no big deal. In fact, at times Ministers even give written recommendations to Belizeans when they apply for a US Visa. There is no guarantee that these recommendations will secure any favor from the authorities charged with determining eligibility for entry into their country.

So I agree with the Prime Minister: any individual can write recommendations, but it is up to the Immigration authorities to determine whether a person is qualified for a visitor’s visa. And the Prime Minister made it abundantly clear that in his personal inquiries, Hon. Castro never attempted to influence the Department to issue any visa, nor did he call the Department to intervene on anyone’s behalf in that regard. The PM challenged Channel Fox to investigate whether any person on the supposed list of recommendations actually got a visa, which would probably lend substance to the finger pointing being made at Castro.

As I mentioned above, I am truly bored with this Channel Fox novela since it is the same scene being depicted in every episode. Amalia should gather some real evidence and present her charges to the Police, the Ombudsman or somebody who cares. As to me, better I shift to other more exciting drama, like how each civil and criminal case Matura gets, she fights it on TV, like the episodes of Law and Order. She must have learnt something from Sam Watterson, who prefers, in this TV series, to plead out cases rather than go to court. Cheaper and cleaner; plus she gets to regularly hug the limelight. Sharp lady, Matura is.