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September 01
17:50 2018

A Nation is very different – it is not tangible. A Nation has a soul, a spiritual principle with moral consciousness which its members believe must be maintained, at all cost. A Nation is a group of people who belong to a specific territory over which they strive for sovereignty. They share national symbols like a flag, language, customs, national holidays, national anthem, history and myths of great leaders.

In every political manifesto we hear of great promises of development and Nation Building. We elect expensive, highly paid masters to ‘work for us’ and then blame them when they work for themselves and their class…The irony!

We elect men who make up excuses to do nothing for us and we reject those who do everything to lighten our burdens. We elect those who burden us with taxes and stagnant salaries, but they speak of Nation Building. Yet we constantly reject those Nation Builders, those freedom fighters who stand in the frontlines and are victimized when they speak for the voiceless and fight for our justice. Still we pretend we know what Nation Building is and we claim we want it…the irony!

We elect men who pay us pittances for our votes while they become millionaires through the sweat and blood of the poor; yet we reject those who toil with us and carry our cries in their hearts. Still, we believe in the red and the blue and forget that they are what our colonial masters left usto ensure that Nation Building remains a myth for the poor and that the middle class remains the slaves of the state!

We elect men who sell our raw materials for less and import them back for more just because they can pocket some for themselves. Is this Nation Building? They have forsaken the ideal our Nation was built upon and still lie to us that we have a Nation that they are building.

Nation-building is a very difficult and risky undertaking, especially in countries like Belize with deep political divisions within the population. This task is almost impossible in a country that never really functioned effectively.

You see, our Governments, the politicians that we have mistaken for leaders, sold us a lie about Nation Building. Instead they built a state and broke our nation to pieces.

While the terms state-building and nation-building have similar meanings, they are not the same at all. State-building refers to the state’s infrastructure. We have seen it in the last thirteen years – the construction of roads, roundabouts, airports, water systems rebuilt, parks, playgrounds…the borrowing of obscene amounts of foreign money to enslave our people for decades.

The goal of state-building is to divide the people within the nation so that it remains politically viable and economically suitable for politicians. While they fool us with infrastructure, for which we will keep paying for generations to come.

Nation Building on the other hand,refers to the people’s sense of national identity. In Nation Building, Leaders must ensure that all our people have access to the basic necessities of life – healthy food and water, safe affordable housing and better paying jobs. Every person needs an opportunityfor better employment, social, spiritual, and recreational pursuits. Nation Builders have clear national policies addressing these areas.

Nation Builders create policies to protect and encourage our entrepreneurs.They create meaningful employment with fair and liveable wages. They have a clear grassroots economic strategy. They understand success and prosperity is not measured only oneconomic, political graphs; but by the impact their actions have on every single family, every child, every student and every elderly personin our nation.

Nation Builders protect the territory that we call home with all they have. Nation Builders do not use fear and propaganda to manipulate people while power and information becomes invested within a privileged few. Nation Builders do not engage in secret agreements that affect the nation. Nation Builders do not divide our people. They strive for unity. Nation Builders do not give up on Diplomatic efforts and hand the future and sovereignty to foreign hands.

Nation Builders believe in equal participation of women in Government, in national tertiary education for all Belizeans, in better housing for the poor, in better salaries for our teachers, our police, military officers, nurses, doctors and all civil servants.Nation Builders believe in protecting our local industries and in production rather than importation.

Nation Builders believe in a governance based on integrity, accountability, honesty and high moral values.

Nation Builders leave the country and its people in a better place after their term is over. They do notleave our country in debt and the coffers dry. They do not build mansions and fill their offshore accounts. Nation Builders do not allow free trafficking of people and drugs through our country. Nation Builders do not gamble the future of our children and ournation!

Nation Building can only start when we get rid of the corrupt!

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