Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2018. 3:53 pm CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.
By Richard Harrison: A phenomenon of biblical proportions is taking place right in front of our very eyes.
I was aware that life was getting harder in neighbouring Honduras…but never did I imagine that the frustration would cresendo into the mass exodus of around 4,000 who got up and left unbearable suffering in their country en route to the hope and promise of the prosperous north…they have passed through Guatemala and are currently at the southern border of Mexico.
This phenomenon is economic….it is political…it is social…cultural…historic…it does not need too much debate…people are suffering and in need.
What should Belize do?
Some would say nothing….we already have too many problems…we are broke and our debts now exceed 100% of GDP…our poverty is too high….our social services are stretched thin…our unemployment is already too high…we need help ourselves.
BUT Belize has always opened its doors for the people suffering in our region….during the Nicaraguan revolution…the Salvador conflicts….the Guatemalan civil war…and as far back as the Caste War in Yucatan…and now this Honduran state failure.
We should just be ourselves….we were always a humble people when we extended our helping hand in the past…we don’t have to be rich and have a perfect country to help those who need to share our blessings.
Belize should offer to receive these 4,000 refugees…and the international community should assist us to settle these people along our western border…mixed in with Belizeans…on two-acre plots per family…within a 5-mile corridor, complete with roads and other infrastructure and services…creating a FRONTIER OF HOPE….similar to how we created the VALLEY OF PEACE for the Salvadoran refugees fleeing from war in their country.
We should put together a proposal for the international community and such allies as USA, Mexico, Israel, UK, EU, Korea, Taiwan and China of US$600 million….so that US$300 million be invested in our youth development and US$300 million in development of Belize City, Dangriga and Punta Gorda…over 10 years….as these are our most challenging parts. This could be arranged in the form of a debt swap, to significantly reduce our current debt exposure.
Every challenge has opportunity inside of it….Belize must be itself…it must do what is right and within its means…Belize must give its citizens and all the people of our region a good example…as humble, poor, small and weak as we are…we must always open our doors to suffering people…and by doing so the children of Belize will be blessed for a thousand years…many of the challenges our country is facing will be met head on with the support of all our allies…including our neighbours, the people and government of Guatemala.
Belize will re-engineer itself with such a “Marshall Plan” to become Singapore/Costa Rica-like….and our Honduran brothers currently in Exodus running from despair and hopelessness will be prosperous and at peace living among us. Our entire region will see rapid transformation to a brighter future.
Bless Belize…light its path….so that we have all what it takes to ease the suffering of these 4,000 Honduran brothers in need….while at the same time helping up the most vulnerable among ourselves.
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