johnOn Monday, as the parliamentarians on the Opposition side of the House of Representatives walked out of the sitting in protest, PUP Leader John Briceno promised Belizeans that the Party would hold a press conference to discuss in a rational and reasoned manner the BTL matter and other critical issues facing the nation. He emphasized ‘rational and reasoned, no doubt, because the sitting of the House was anything but…as the UDP had tricked out the occasion with party hacks, thugs and cheerleaders galore. Today the Party Leader kept that promise. The venue was the Belize Biltmore Plaza, and on the table were issues ranging from the economy and crime to the re-acquisition of BTL. Our news team was there and has some of the highlights.

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

This morning’s press conference had none of the circus atmosphere associated with a UDP organized event - no hired thugs, no intoxicated flag-waving hacks and no bused in, paid for, ready-made cheerleaders proclaiming the glory of the Prime Minister. It was a gathering of Belizeans serious about the issues affecting the nation – and a united, focused Opposition serious about dealing with those issues.

Those issues are many – including the threat to democracy and the pervading sense of lawlessness perpetuated by the leaders of Government.

Hon. Lisa Shoman – PUP Senator

“It can be no part of any democracy in which a Government changes the law to suit its actions and then calls it fixing the law. What the Government is doing is not fixing the law, what the Government is doing is changing the law to attempt to cloth the naked unlawfulness of its actions that is eroding our democracy. When the Government and Government functionaries’ grant bus licenses without gazetting the meetings, without giving bus owners a right to be heard, without hearing the public and any other stakeholder, our democracy is undermined. When this Government will take the serious step of acquiring private property and neither compensating those whose property you have taken nor accounting to the Belizean people for what you have done and the profits you have made from that property, when a Government will take the step of simply stating that everything they do is right because one they have the power to do so and two they are doing it on your behalf then our democracy is undermined.”

Anthony Sylvester – PUP Legal Advisor

“We saw the governments contempt, also when they fired Belizeans for no reason from their job on a simple suspicion of them being a PUP we saw that also when they took away Land for no other reason that they being suspected of being P.U.P. We saw them stall and cancel projects for no reasons other than it was started by the P.U.P in the process costing inestimable economic wastage. When those in high authority breathe contempt of the law as this Prime Minister and Government does on a daily basis what do we expect from the ordinary citizen?”

Arthur Saldivar – PUP Standard Bearer

“The United Democratic Party and Dean Barrow have set up on a course from February 8th, 2008 to introduce to our country Dictatorship. They didn’t start with the big man they start with the small landowners in places like Sarteneja, Chunox, Progresso people who live their lives in relative obscurity without political flare in places like Maxboro, Crooked Tree and Bermudan Landing. They did so by putting into action the Quitar Policy that we’ve heard exposed on Mr. Vegas’ radio station. Now, that is depriving persons of private property, so we can say that Mr. Barrow nationalize or re-nationalize land belonging to Belizeans isn’t that so. Arbitrary deprivation of private property started with our little Belizean man and woman who got their properties from the People’s United Party government.”

And with that said, the fact is that things are going south fast under this UDP administration, and the PUP pulled no punches in fingering Mr. Barrow.

Hon. Said Musa – Former Prime Minister

“We are living in a very dangerous time our economy is in shatters, massive unemployment, people are suffering out there the pain and the caused by the Barrow must come to a stop man too much enough is enough it is time for a change, Cardona was right call elections Mr. Barrow.”

Hon. Francis Fonseca – PUP Senior Deputy Leader

“In March of this year in presenting the 2011/2012 budget to the nation our Prime Minister declared success, expressed satisfaction and in his own words pretty much all that we undertook to do last year has been done what cruel empty rhetoric. Where are the result to justify this sense of accomplishment, where are the jobs for the hundreds of U.B graduates out each day beating the pavement in search of a job that will provide them a living wage, where are the jobs for the single mothers who are living in despair and helplessness, where are the jobs for the victims of the crash at the Corozal Free Zone where imports have fallen by some 50% over the last three years, where are the jobs for the former workers of Belize Agua Culture Limited, of BATSUB, of Fresh Catch of the Shrimp Farm, of the resorts and hotels, of the family owned businesses such as Juanitas and Malics and so many more examples all across our nation that have collapsed under the economic death weight of this U.D.P Administration.”

Hon. John Briceno – PUP Leader

“When the Barrow Administration came to office they found a Government with a budget deficit of less than 1% of GDP, millions in the bank, unemployment at 8.5% and foreign direct investment at $235,000,000. We started NHI, stimulated growth and we kept the lights on, we doubled the economy, worked as respectful and meaningful partners with the private sector and we provided for our elderly. Three And a half years later Belizeans continue to lose their jobs, their home and their lands. Crime is out of control and the cost of living s so high that 90 cents of every dollar earned by the average Belizean is used for food and other essentials for living. Mr. Barrow is trying to pull wool over our eyes; he wants Belizeans to forget the realities of life we face today and to ignore the fact that Belizeans are tired of having nothing. As we say in Spanish “le esta tapando el ojo al macho”. Our people are struggling, our infrastructure is broken and now our very democratic way o life is under threat in short our Prime Minister has gone rogue and his Government has lost the moral authority to govern this nation. Three and a half years into this administration and the Prime Minister is yet to deliver on one of the 21 pledges they made to the Belizean people. The incompetence of this administration is obvious it is time for Mr. Barrow and the U.D.P to leave we say call the elections now. Señor Primer Ministro la hora a legado es la hora de llamar las elecciones.”

