Letter: My Independence Day reflections


Dear Sir:

Belize Constitution:


Whereas the people of Belize-

(b) respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all,…

that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity,…

that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality;


What we need to do is reflect and ask ourselves if this system is doing what it should be doing.

More and more youths have very little opportunity to pursue happiness and upward mobility…

So they are pushed into criminal activities to survive…

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

How did the government react after 37 years of ever-increasing poverty?

Waited until the youths are so hopeless and lost and so embedded in criminal activities that they are thrown from the cages of the streets to the cages of prison…

…turning caged, frightened, dangerous youths into savages…


– is this system working?

– is it respecting the principles of social justice?

– did this system result in the material resources being distributed to serve the common good of all Belizeans, especially our youths?

– do all Belizeans have adequate means of livelihood?


– are most of us having our labour exploited?

– are most of us, especially our youths, being forced by economic necessity to live and survive in inhumane conditions?

– why is it that it seems that only foreigners and the politically connected are realizing the opportunities and advancements… which most of the time is not based on merit, ability nor integrity?

– are we equally protected? Ask all the youths who have been swept up and hauled off to jail because our government of Belize called a state of emergency on crime and violence…

– why don’t we call for a state of emergency on poverty?

– why is it that the poor, black youths seem to be the ones who have been the most disenfranchised by 37 years of failed economic policies… is their social status a liability to their person?

– is there a just and equal system when it comes to education and health for Belizeans?

Time to Protect Belize’s Most Important Resource:

We must move away from being locked into the current way of doing things.

We must see the larger picture. There are more responsible and efficient possibilities.

Belizeans, this is not about politics anymore, we need and deserve a real economy.

We have already proved that we can protect our environment.

It’s time that we start to protect our #1 natural asset – our young Belizeans.

It is a complete shift in intent than what we have today.

Happy 37th birthday Belize. Only the youths can destroy you, or save you.

Charles Leslie Jr.



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