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Petrocaribe forum in Belize City postponed

Audrey Matura Shepherd

Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2015. 5:13 pm CST.

Thursday, June 11th, 2015. BMG: Today in Belize City at the University of the West Indies (UWI), five influential speakers were scheduled to debate their views on the PetroCaribe Loans Act and the way it’s being used by the Belizean government. Everything was already prepared for the event but yesterday, Jane Bennett, UWI Open Campus Head, informed the panel of speakers – Dickie Bradley, Mose Hyde, Senator Mark Lizarraga, Paco Smith and

Audrey Matura Shepherd

Audrey Matura Shepherd

– that the forum would be postponed until further notice.

Although Bennett has insisted that the postponement was her personal decision, speculations is that pressure from the government was the real reason that stopped the event from occurring today. Word of the postponement has not gone well with Matura-Shepherd who does not accept Bennett’s explanation and said as much in a strongly worded email to the UWI Open Campus Head.

Shepherd tells Bennett, “I do not buy into your reason for pulling the plug and until I can be convinced otherwise or see otherwise, it would mean to me that you have lost your moral and ethical compass and clearly have shown your bias on this issue. This is especially so since G.O.B. will be having their presentation on June 25, a day before the amendment is passed through the National Assembly.

It is counter-productive to have both sides on the same platform since the PetroCaribe people have all the money to bring their rent-a-crowd to disrupt and heckle those who say anything against their unlawful conduct under our laws and if you are so concerned about being fair… please also note that being fair means being fair to the voiceless… those of us who do not have the PetroCaribe money.

A University is a place of higher thinking and in other countries is the seat of the people’s revolution through discourse, forums, debates, seminars and any vehicle of education and information.”

Even after receiving the email, Jane Bennett remains that the decision was made by her personally because the forum needed balance – all five listed speakers are firmly against the current configuration of Petrocaribe-funded spending.

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