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Amandala declares face to face war on UDP’S Wave, Guardian Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 21 December 2017 00:00

The first time I tried my hand at expressing my opinions on paper was when Mr. Elodio “Lot” Aragon began publishing his weekly newspaper here in OW during the early eighties. The paper was called “The Pacesetter” and I still recall my first article where I railed against the leaders  of the  OW branch of the BNTU since the  officials of that union, some really big time PUP’s ( Cervantes, Kay, Castillo, et al), were attempting to victimize UDP teachers at the La Inmaculada Primary School. The leaders of the UDP group, Chin, Luna, Novelo, then broke away to form their own “Progressive Teachers’ Union”.  I sort of insinuated in my article that the Catholic management was a bit complicit in the bullying with its silence.

Shortly after Lot’s paper was printed, Mr. Ruben Campos, then a Minister of state in the first Esquivel Administration, pulled me one side and advised me that while I can publicly voice my opinions on any issue, I should refrain from attacking in print three sectors of society: women, the church, and another media houses, since with the latter, the back and forth could go on forever. He reminded me of the public row between Mr. Ted Aranda and the editor at that time of the Amandala.  The Amandala easily got the best of Aranda since the editor always had the last word each time Aranda wrote to the paper. At that time the Amandala was the big bad wolf of print media, and every politician was scared to death to cross its path or the path of its principal, Mr. Evan X Hyde. In fact, politicians from both Parties openly courted Mr. Hyde.

In an editorial of the above-mentioned Amandala dated December 20, 2017 , titled “self-preservation as motivation,”  the editor unleashed these comments “Well now, it does appear that there will be national municipal elections in 9 or 10 weeks, and Kremandala’s self-interest lies in the area of sending a message to the monarchical Mr. Barrow and his UDP. The weeks ahead will feature Guardian/WAVE face to face versus Kremandala. We are unapologetic about our self-interest…”

In the past, such a declaration of war would surely spell doomsday for the UDP’s chances at the March 7 polls. Recall how they worked on the powerful Ralph Fonseca until the man on a bike beat him bad in the 2008 Generals.  But in this day and age of fast-paced action-packed news stories, this declaration is but one of several ineffective avowals of war on the UDP and its outlets.  The other anti- UDP antagonists are the Belize Times, Channel Fox, Plus TV, LOVE, the SP Sun, the Chamber and the BNTU, among others.

I have deep respect for the Kremandala Empire and surely regret their position and regret their hypothesis that the PM is out to destroy them. I sincerely believe that this is but a conspiracy theory. As one of the oldest bastions of freedom of expression in our country, I would like to see said media house survive at least another century after our country and its politicians have evolved into a first world mentality. As to who will believe whom between Guardian and Amandala, we should note that neither Political Party has received less than 40% of the popular vote in any election. In the end, UDP supporters  will  trust Wave  and the Guardian and use Digi cells while PUP’s will lean to Smart, LOVE, Fox,  Plus and WUB. That’s the reality of politics in Belize today.  The declaration of open hostilities by Amandala aside, on March 7 2018, I am convinced that the United Democratic Party will win close to all the 67 municipal seats after the votes have been counted.