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December 07
18:02 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff, -  

We contacted Shoman following his comments on Tuesday night and in clarifying his comments about the two major political parties’ corruption, he said: “I don’t think that anyone would doubt that. The fact that I was a part of the PUP government that included corrupt persons is irrelevant. Indeed, even when I was such a member I criticized the corruption in government.”

During the forum, Shoman also accused new political aspirants of distorting the facts, making up stuff and preaching “doom and gloom” about the facts on the airwaves and on social media.

“They say the way to fix all of that is to vote “No.” So we bring down the government and then we elect a corruption-free government. Magic! Easy. Just like that. Really? Wow! What party is that? I say enough of the lies and enough of the false truths. It’s time to call out the misinformers in our society. It’s time to recognize that many people say and do these things because they have a political agenda. Many of the loudest naysayers are people who are or have been candidates of a political party and want to boost their political capital, especially as general elections zoom ahead.”

There were also harsh words between Shoman and Paul Morgan, former leader of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), who was also part of the panel on Tuesday. It happened when Shoman, who was questioned about the Heads of Agreement, which he as a PUP Minister of Government, signed onto in 1981, and which caused riots in Belize when people thought that Guatemala may have been given rights over the Sapodilla and Ranguana Cayes and southern waters. He told the gathering that he and the then government only signed the document because the negotiations were not getting us anywhere and that Great Britain needed to see some type of strides being made towards a settlement; but that signing the document was not conceding anything to Guatemala.

“‘Can you sign a paper that says that you will discuss these various topics in the future and try to reach an agreement?” We said ‘fine.’ Everything that was in that Heads of Agreement was subject to Belize agreeing to it in the negotiations. We felt very confident about that, because if we have the power to negotiate and to say ‘NO’ every time they suggest something, then we have no problem,” Shoman explained.

That drew strong words from Morgan, who called him a liar. “You just heard from the horse’s mouth how, on an international basis, he and his colleagues did not intend to honor something that they signed. That, my friend, is a lie. It’s a lie. That is a bad thing and perhaps and I’m saying this very seriously now, perhaps, just from that one statement there recorded, we should not send Assad back to negotiate anything for us, because he is a liar,” Morgan charged.

We asked Shoman today to respond to Morgan’s words and he did by saying: “Mr. Morgan appears to be a nice guy, so I don’t think he had any malicious intent. I think he was just put out by some piercing questions posed to him by the San Ignacio people and called me a liar out of frustration and confusion.”

And although Shoman criticized the UDP and the PUP for being corrupt parties while in government, PUP Leader John Briceño came to his defense, stating that “He (Morgan) should not attack Mr. Shoman like that because Mr. Shoman has been a leading member of the Belize-Guatemala negotiations for a long time.”

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