• Paco Smith | Chairman | BPP

YOUR BELIZE PROGRESSIVE PARTY - BPP BUILDING A NEW POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS...13 MONTHS INTO THE FRAY


Greetings Brothers and Sisters of the BPP Family,

Before I begin, I ask you to provide one minute of silence in remembrance of the life of an

unparalleled world leader, who hailed from the Caribbean and whose significance shall

endure - the former President of Cuba, His Excellency Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz.

May has contributions to not only the Cuban Revolution, but his many efforts to bolster

social justice, across the globe, never be discounted.

On behalf of the Executive, I bid you a heartfelt welcome, for by virtue of your being here

at our inaugural National Party Congress, you have consciously opted to be a part of

what we refer to as “The New Political Consciousness”, which I believe is the only viable

solution to the ills which plague our beloved nation of Belize.

Bearing this in mind, kindly allow me a few moments to highlight and share with you

some of the: achievements, initiatives and developments which comprised the past 14

months.

With the GOB’s announcement on 28th September 2015, signaling the General Election

date as 4th November, it was amid this backdrop of a mere five (5) weeks that your Belize

Progressive Party - BPP was: conceptualised, formulated and convened. Thus, on 1st

October 2015, amid the rush in preparation for the General Election, the BPP was

launched.

Needless to say, these past months have proven many things, but above all I deem it

most significantly to be that of “a learning experience”. We have faced many challenges,

ranging from the the expected aggression from external forces who are hell-bent on

maintaining the political status quo, to internal occurrences that were once

unfathomable, as well as many things in between; Yet given the nature of the landscape

and the fact that the stakes are extremely high, virtually nothing is beyond the realm of

possibility.

With the BPP effectively raising the collective consciousness of the electorate, we

foresee many more attempts, without cease, by the powers that be to try and: influence,

disrupt, mis-characterise, discredit, discount and most notably infiltrate the BPP. That,

my friends is the reality, for the powers that be, know that we are no fly-by-night fancy.

We are an established political party, mind you not of the ilk nor the mold of the PUPD,

but which boasts our unique brand and very importantly a political ideology which is

steeped in Social Democracy/Labour.

As a result, just like the process through which steel and iron are treated and inevitably

made stronger, the principles of the BPP have since been galvanised and emerged even

more secure in our conviction to do that which is necessary to change this corrupt PUDP

system, for the betterment of all Belizeans.

This odyssey to which we have committed is admittedly long and, at times, somewhat

lonesome. Yet our resolve remains fortified, for embarking on this essential effort to

make Good Governance Principles and Practises the norm and to ensure the territorial

integrity and sovereignty of all 8,867 square miles of this Jewel remains precisely that

and nothing less, ​we have absolutely no misconceptions.​

This journey, my friends is NOT a sprint. It is, in fact, a marathon...one which

necessitates the commitment of each one of us, to stay the course and remain true to our

core values and political ideology, for I dare say, the past 35 years of the two-party

political monopoly, which has spawned an auspiciously predetermined privileged class

has not bode well for the majority of Belizeans.

Along this path less travelled, we have achieved various milestones. At this juncture, I

shall list but a few of many, so as to provide an idea of the length and breadth of your

party’s involvements and scope of influence:

  • 1st - 14th October 2015 - Introduced candidates for the 2015 General Election

  • 16th October 2015 - Officially fielded 25 candidates to contest the 2015 General Election

  • 29th October 2015 - Officially launched the “BPP Progressive Plan”

  • 15th November 2015 - Hosted our initial party retreat

  • 15th November 2015 - BPP Women’s Group announced a Food and Clothing Drive to aid those affected by flooding in the Toledo District

  • 30th November 2015 - Announced our “12 Days of Anti-Corruption Activism Campaign”

  • 9th September 2015 - Picketed the Senate Chamber in recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day

  • 9th December 2015 - Picketed in front of the PM’s Belize City office and symbolically signed the UNCAC in commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day

  • 26th January 2016 - Issued a Progress Report of the BPP’s undertakings to-date

  • February 2016 - Political Leader visited the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts to promote the establishment of Constituency Executive Committees

  • 23rd February 2016 - Issued a recap of the first 100 days since the General Election

