The Russians have announced that they have developed and registered the 1st. COVID-19 Vaccine.
The news was
delivered to the world by the Russian leader ‘Vladimir Putin’ in
a press conference earlier today.
The primary news
organizations of all major countries has carried the news, and if
proven to be effective, it will surely be another “Sputnik Moment”
for the Soviet Union. (Russia)
The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, and all over the world, including The Indian Times and news outlets In Africa, Europe and major TV Stations in the U.S has carried the news with a dash of skepticism, that questions the validity of the announcement and also points to the traditional phase trials that is normally done for a vaccine to be approved for widespread use.
Other countries have
already announced that they will work with the Russians to produce
The state of Parana in Brazil announced that they will meet with the Russian ambassador on Wednesday to discuss a co-production agreement. – which should not be a surprise to most, since Brazil has the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths; only the United States has more than Brazil.
If proven effective
against the COVID-19 Virus, the Russians will probably rack up a lot
of ‘brownie-points’ all over the world, as people are wanting
effective solutions no matter where it is made or created.
This is “Big News”
with a grain of caution salt.
For this historic announcement to be made by the president of Russia himself is probably the biggest thing to happen on the global-stage since the Russians were the first to orbit a satellite in space, known as the ‘Sputnik Moment’ for doing it before the Americans.
If effective the
Russians would get an extremely high windfall profit for the new
drug, as hundreds of millions of people worldwide would seek the
The traditional view of the Russians as the bad-guys and or adversaries would surely be different if this is really a solution to the scourge called COVID-19.
Shortly after the news was announced on Tuesday August 11th. The financial and stock-market news channel CNBC in the U.S reported “that the surge of the stock-market was a reaction to the announcement that an effective vaccine was developed”.
The lifeblood of all modern economies is heavily dependent on cargo flowing in and goods sold flowing out on ships VIA the shipping port. There are two operational ports in Belize “Port of Belize” and “Port of Big Creek”, the larger is in Belize City and the other is in the Stann Creek District.
According to data from the Port of Belize and Government Information, the Port of Belize handles 84% of the country’s imports and the Port of Big Creek facilitates the agro-productive sector and handles the majority of the country’s exports.
thought about how our boxes and barrels come in? or even how Brodies
and other supermarkets get their items? Well it comes through the
you may be thinking; how can such a profitable stake not be
nationalized? Well, the Port of Belize was first established by the
Belize Port Authority, a regulatory body, and Maritime Agency,
responsible to regulate and develop Belize’s Ports, Harbors and
Shipping within the territorial waters of Belize.
The Port was run by the government until 2002, then it was privatized and sold to shareholders. The main shareholder at that time was Luke Espat.
Due to overleveraging of the many projects such as the Cruise Ports, Renaissance Towers and Crockland, just to name a few, the Port came into receivership by the British Caribbean Bank.
On the morning of January 5th 2012 the ‘Port of Belize’ was taken over by representatives of the Belize Bank; (acting as agents for an affiliated company British Caribbean Bank), the port has been in ‘receivership’ since that date. The Belize Bank indicated that it took over the ‘Port’ due to loan defaults, and subsequently appointed Arturo Vasquez as the receiver.
In 2018 WaterLoo Investment Holdings Limited began a plan to expand the Port of Belize to include a cruise ship docking pier and facilities for cruise tourists. However, the Covid-19 Pandemic put a damper on the project which would directly compete with the Stake Bank project for the lucrative cruise-tourism business.
The Stake Bank project which is a huge US$300 million island and cruise-ship terminal project just off the coast of Belize City has been in development for many years. The project is so large and ambitious that it’s probably the largest construction project that the country has seen in many decades. It is still a mystery as to why planning authorities would issue permits to two large companies to engage in planning and constructing large-scale projects that would compete with each other.
The primary investor for the cruise-tourism project at POB is WaterLoo Investment Holdings Limited. According to their 2019 Annual Report in the ‘Financial Services Division’ it highlights the British Caribbean Bank as producing a profit of $2.2M.
The Port is in receivership by British Caribbean Bank, and it is highly possible that said company WaterLoo Investment could be the current owners of the port. If both companies, Port of Belize Limited and WaterLoo Investment Holdings, are being financed by the British Caribbean Bank, then it is more plausible to believe this is true.
