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Private Hustles, sovereign Guarantees Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 07 December 2017 00:00

I am treated each week to several opinions from friends on topics they think I should share with readers. I must confess that I do not always develop these suggestions into writing since truthfully some of them do sound weird. However, there was a particular gentleman, a former PUP diehard, who sat beside me Sunday morning past on my bench where I sit to read.  He piped my interest with the following observation.

This longtime acquaintance, whom I will call Buddy, is vehemently against our country paying the $90 million for an illegal sovereign guarantee made to greedy, connected PUP cronies. Buddy said that this action by the past PUP Administration combined with $millions in free grants from DFC and SSB to “lambiscones” made him turn against his own Party.  Buddy told me that he heard that the Principal benefactor of the Alliance met with the entire PUP caucus last week and secured from their representatives a commitment for a “yes” vote in the House on December 8.  The brother told me that he was convinced that the billionaire will try to reach out with $5 million apiece to 4 UDP representatives to vote with the PUP.  This would trigger a majority in the House to approve the supplementary budget to pay the Alliance their coveted $90 million.  He said that if the man spent a total of $30 million in bribes to both Parties and later recovered the $90 million, this would still result in a profit of $60 million spot cash.

As usual I am skeptical of conspiracy theories but then Buddy gave me a few prompts to consider. He asked if I remembered the 1989 charges of PUP inducement surrounding UDP representatives Dennis Usher and the late “Chiste” Garcia.  He said at the time the PUP was desperate to increase their 15/ 13 margin in the House.  Buddy also reminded me of the underhanded contacts made with Mark Pech and Nemencio Acosta when the Prime Minister was proposing an amendment to the constitution to establish that all public utilities be owned in perpetuity  by the Government and people of Belize.  At that time the Alliance did not want this to pass in the House and was shelling out big bucks to defeat the amendment.

To convince me that I should mention his theory, Buddy threw in two other major sovereign guarantees to private projects which cost Belizeans dearly; Galleria Maya and Intelco. Those two dastardly acts by the Musa Administration urged me to open my laptop and take notes.

Encouraged with his victory, Buddy pressed on with other suggestions. He said that with the freebies and tax write-offs being offered at the OWTC, the PUP is regaining lost ground leading to the March 7 municipals. He said that Phillip and his team needed help from the big guns in the UDP. The suggestion was that some of the top UDP ministers should take a day to walk with our candidates. He says Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. is a lone ranger and overworked in our district, since the other caretakers are cozy with their present status.  Buddy is truly now fully under the red tent. He yearns a UDP victory in OW.  Me too!