Belize’s Massive Foreign Debt — Who’s to Blame?

Article Preview By David Gobeil

I always make a point of trying to find and read Wellington C. Ramos editorials since he seems to me to be one of the very few highly educated, yet relatively unbiased Belizeans willing to give meaningful commentary on the current, past, and future state of affairs in Belize.

With Belize teetering on the edge of default with their massive $600 million U.S.D. “superbond”, Ramos weighs in with his educated opinions.

Once again he makes some very interesting and thought provoking points in this article, namely the possible formation of a new political party in Belize, wholly funded and supported by ex-pat Belizean Americans.  He makes the case that such a party, if founded, would yield considerable power and influence, since the local political parties in Belize simply can’t match the economic resources of most Belizean Americans (I agree 10000 per cent. But since I’m a Political Science major with a minor in Psychology, my question is… who will keep THEM in check….?????.

By Wellington C. Ramos

I am a proud Belizean and American citizen, who is a veteran of these two beloved countries that has put his life on the line for both nations like thousands of other Belizean American citizens before and after me. Even though I have lived in the United States for many years, I still consider Belize to be my home because it is the country of my birth. My American citizenship could be revoked but my Belizean citizenship is solid like a rock.

Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos has BAs in Political Science and History from Hunter College, NY, and an MA in Urban Studies from Long Island University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and History

There are about 300,000 or more Belizean Americans living in America and most of them feel the same way about Belize as I do. Our weekly contributions to our families in Belize are what keep the Belizean economy viable, as has been documented by all reputable financial agencies. Belize cannot survive without the involvement of Belizeans who live in the United States because they possess the most financial and human resources. Any Belizean who fails to accept this fact of life is living in a world of fantasy.

Yet, both political parties have failed to formulate a comprehensive benefit package to involve Belizean Americans so that they can invest their financial and human resources in Belize to make it a vibrant nation in this world. The current Prime Minister Dean Barrow had the right idea when he proposed Article 7 to amend the Belizean constitution so that Belizeans with dual citizenship could be entitled to run for office, represent Belize and do everything like all other Belizean citizens without giving up their American citizenship.

The People’s United Party and a few selfish individuals within his own party were against this idea. However, they are giving away and selling Belizean citizenships to foreigners who now have more benefits, privileges and rights in Belize than natural born Belizeans. If the political parties in Belize continue to disrespect and disengage Belizean Americans in the political affairs of their country where they have a vital interest, Belizean Americans will eventually be forced to form their own political party in Belize to represent their interest and that will become one of the most powerful political party in Belize. They possess the financial and human resources that their fellow Belizean brothers and sisters in Belize cannot match.

In the ten years that the People’s United Party was in power they borrowed about US$600 million dollars on behalf of the people and government of Belize. This money was not used to invest in the country’s infrastructural, industrial, economic, technological and human development. They took all this money and spent it with their families, friends and political cronies. Plus, corruption was rampant in their administration. They acted as if Belize belonged to them and them alone.