  • 23rd February 2016 - New Pro-Tem Executive Announced

  • 1st March 2016 - Officially signed 10 year lease for the Headquarters

  • 8th March 2016 - Supported the BTV in its protest action at the National Assembly

  • 8th March 2016 - Unveiled our “10 Point Resolution to Address Guatemala’s Intransigence”

  • 31st May 2016 - Called on GOB to Invoke Article 39 of the UN Security Council amid Guatemala’s ever-increasing aggression

  • 4th July 2016 - Rebuked GOB’s expressed intent to amend the Referendum Act

  • 7th August 2016 - Extended an offer of assistance to the GOB in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl via our ​“3-R Plan” of Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding

  • 20th August 2016 - PG Constituency Back to School Rally

  • 29th August 2016 - Official Launch of the People’s Referendum Initiative

  • 4th September 2016 - Announced completion of the first phase of the BPP Headquarters

  • 4th September 2016 - Bank Account Opened

  • 17th September 2016 - Supported the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ inaugural Sarstoon Island Eco-Challenge

  • 1st October 2016 - Commemorated the party’s 1st anniversary in conjunction with the International Day of Older Persons, by visiting three residential facilities for the elderly; Belize City

  • 10th October 2016 - BPP Website Launched - www.belizeprogressiveparty.org

  • 17th October 2016 - Held our first Public Consultation - Belmopan (Salvapan Area)

  • 4th November 2016 - Hiring of Office Administrator, Mrs. Diafra Nunez

  • 7th November 2016 - HQ Officially Opened to the Public

  • 1st December 2016 - Inaugural edition of “The Progressive” launched

In recalling these many involvements, what comes to mind is the incessant criticism that

“the BPP needs to be more visible and proactive”. I draw attention to this, for it is such

criticism which emanates from quarters who, when challenged to become active

members, more often that note opt to remain on the sidelines. This is instructive

because I wish to remind one and all the old adage which states, “Many hands make the

load lighter...”. Therefore, I implore you to: (1) Carefully read our “Foundation

Documents”, which can be accessed via our website ​www.belizeprogressiveparty.org,​ (2)

Conduct a self-assessment as to whether you share our core principles and underlying

political ideology of Social Democracy/Labour and (3) If your determination is yes, given

careful consideration as to where you believe your skills and talents can be best utilised

by the Party, in order to effectively “make the load lighter”, meanwhile ensuring that a

thorough and adequate effort is being put forth; Once you have reached this realisation, I

encourage you to submit your application for membership, because as important as your

support is, the advent of becoming a member of the BPP is paramount.

It is in this vein that I shall inform you of the BPP’s efforts to not only continue its

necessary works, but to also increase our efforts through various initiatives which

include, yet are not limited to:

  • Re-engaging our Strategic Planning Exercise

  • Continuing our Nationwide Public Consultations

  • Spreading our message of hope

  • Launching our Internet Radio Station

  • Advancing the Belize Progressive Youth, and Belize Progressive Women’s Groups

  • Continuing to conduct the necessary due diligence toward providing solutions to the many issues which plague our society and

  • Setting-up functional Constituency Executive Committees in every constituency, from which “Agents of Change” shall emerge

Therefore friends, I have outlined: (1) Where we began, (2) Some of what we have

engaged and achieved and (3) Provided a glimpse of what we shall engage. As

previously mentioned, this path less travelled is both lonely and strewn with many

potential pitfalls, but with your commitment to the cause of making Belize a more

equitable nation, we shall succeed.

With that, amid the intentional dysfunction and maladministration of the past 35 years of

an “independent” Belize, which has resulted in the untenable situation of Guatemala

fundamentally seeking to exercise command and control of the entire Sarstoon River, I

implore you to embrace the BPP and become actively involved in this necessary effort to

build this party, so that we can make the substantive changes needed to rescue Belize.

In closing, I leave you with the ever-so-meaningful rallying call of your Belize Progressive

Party - BPP, which invariably extols, “8867 Today 8867 Tomorrow 8867 Forever - Belize,

Sovereign and Free - NO ICJ!”

Thanks you and God bless.

Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr. (JP); BA, MBA, MSc, MPM

Chairman

Belize Progressive Party

#BPPNPC2016 #NPC #paco #PacoSmith

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