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Editorial – Friday August 23rd. 2019

Editorial – Friday August 23rd. 2019
August 23
16:23 2019

At last Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives, Caribbean Shores Representative Mr. Kareem Musa, 41, called on the Prime Minister, Mr. Dean Barrow to step down. He charged that the PM was “old and tired.”

The Belizean electorate is by now accustomed to rude and uncouth behaviour on the part of its elected representatives on both sides of the House. So we won’t comment on that! But the classification of being “old and tired” is interesting and invites further consideration.

Prime Minister Barrow was born on March 2, 1951. He is now 68. Prime Minister Said Musa, the father of area representative Kareem Musa, was born on March 19, 1944. He is now 75. He ceased to be Prime Minister in 2008, when he was 64.

As Prime Ministers are rated, Mr. Barrow is not old at all. So the slur of being old and tired must be seen as a rebuke for something else.

That something else is Mr. Musa’s decision to visit Beijing as the guest of a communist party to discuss matters which have not been publicly disclosed. The Prime Minister was correct in calling Mr. Musa to task for making the trip since it was done in secret and since it will cast a cloud over Belize’s foreign policy with respect to Taiwan.

Mr. Musa’s visit has had the effect of trying to undo 30 years of settled foreign policy when he has no status, even within his own party, to do so. He can and will argue that he can do whatever he pleases, but the visit is seen elsewhere as an act of schism and disharmony within the PUP. The issue of Taiwan has not been a foreign policy matter taken up by the Party, and Mr. Musa’s jarring comments about his own disaffection with Taiwan come as the noisy gong of a one-man band.

In view of almost certain general elections next year, it is not too early to expect a Manifesto from the PUP setting out in clear terms what it expects to be its foreign policy as well as what is its vision for developing the economy of Belize if and when it is elected to power.

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