Wednesday, September 21, 2011


President Carter Laments The Loss Of Price  
And tonight, the tributes to Mr. Price continue to pour in from local and international organizations.Just before 6:00, we received one from Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and The Carter Center. It calls Price the founding father of Belize and says, quote, "His humble personality belied the stature of his statesmanship. His courage, wisdom, and good humor were a gift not only to Belize but to all of the Americas." End quote.
Very high praise, indeed, and Price's passing has stirred high praise in all those who knew him.
Yesterday we spoke to two of his disciples and his biographer for a greater insight into Price's political life:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
Who would ever think in the early 1930's that these spindly legs of the boy scout named George Price would someday carry an entire nation forward and beget a national hero?
Certainly not his mother, Irene from Yo Creek, seen here in a photo from the 1920's as she posed with her first son. But her third child grew into a great man.
Rt. Hon. George Price"Thank you, thank you, thank you to all. The honor is also for the many who have been loyal and are still loyal to the peaceful, constructive, Belizean revolution."
Price always stayed on message, the peaceful constructive revolution, and social justice were his credos:
John Saldivar - PUP Standard Bearer"That was his lasting legacy, the whole concept of social justice, which basically means that there's nobody who's going to be left behind. No matter where you're from, no matter how remote the location that you live in, or how depraved the environment that you are coming out - your circumstance in terms of your economic position - he believed that representation was for everyone."
Godfrey Smith, Price Biographer
"In two words, social justice, I think anyone who worked with Price, or knew Mr. Price, knew that he stood for social justice. So while he avidly foreign direct investment, while he firmly and unflinchingly believe that solution to Belize's economic problems lay in foreign direct investment, at the same time, that was back by his belief that while one sought develop the country through FDI, the government was there to ensure that social justice was their for the benefit of the people."

And for him, the people were paramount, Price toured the country in his famous Blue landrover, Fording rivers and through remote villages, and from there, by foot, or even sailing down a river, never losing the common touch:
John Saldivar - PUP Standard Bearer
"Part of the DNA of a People's United Party politician is getting down, meeting his people, understanding you cannot represent a person that you don't know. You have to know them, and you don't want to know them from their fence. You want to know them from their kitchen. When you're in the kitchen, you're family. That's Mr. Price's philosophy in getting out and meeting the people. He did not care too much to be on the outside. He wanted to be on the inside, to see how they are living, how they were eating, how they were getting along."

Bill Lindo"You see he always had a very simple thing, this thing about social engineering is about not that the rich shall have more, but that they poor shall have. The rich are always rich. He always used to tell me, he said, 'Look, a man wants a house. Everybody is a human being, they're made in the image of God. They have a right to a home.'"
And while those ideals may not have been fully realized - in fact they may have been unrealizable - according to his biographer, the genesis of Price's nationalist ideology is still somewhat of a mystery - did it come from deep reflection? Inspiration? His biographer says it was not from his education:
Godfrey Smith - Price Biographer"There was nothing academic - no individual figure - that exercised so great an influence on Price, that he said, 'Aha! I want to be a politician. I want to engage in the struggle against the British, to lead the country to self-government and independence. I suppose that all that I am left with is the sense that he was living at a particular time when the needs were so obvious. The dire straits of the country, economically, were so bad, that he felt he had to do something about it. And I can't determine, or pinpoint what actual combination of factors core-less to impact him into action, but certainly, he had a desire to be useful in a practical to people and to his country."
And more than just practical, he was heroic and all agree, visionary; he saw nationalism beyond the horizon.
John Saldivar - PUP Standard Bearer
"Where else in the world, I mean this is our George Washington. This is our Norman Manley. This is our Cipriani and Buzz Butler. He is the founder of our nation, and certainly, I am very much pleased that across the political divide, that we've all come to appreciate this today, because the out-pouring of love and condolence has been immense. And certainly this loss will be felt, but he will never leave. As long as there is a Belize, there is George Price."

Godfrey Smith - Price Biographer
"I remember reading some papers in the Caribbean - there was a moment in the struggle, when Price was considered the most vehemently anti-British, and the most aggressive nationalist leader, throughout the Caribbean. That has been documented by Jamaica Gleaner newspaper and others in the Caribbean. So he had courage, and he had conviction and determination. And making these descriptions, they sound bland; they sound ordinary. We throw them about everyday, perhaps undeservingly. In Price, however, they stick because he actually embodied these traits. This is not to say that the man was perfect, or a saint. He had obviously serious flaws, and he had serious weaknesses. It is my view, however, that his strengths, looked at from a macro-level, towered over his weaknesses, and made his weaknesses seem vanishingly small."

Smith's biography of George Price - which will be the first authorized biography of the national hero - is set for publication before the end of the year.
And for more of the official tributes which have come for Mr. Price - you can see them at when we post tonight's news...

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