In an interview conducted on local TV station Channel 5 Belize, entitled “Ashcroft Has No Interest in Owning Port of Belize” he mentions “none of [his] companies in this case Waterloo has an Interest in the port of any ownership”. It can be assumed that both private entities are in collaboration.
We may not know exactly who owns the port, but we know that there exist strong ties between the two companies.
Editor’s Note: What is ‘Receivership‘ – we have listed the British UK definition because it is an English business term that is a part of British corporate law which was handed down to most former British colonies.
In the primary city of this country there is a main street named Albert Street, and another named Regent Street, and Church Street; and it looks a lot like Belize City in some parts. But this is not Belize City, it is Georgetown Guyana.
The country is on the verge of profound changes that some observers say will cause it to become the wealthiest country south of the United States.
In the past few months since the March 2nd. election, Guyana is in a delicate balance of possible civil war or chaos or profound prosperity and peace.
Basic Country Facts The nation of Guyana attained its independence from colonial British rule in 1966 and the capital ‘Georgetown’ is the headquarters of the CARICOM secretariat. Guyana is (214,969 km² ) about 10 times the size of Belize (8,867 square miles, or 23,000 km²) and has a population of almost 780,000 people.
The Election On March 2nd. 2020 the country had a general election, and a little over 451,000 ballots were cast’d . Some of which were from Guyanese-born people, living in the United States. The election on the ground inside the country had a high turnout rate of 70.3%; of registered voters who elected 65 candidates to their house of representatives, including the president.
The Presidential Candidates The incumbent president David A. Granger leads the ‘A Partnership for National Unity’ (APNU+AFC) and the opposition party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is lead by Irfaan Ali.
The incumbent, David A Granger was first elected as Guyana’s president after a coalition of the APNU & AFC joined to form the current government which took office in May 2015.
The supporters of incumbent president David A Granger have loudly call for him to be sworn back in as president, but on March 6th. a high court blocked efforts to declare anyone as the president elect until the all matters are heard by the courts.
A Rumble in CARICOM More than 2 months after the election there was still no declared winner and the rangeling and claims of fraud was all over regional news. The incumbent government of President David A Granger invited a team of observers from CARICOM member states, and on May 6th. a recount of the ballots began.
The statistics are a starting point for concern because most countries in the region have never had such a large number of ballots or votes, when compared by ratio with the population. In this election almost 451,000 ballots were counted; in a country with a population of 780,000, considering that the under voting age population is almost 290,000, including school age children and toddlers.
The high-level group from other CARICOM member states arrived in Georgetown Guyana on 1 May, and the recount exercise began on May 6th. and ended on June 9th.
One of Jamaica’s leading newspaper, the Jamaica Gleaner reported that the Chairman of CARICOM (at that time) Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley may have been too quick to chastise the Granger government in Guyana.
The Caribbean Court of Justice There has been heated accusations of fraud and claims of sophisticated voter and-or ballot tampering from both sides, which has culminated in legal action at the highest courts in Guyana, and finally leading to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
During the process of validating ballots, Guyana’s Chief Election Officer determined that over 100,000 votes were invalid. However, On Wednesday, July 15th. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) handed down a unanimous decision which does not agree with the methods used by the Chief Election Officer (CEO) to invalidate the ballots.
Latest Developments In Guyana’s Election Saga The following is the latest news from the Guyana Chronicle Newspaper. (Friday July 17th.)
“ATTORNEY General Basil Williams, on Friday, argued that the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh is constitutionally bound to declare the Leader of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change, David Granger, as the President Elect in accordance with the advice tendered by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield.
In his virtual appearance before Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire, Williams – the fourth named respondent in the Misenga Jones Case – told the High Court that though the Chief Elections Officer submitted his Elections Report in accordance with the Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution and Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act, the Chair of the Elections Commission has rejected the report.
Such, he argued, is a constitutional breach. The report indicated that more votes were cast in favour of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), for which President David Granger is the Presidential Candidate. “The Chairman of the [Elections] Commission was obliged to then declare him [David Granger] as having been elected under the said Article 177 (2) (b); that has not happened, and so we have a constitutional crisis in that regard,” the Attorney General told Justice George-Wiltshire during a five hour marathon court hearing on Friday. – end quote –
THE OIL INDUSTRY “A series of successful offshore discoveries by ExxonMobil – estimating eight billion barrels of recoverable resources – has catapulted Guyana to global prominence, promising to transform the tiny rainforest nation into a major oil economy.” – end quote – Those were the words of a news article on April 13th. 2020 in the highly regarded oil analytic and research publication NE ENERGY.
in 2005 Guyana had a very modest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of only US$77-million dollars, which grew to US$247-million dollars in 2011. (Gov. of Guyana data).
