And while members from the House of Representatives filed in at the National Assembly building this morning, outside there was an energetic crowd awaiting the arrival of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It was a huge wave of red that blanketed the footsteps at the assembly building. It was heavily policed and a rope was drawn to keep the order. The aim of the crowd was to show their support for GOB and the Petrocaribe loan while the aim of the United Democratic Party was to flex their muscle and show that they could assemble the largest crowd of supporters in Belmopan as the $228 million loan motion for financing under the PetroCaribe initiative with Venezuela, introduced last month, was submitted for second reading. Our news team was on hand to catch all the highlights, Maria Novelo has that story.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
From what we have been able to estimate, close to five thousand supporters from all corners of the country were packed in buses and chauffeured to the capital city of Belmopan. With heightened security on stand-by, people started to gather at the footsteps of the National Assembly building awaiting the leader of the nation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow. With placards, signs and banners supporting the Government’s spending in development through the PetroCaribe Funds, many were the views of those in support. We spoke to several supporters of the event.
“We deh fu support this thing because we are for real, UDP a;; the way and who complain about the government is because they are wrong, if they don’t open their eyes they are not seeing and not even the shade will help them or may if they use it is because it hurts them with the beauty that is happening.”
Maria Novelo – Reporter
“So are you in support of the Petro Caribe spending?”
Maria Novelo – Reporter
“Porque estas aqui?”
“Porque queremos ver un mejor futuro para la comunidad del pueblo de Belmopán.”
“I support the Petro Caribe because it gives jobs in PG, it fix the street, it feeds the poor and some single parents like myself that I can’t support my five children, so I support in full effect.”
“Two different of leaders with the same fund from Venezuela, the first administration took for themselves and in this other situation with this UDP government they are spending it for the whole country so I think I am representing the Prime Minister with the petro Caribe funds.”
“They no have no ambulance at Belmopan but they are buying two helicopters with the Petro Caribe money?”
“Well, I think that it is something that needs to be readdressed because we have to have priorities in order but I think that by at large UDP is still doing a good job.”
While we estimated close to five thousand supporters, the police’s count is 6,000 while the count of the United Democratic Party stands at 8,000. What amount of money the UDP spent to mobilize supporters has not been disclosed and it probably never will. What we can tell you is that while reports suggest that today’s rally was funded with Governments money, the Prime Minister has stated that the party raised funds to mobilize its supporters.
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