Friday, March 14, 2008

From Fury to Disgust, A Round Trip

At a weekly rate, new and more horrendous horrors are revealed before our eyes. I'm concerned that as the avalanche of revelatory documents piles up above our heads, we may forget the lesser or earlier details. For instance, do you remember the founding of UHS? Yeah, there's a story there, just ask around.

My outrage though, comes from insult. I, along with the Belizean people, have had my intelligence, not to mention my sense of fair play, thoroughly insulted, beyond the obvious financial injury committed. Remember when the former government, with grande temerity, suggested that they had supported UHS because Belize needs a tertiary care institution? How severe is the amnesia which collectively struck them. Francis, our Presumptive Party Leader, the Man, the Voice of Integrity, jumped into the media fray with that excuse when the guarantee story broke. He honestly forgot, poor lost boy, that there was a tertiary care institution with a much longer and less tarnished history than UHS. Any guesses? If Belize Medical Associates was your guess, then congratulations, you've managed to avoid contracting PUP Amnesia, a deadly disease that can kill political ambitions.

Now, having conveniently forgotten the existence of Belize Medical Associates in their quest for tertiary care salvation, the engineers of this debacle also could not carry out simple mathematical calculations. They couldn't even estimate that simply investing in developing the KHMH could give that tertiary care access they were crowing about. Don't quote me on this, but apparently it might even have cost less than 10 million Belize Dollars!

Making matters 40 million times worse, the Prime Minister of Belize, as he then was, decided that the founders/owners of UHS and their private sector lenders needed a government guarantee and loan terms that would ensure that, should they fail, they wouldn't be the ones to suffer. And, this I am willing to admit, he did a sterling job of it. None of them have yet convinced any of us that they are suffering. Nover forget that it's the safety net that takes the licking when the acrobat falls from the trapeze.

When we found out, we weren't our customary complacent selves. We protested mightily, we protested with all our lung power, all our brawn, all the energy we could muster. We told our leaders, the guys who we'd elected to represent our interests, that the whole idea of having taxpayers take on the oversized debt of a gluttonous private sector institution was distasteful, absolutely unacceptable. We told the lender to take our country to court, and warned him that we wouldn't give in without a fight. When the 'lee breeze' showed signs of reaching hurricane strength, the government backed down, or so we thought.

Calmness restored, the government went about the business of selling UHS. When they announced success, the lies began again, assuming they had ever stopped. On that now-famous radio show, the soon-to-be-ousted Prime Minister was forced to reveal that yes, he had condemned, er, committed, the government to spending $3.6 million per year at UHS, whether or not services of equivalent value were received. If that wasn't an election loser, I've no idea what would qualify for the title.

Fast forward to present revelations. We find that our exorbitant debt is paid in full, against our wishes. We further find that we have bought a hospital we do not own, with money we never had. "Curiouser and curiouser," quoth the current Prime Minister.

What could we have done with $40 million dollars? Money that was a gift to help us out of our artificially imposed poverty and misery? It helped, yes. It helped the undeserving few as they continued on their merry way, robbing the poor to give to the dirty rich. I'm outraged, and so should you be, because the moral of this particular story is that morals are increasingly decayed, decomposed in fact, almost beyond recognition. It is the ultimate in safe guesses that none of the major players in this chapter of our tragedy believes that they've done anything wrong. As citizens and taxpayers, it's our duty to point out at every opportunity that we will never accept such cavalier treatment of our resources ever again, by anyone.

If we don't, then the last lines of Edgar Allan Poe's, 'The Raven' becomes our curse. "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor/Shall be lifted - nevermore!"

Nevermore, that's the watchword and don't you let them forget it.

1 comment:

  1. T'is true. The aggravating part is the initial owners/borrowers seem to have evaporated into thin air. Where are they? They need to be held liable.
    We, as a people, should be convinced that the power lies with us. Not a single dollar, not a dime, should be paid out of our taxpayers monies.