And the Party Leader wasn’t done with Mr. Barrow…In the House of Representatives Mr. Barrow alleged that Briceno cannot comment on the BTL matter because of his connection to Lord Ashcroft. Like wise men always say…be careful what you wish for.

Hon. John Briceno – PUP Leader

“I wish I could really give you the answer in private and would like to give the Prime Minister face to face, but we are on, we have the media and we have some ladies here present. But let me start off by stating and making it absolutely clear what Jaime Briceno and Renan Briceno have done is nothing illegal, they came with an idea, they have invested all their money, everything that they have and they own to start off a company and they manage to get a company to where it is and brought in other investors, these two gentlemen have invested in several companies that have created employment for hundreds of Belizeans across this country, something that Dean Barrow cannot say. And let me add, that unlike Mr. Barrow I have not been doing like what Mr. Barrow have been doing presently, whereby he has been giving lucrative contracts to his brother, to his ex- wife, to his two sons, to his daughter, to his law firm to the tune of millions of dollars. In May 2010, in an interview with our good friend here Jules Vasquez. Mr. Barrow admitted, admitted on television and when Mr. Vasquez asked him “Are you not still a beneficial partner of Barrow & Williams and if the benefits Barrow & Williams would it not then also benefit you? The very same contract the Mr. Barrow is giving to his law partner. What did Mr. Barrow answer? He said any professional work the Barrow & Williams does will benefit me indeed I continue to quite publicly and openly draw a share of the profits, so in effect what Mr. Barrow is doing is using his position in government to enrich his partner so that he in return can benefits from the profits, so that is the question that Mr. Barrow needs to answer. Mr. Barrow has to stop being a hypocrite and a liar and needs to come clean to the public and state how many millions of dollars he has gotten from Mr. Ashcroft. That is what Mr. Barrow needs to do to the Belizean people.”

More than 250 persons attended the press conference. In tomorrow’s newscast, we’ll have comments from the Party Leader on the attack on Orange Walk East Area Representative Marcel Cardona in the House on Monday, and also on the conspicuous absence of two of the PUP’s Senior Deputy Leaders.

On Monday, as the parliamentarians on the Opposition side of the House of Representatives walked out of the sitting in protest, PUP Leader John Briceno promised Belizeans that the Party would hold a press conference to discuss in a rational and reasoned manner the BTL matter and other critical issues facing the nation. He emphasized rational and reasoned, no doubt, because the sitting of the House was anything but…as the UDP had tricked out the occasion with party hacks, thugs and cheerleaders galore. Today the Party Leader kept that promise. The venue was the Belize Biltmore Plaza, and on the table were issues ranging from the economy and crime to the re-acquisition of BTL. Our news team was there and has some of the highlights.

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

This morning’s press conference had none of the circus atmosphere associated with a UDP organized event - no hired thugs, no intoxicated flag-waving hacks and no bused in, paid for, ready-made cheerleaders proclaiming the glory of the Prime Minister. It was a gathering of Belizeans serious about the issues affecting the nation – and a united, focused Opposition serious about dealing with those issues.

Those issues are many – including the threat to democracy and the pervading sense of lawlessness perpetuated by the leaders of Government.

Hon. Lisa Shoman – PUP Senator

“It can be no part of any democracy in which a Government changes the law to suit its actions and then calls it fixing the law. What the Government is doing is not fixing the law, what the Government is doing is changing the law to attempt to cloth the naked unlawfulness of its actions that is eroding our democracy. When the Government and Government functionaries’ grant bus licenses without gazetting the meetings, without giving bus owners a right to be heard, without hearing the public and any other stakeholder, our democracy is undermined. When this Government will take the serious step of acquiring private property and neither compensating those whose property you have taken nor accounting to the Belizean people for what you have done and the profits you have made from that property, when a Government will take the step of simply stating that everything they do is right because one they have the power to do so and two they are doing it on your behalf then our democracy is undermined.”

Anthony Sylvester – PUP Legal Advisor

“We saw the governments contempt, also when they fired Belizeans for no reason from their job on a simple suspicion of them being a PUP we saw that also when they took away Land for no other reason that they being suspected of being P.U.P. We saw them stall and cancel projects for no reasons other than it was started by the P.U.P in the process costing inestimable economic wastage. When those in high authority breathe contempt of the law as this Prime Minister and Government does on a daily basis what do we expect from the ordinary citizen?”