Since the announcement of oil being found off the coast of Guyana in an area known as the Takutu and Guyana Basin in the Atlantic ocean, the annual FDI growth rate of 21% would now be estimated to be US$1.7-billion for the year 2019.
Both Rystad Energy and Exxon have published data indicating that Guyana’s oil reserves are approximately 8 billion barrels of crude oil, which will transform the country into a major oil producing state that will output 130,000 barrels per day (bpd) in late 2020 and 750,000 bpd by 2025, and an even further 1.3 million bpd by 2030.
GOLD Additionally, digitalCaribbean-dot-LIVE has verified published data that Guyana produced approximately 96,000 ounces of gold in 2019. The projection for 2020 is estimated to be the same or more production from its Aurora gold mining operations.
On May 4th. 2020 the stock price of Guyana Gold Fields Inc. traded at $0.70cents on The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). As of Friday July 17th. 2020 the stock has traded as high as $1.80.
. . . . . . . . . .
– OPINION – The people of the CARICOM union should all pay close attention to what is happening in Guyana, afterall, the headquarters of CARICOM itself is in Georgetown, Guyana. The continuous practice of democracy in our CARICOM union states is the most critical mechanism that makes small countries strong. – That they not be looked upon as uncouth relics of former Banana republics, but rather, well managed, democratic and sovereign states that punch well above their global weight.
The multi-million dollar business of various lottery games has been extremely beneficial to both the Government of Belize and Brads Gaming Group Limited.
In 2009 the company won the original contract to administer several different lottery games, that contracts was for 10 years.
In September of 2019 the tender was offered by the government to all interested and qualified organizations to submit offers to GOB, the government stated last year that it was not going to aromatically award the contract to BRADS Gaming Group.
Today (July 3rd.) GOB announced that BRADS Gaming Group Ltd. owned by Kim Jen Chee will continue to administer all lottery games in Belize for 10 more years.
A Great Revenue Stream ( Some for Education ) It is estimated that at least $10.7-million (on Average) is spent each week on all lottery games in Belize. All lottery winnings above $750 is taxed 15% which goes to the Government of Belize, in addition to the taxes and fees paid by other companies such as SCRATCH-OFF and other games of chance and gambling.
A large portion of all gaming and gambling taxes collected by the government are earmarked for education, that is according to part III of the Gaming Control Act of Belize.
The government’s press release said – The Government of Belize, via the Lotteries Tender Panel, has completed negotiations with Brads Gaming Group Limited for a license to administer the Belize Government Lottery for the period of April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2030.
In September 2019, the Government of Belize announced the open tender for the license to administer the Government Lotteries for the period April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2030. Consequently, a Lotteries Tender Panel was established comprising representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Lotteries Committee, and the Gaming Control Board to assess proposals for the administration of the Government Lotteries. The evaluation was conducted in accordance with procurement policies as advised by the Ministry of Finance using a quality and cost-based approach.
Bids were received from three interested parties. The Lotteries Tender Panel evaluated and ranked all three bids based on the pre-determined criteria established for the procurement process. At the end of the evaluation process, the Lotteries Tender Panel recommended to the Government of Belize that the license to administer the Belize Government Lottery be awarded to the proposal with the highest score.
Subsequent to the Government of Belize’s acceptance of the recommendation, and as required by the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, the negotiated license and contract, along with the tender report and related documents, were submitted to the Office of the Contractor General for review and no-objection prior to execution. Having received the no-objection from the Office of the Contractor General, the license and contract to administer the Belize Government Lottery was signed on June 26th.
The executed license and contract will be laid before the House of Representatives at its next sitting as required by the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act.
The long awaited final judicial ruling of a case that has been heard by the Belize Supreme Court, then The Belize Court of Appeals, and now a final ruling at the highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice has gone in favor of Belize International Services Limited (B.I.S.L) and against the Government of Belize.
The CCJ’s decision was explained in a short statement that concluded that the takeover of BISL by the Government of Belize was a breach of the agreement.
