A Disgraceful Act

It should always be considered a proud moment when our political leaders address the United Nations General Assembly. Therefore, it should have been an exciting moment for Belizeans on Saturday last when Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize, addressed the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. However, Hon. Elrington is the last person that Belizeans want to spend their valuable time listening to. And as clockwork Hon. Elrington did not disappoint. He rambled on for nineteen minutes and thirty seven second providing false information on how much of a good job the United Democratic Party (UDP) government was doing. He claims that the UDP was tackling crime, improving health care in the Toledo District because they plan to build a hospital in that area, BOOST Program, cash transfer, etc., But he still had to admit that under their watch since 2008, Belize’s poverty level rose to 43% and rising, and 16% of Belizeans are living in abject poverty.

The entire speech was frothed with lies and hypocrisy. He spoke of peace and tranquillity but refused to call out the Guatemalan about taking over control by annexing the Sarstoon River; he spoke of a peaceful society but refused to mention that since September 4, the UDP government has issued a state of emergency in the poor black depressed Southside area of Belize City and that his government has incarcerated over 75 young black Belizeans without a single charge.

However, everyone in Belize knows that Hon. Elrington and the UDP always have their own reality. They know that he suffers from the dreaded “foot in mouth disease” and everyone in the government Cabinet is in full agreement with the hideous statement Hon. Elrington has been spewing because on no occasion are any contradictions recorded. So Belizeans were not angered by what Hon. Elrington said, but they were angry by what he didn’t say.

You see the Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, spoke just before Hon. Elrington and in his speech, he stated that 96% of the Guatemalan people vote “yes” in a referendum to have the Guatemalan claim be adjudicated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). All Belizeans and Guatemalans know that is a falsehood statement. The truth is that only 26% of the voting public of Guatemala turn up to vote on the day of the referendum, and of that 26%, 95% voted “yes." Therefore, it was Hon. Elrington duty to correct the misleading statement of Jimmy Morales when he got up to speak. However, Hon. Elrington, like the coward he is, said nothing to correct Morales’s claim. Instead, he painted a rosy picture, which of course; he continued misleading the UN General Assembly.

The referendum turnout in Guatemala could have been a very good topic to discuss in front of the members of the General Council, because they needed to be enlightened that 74% of the voting population in Guatemala, either did not care about the claim, distrusting of the political process or were simply indifferent. In addition, those that went out to vote would vote “yes” because they have nothing to lose. However, Hon. Elrington said nothing of the sorts to clear the air and so the UN General Assembly believed Jimmy Morales and he got all the accolades. What is sad, is that once again Guatemala upstage Belize in public relations and diplomacy on the international stage. The last time they bested Belize was when Jimmy Morales blasted Belize for the death of a youth in the Chiquibul.

So once again Belizeans are embarrassed on the international stage in New York, and makes people feel even worse was when they saw the likes of Lois Young, Barbara, Elrington, Pat Andrews, etc. who are being paid top dollars to posture. They were present but did nothing to protect the pride of Belize. By the way, where the hell were Lois Young? What are Belizeans getting to have her live lavishly in New York while our poor people are getting poorer by the day? This is the level of hypocrisy and cronyism that have been the hall mark of the UDP.

So once again Belize missed a golden opportunity to inform the world that we are not happy with how the Guatemalans are behaving, by flexing their military might who block unarmed Belizeans who traverse the Sarstoon River for their livelihood. Instead, Hon. Elrington was mute on the matter. He was mute in denouncing these actions of the Guatemalans. So all that Belizeans are left with is to send a strong message to Hon. Elrington and the corrupt UDP government on the General Election Day.