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Economic Genocide !

November 11
14:59 2019

By: Major Lloyd Jones (Ret’d)

“Genocide, the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race.”

genocide | Definition, Examples, & Facts |
Genocide, the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race. The term was derived from the Greek ‘genos’ (‘race,’ ‘tribe,’ or ‘nation’) and the Latin ‘cide’ (‘killing’). Learn more about the history of genocide in this article.

The economic landscape of Belize has changed significantly since independence; but it was really over the last fifteen years or so that we saw an economic model emerge which can only be described as economic genocide.

The economic genocide that we are experiencing today was made easy by our lack of financial education; the lack of access to land and capital by roots Belizeans; and a wicked, self-serving political class.

The average Belizean is therefore positioned to fail: we are to consume but we are not to gain any economically dominant position!

The genesis of our economic genocide began when our politicians introduced the economic citizenship program. That program, we were told, was designed to help Belize’s economy transition from an agricultural-based economy to one anchored in light manufacturing.

The new economic citizens were to bring the capital, skills and market access in order to make this happen. What we got were a lot of Chinese (include the Taiwanese here) but no factories; no economic paradigm shift; and no marked expansion of the economy.

The economic genocide we are experiencing today was made easy by the colonial education system that we inherited upon our Independence. The aforementioned education system did not place great emphasis on financial education since, to the British, we were meant to be servants and nothing more.

Even in 2019 our education system is more about service to Rome and Canterbury than about consolidating our economic independence.
There are five elements of national power to which nations aspire: diplomatic, informational, military, economic and technological. Together these elements strengthen a nation and allow her to take her rightful place among the community of nations.

The Chinese, for example, decided decades ago to silently focus on their economic agenda, understanding full well that with economic power they would be able to build the other elements of national power. One strand of China’s strategy was the creation of a non-threatening global economic web. They focused on capturing national economies across the globe, after which they began to assert themselves in the other spheres.

When the Chinese came to Belize, our economic space for tangible goods was dominated by four primary segments: agriculture; apparel, fuel and retail groceries. The Chinese with the support of the wicked, self-serving political class soon realized that they did not have to deliver upon their promise of light manufacturing. They quickly understood that if they “supported” the local politicians they could instead compete in the existing markets.

The existing markets were much more attractive since they were less capital intensive and far less risky than the promised light manufacturing. In addition the retail space was and is dominated by thousands of small daily cash transactions: an ideal space for money launderers.

The hardest decision for the Chinese was to decide where in the market place they should compete. Agriculture was dominated by the Mennonites; apparel was dominated by the Indians (Turks); fuel was dominated by the multinational oil corporations; and retail grocery/hardware was dominated by roots Belizeans.
With the exception of the retail space all others were dominated by closed societies; those market segments were therefore much harder to penetrate. As it turned out, the unity of the Indians, Mennonites and multinationals was their strength. Roots Belizeans on the other hand, were not united, having been divided decades ago by partisan politics.

It did not take long for the Chinese to decide that the retail space was the market segment that they could conquer without any significant fallout, political or otherwise. It would have been too costly to try and take over the other market segments and so our neighbourhood stores were gobbled up with the blessings of those we adore: the politicians! Both Red and Blue feasted on the Chinese manna and in return the Chinese were given free reign within the economic space of roots Belizeans.

The Chinese business model is such that they have drowned out roots Belizeans from the retail space and with that they have achieved dictatorial control over our food supply and thus our diet.

In 2019 the Chinese dominance of the retail space is complete. There is a “Chinese” store is in every nook and cranny; in every town and in almost every village; but there are none in the Mennonite communities! What is it that the Mennonites know that we don’t? The answer is simple really; they understand the importance of controlling their own economic space!

One of the central planks of the legendary Marcus Garvey’s message to black people was that they must recognize the true value of their economic power: spending power if properly directed can be a force for true “freedom.” It was this message that was the real threat to the economic dominance of former slave owners and it was this message for which Marcus was destroyed.

In 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. in his greatest speech: “the Other America” (not “I have a Dream”) attempted a similar thrust as Marcus Garvey. It was this speech that led to his death, although everybody was made to believe that King was murdered because of his unparalleled work for civil rights.

We have heard all sorts of excuses why the economic genocide of roots Belizeans occurred and is occurring. Many of those excuses lay the blame at the feet of the victims but none point to the fact that there are hidden forces which have denied us access to land and capital.

If the genocide of which I speak was happening against human bodies the world would be shouting genocide! But economic genocide comes without blood and gore; and so we roots Belizeans suffer in silence. We suffer in silence even as we worship the very politicians who are responsible for our suffering.
Belize is a strange place!

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