Arthur Saldivar – PUP Standard Bearer

“The United Democratic Party and Dean Barrow have set up on a course from February 8th, 2008 to introduce to our country Dictatorship. They didn’t start with the big man they start with the small landowners in places like Sarteneja, Chunox, Progresso people who live their lives in relative obscurity without political flare in places like Maxboro, Crooked Tree and Bermudan Landing. They did so by putting into action the Quitar Policy that we’ve heard exposed on Mr. Vegas’ radio station. Now, that is depriving persons of private property, so we can say that Mr. Barrow nationalize or re-nationalize land belonging to Belizeans isn’t that so. Arbitrary deprivation of private property started with our little Belizean man and woman who got their properties from the People’s United Party government.”

And with that said, the fact is that things are going south fast under this UDP administration, and the PUP pulled no punches in fingering Mr. Barrow.

Hon. Said Musa – Former Prime Minister

“We are living in a very dangerous time our economy is in shatters, massive unemployment, people are suffering out there the pain and the caused by the Barrow must come to a stop man too much enough is enough it is time for a change, Cardona was right call elections Mr. Barrow.”

Hon. Francis Fonseca – PUP Senior Deputy Leader

“In March of this year in presenting the 2011/2012 budget to the nation our Prime Minister declared success, expressed satisfaction and in his own words pretty much all that we undertook to do last year has been done what cruel empty rhetoric. Where are the result to justify this sense of accomplishment, where are the jobs for the hundreds of U.B graduates out each day beating the pavement in search of a job that will provide them a living wage, where are the jobs for the single mothers who are living in despair and helplessness, where are the jobs for the victims of the crash at the Corozal Free Zone where imports have fallen by some 50% over the last three years, where are the jobs for the former workers of Belize Agua Culture Limited, of BATSUB, of Fresh Catch of the Shrimp Farm, of the resorts and hotels, of the family owned businesses such as Juanitas and Malics and so many more examples all across our nation that have collapsed under the economic death weight of this U.D.P Administration.”

Hon. John Briceno – PUP Leader

“When the Barrow Administration came to office they found a Government with a budget deficit of less than 1% of GDP, millions in the bank, unemployment at 8.5% and foreign direct investment at $235,000,000. We started NHI, stimulated growth and we kept the lights on, we doubled the economy, worked as respectful and meaningful partners with the private sector and we provided for our elderly. Three And a half years later Belizeans continue to lose their jobs, their home and their lands. Crime is out of control and the cost of living s so high that 90 cents of every dollar earned by the average Belizean is used for food and other essentials for living. Mr. Barrow is trying to pull wool over our eyes; he wants Belizeans to forget the realities of life we face today and to ignore the fact that Belizeans are tired of having nothing. As we say in Spanish “le esta tapando el ojo al macho”. Our people are struggling, our infrastructure is broken and now our very democratic way o life is under threat in short our Prime Minister has gone rogue and his Government has lost the moral authority to govern this nation. Three and a half years into this administration and the Prime Minister is yet to deliver on one of the 21 pledges they made to the Belizean people. The incompetence of this administration is obvious it is time for Mr. Barrow and the U.D.P to leave we say call the elections now. Señor Primer Ministro la hora a legado es la hora de llamar las elecciones.”

And the Party Leader wasn’t done with Mr. Barrow…In the House of Representatives Mr. Barrow alleged that Briceno cannot comment on the BTL matter because of his connection to Lord Ashcroft. Like wise men always say…be careful what you wish for.

Hon. John Briceno – PUP Leader

“I wish I could really give you the answer in private and would like to give the Prime Minister face to face, but we are on, we have the media and we have some ladies here present. But let me start off by stating and making it absolutely clear what Jaime Briceno and Renan Briceno have done is nothing illegal, they came with an idea, they have invested all their money, everything that they have and they own to start off a company and they manage to get a company to where it is and brought in other investors, these two gentlemen have invested in several companies that have created employment for hundreds of Belizeans across this country, something that Dean Barrow cannot say. And let me add, that unlike Mr. Barrow I have not been doing like what Mr. Barrow have been doing presently, whereby he has been giving lucrative contracts to his brother, to his ex- wife, to his two sons, to his daughter, to his law firm to the tune of millions of dollars. In May 2010, in an interview with our good friend here Jules Vasquez. Mr. Barrow admitted, admitted on television and when Mr. Vasquez asked him “Are you not still a beneficial partner of Barrow & Williams and if the benefits Barrow & Williams would it not then also benefit you? The very same contract the Mr. Barrow is giving to his law partner. What did Mr. Barrow answer? He said any professional work the Barrow & Williams does will benefit me indeed I continue to quite publicly and openly draw a share of the profits, so in effect what Mr. Barrow is doing is using his position in government to enrich his partner so that he in return can benefits from the profits, so that is the question that Mr. Barrow needs to answer. Mr. Barrow has to stop being a hypocrite and a liar and needs to come clean to the public and state how many millions of dollars he has gotten from Mr. Ashcroft. That is what Mr. Barrow needs to do to the Belizean people.”

More than 250 persons attended the press conference. In tomorrows newscast, well have comments from the Party Leader on the attack on Orange Walk East Area Representative Marcel Cardona in the House on Monday, and also on the conspicuous absence of two of the PUPs Senior Deputy Leaders.

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