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About-face in Parliament: PM Briceño Trashes Definitive Agreement

Jun 16, 2023

About-face in Parliament: PM Briceño Trashes Definitive Agreement

This morning, following a series of fiery exchanges in the House of Representatives, Prime Minister John Briceño rubbished the Definitive Agreement signed by government and Portico in 2020.  Tearing up a copy of the controversial deal comes several weeks after the very same document, along with proposed legislation, was presented to Cabinet.  As we’ve reported, the introduction of the white paper and its accompanying bill was met with strong objection from senior ministers in the Briceño administration.  Since then, several ministers have sounded off on the obscene Definitive Agreement and the Opposition Leader has been on the offensive.  So what prompted PM Briceño’s about-face in parliament today, considering the fact that he was the one who initially embraced the agreement?  We begin our newscast tonight with an extended look at what took place in the National Assembly this morning and what preceded the prime minister’s actions.  But first, here’s PM Briceño publicly condemning the document while taking aim at Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow.

Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Now let me tell you something about your corrupt UDP Definitive Agreement.  That was not approved by Cabinet.  We did not approve it.  I am telling you right now, this noh good fi nothing.  Soh all ah da noise weh unu di mek, no good fi nothing, you know why, because we are going to do what’s right by Belize.  The hypocrisy of these people.  We will discuss with the key stakeholders, including Royal Caribbean, one of the leading cruise lines in the world, as well as all legitimate partners.  And with full transparency, Madame Speaker, we will do only what is good for the tourism industry and good for Belize.  We will be fair and we will proceed only with approval of the Cabinet and this honorable house, Madame Speaker.  So, honorable member from Mesopotamia, your five minutes are up, your antics are over and your treasonous behavior of writing…”

Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Leader of Opposition 

“Madame Speaker, on a point of order.”

John Briceño

“Companies abroad.  What, what is the point?”

Valerie Woods

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House 

“You don’t need to.  I’ll ask that the reference of treasonous not be included.  There must be another word you can find.”