The Reporter (Belize)
February 24, 2002
In an exclusive interview with The Reporter, Belize Prime Minister agrees that the Chaillo dam should only proceed when all doubts about environment mitigation studies and the geolology of the site are resolved.
An excerpt from an exclusive interview with The Reporter last Friday, Prime Minister Said Musa answered questions about privatization, crime, the US dollar shortage, the Chalillo dam, and other issues. Q. Put yourself in our position, as a member of the public. Tell us the truth, nothing but the truth about our economy. BTL, BEL, WASA: are they not all the same problem? Giving away everything Belizean to foreigners? All around us in Central and South America, in the Caribbean, most notably Jamiaca, are examples of the true results of privatization, of the sale of public assets. We are following down the same path. The directives of the World Bank and the IMF and IDB have only led to economic debt and slavery. Can’t we be truly independent?
I do tell the truth. I agree about the effects of globalization. Unhappily, Belize is too small. We cannot attract competetive privatization. We are dictated to by the World Bank and IMF. At times it pays us to borrow on the commercial market and pay 10% or 11% because often times the orthodox thinking of the multilaterals including the IMF condemns small states like Belize to persistent poverty. Q. Weren’t you born in Cayo? Don’t you realize that the Macal River is our lifeblood? Why don’t you come and see for yourself what will happen from the construction of the Chalillo dam, instead of listening to the frosting from the promoters of the dam?
I sincerely believe that Chalillo will provide us with cheaper, cleaner power. Yes, the technical side needs to be sorted out. I believe that we need the environmental mitigation issues and the geology questions answered before we proceed with the dam. Meb Cutlack interviewed Mr. Musa in his office in Belmopan.