The following is the short version of the CCJ ruling, today, Tuesday, June 30th. 2020
“Although arriving at their decision for varying reasons, the CCJ judges all found that the government had breached its agreement with BISL and could not rely on the illegality defence to prevent BISL’s claim for damages. Strictly speaking, the payment structure of the agreement did not meet the constitutional and legislative requirements for payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but this was not sufficient to prevent BISL from the recovery of damages. The CCJ ordered that the matter be remitted to the Supreme Court for assessment of damages. Costs were awarded in favour of BISL, to be taxed if not agreed by the parties. – end quote –
A complete reading of the entire 144 page judgement indicate that the 5 judges of the Caribbean Court Of Justice were unanimously dismayed by the actions of GOB and the manner in which the Government of Belize took over B.I.S.L were highly unusual and unlawful. The written ruling of the judgment contained a very harsh disciplinary tone, and a rebuke of the leader of the Government of Belize, Prime Minister Dean O Barrow, who was the prime minister in June 2013 when B.I.S.L was forcibly taken from its owners.
On Friday June 26th. the House of Representatives held a meeting to discuss several financial motions, shortly after the house meeting Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that the government won’t pay; can’t pay; end of story.
The case was argued at several sessions in 2019 before the Caribbean Court of Justice by senior council Mr. Eamon Courtenay and Ms. Priscilla Banner for the plaintiff (B.I.S.L) and Mr. Justin Simon, QC and Mrs. Samantha Matute-Tucker for the defendant (GOB).
Today’s decision by the judges was communicated VIA video conference from the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad. The attorneys representing both parties were at their local offices and communicated with the court via live secured video conference.
At the conclusion of the reading of the judges decision, attorney Eamon Courtenay indicated to the court that there have been several other court rulings that has been ignored by the defendant G.O.B.
He asked the court to take additional steps to enforce the judgment.
Attorney Eamon Courtenay indicated that the previous court rulings that have been ignored were, the Universal Health Services (UHS) case in which the government lost and was ordered to pay damages, and the Cruise Solutions case in which the government also lost and was ordered to pay damages.
Very Serious Implications In an interview on local TV, Channel 5, Attorney Eamon Courtenay implored the people of Belize to read the court’s decision, and to also realize that several hundred million dollars have been spent by the government without any accountability, and that the country is facing a list of huge financial burdens that may have been due to “malfeasance”
Referenced Questions:Why does the court document list “THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BELIZE – RESPONDENT (defendant) – – – Because under our system of government “THE ATTORNEY GENERAL” (currently Mr. Michael Peyrifette) will be the only entity that must enforce the court’s orders.
Remember to ask your questions in the comment section during the live webcast! Joining us today is Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General and Minister of National Security, to discuss the ending of the state of emergency and the regulations to follow.
The teachers, the students and the principal of these lucky schools in Belize City are all happy tonight. Thanks to some well needed donations from a good corporate citizen, Westrac.
Drive down Antelope Street Extension from Central American Blvd. and
you will pass through one of the most challenging neighborhoods in
Belize City; and the difficulties in that community is even more
amplified by the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, that has left many
But the afternoon of Wednesday June 24th. was different, there was smiles from ear to ear and at least for the students and parents and teachers and especially the principal, this was a very good day.
As the principal stood at a podium in the church building, she explained how she got the phone call, and at first she was in disbelief, then she was elated to get the news that a donor will pay all the school fees for all the children that attend her school . All 255 students of Unity Presbyterian Primary School have received a donation of (a) 1 year of paid school fees, and (b) A book bag, Back-Pac.
The philanthropic work and efforts of WESTRAC Ltd. has been done before, but this time they got suggestions from several community organizations and then carefully made a choice of who should get a donation and how it would be disbursed. In this case, all the parents of students at that school will have a receipt that indicates that the school fees for the entire school year 2020-2021 is paid in full.
Earlier in the day, Westrac Ltd. donated to Queens Street Baptist School and similarly paid the school fees for all the students at that school.
Flanked by five members of a team that is attempting to craft the best case scenario for the re-opening of the international airport and by effect an attempt to restart the tourism industry, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke to the nation in a virtual press conference that fielded questions from several media representatives.
The press conference was 3 1/2 hours long and covered many subjects. – digitalBelize.LIVE has created a list below with the key segments for your speedy review.
Prime Minister’s Opening Remarks
Tourism Reopening Plan / Karen Bevans / Dir – Belize Tourism Board