Hip Hip Hooray: San Pedro Rallies for Mel Paz 4 Mayor

Last night, citizens of San Pedro gathered to support our Independent candidate for mayor, Mel Paz.  Speeches, trampolines for the kids, food, free purple t-shirts and $2 beers (the hallmark of a solid San Pedro political rally), a good crowd had gathered by the end of the night.I put on my purple “Mel Paz for Mayor” and went to Central Park a bit early.   Mel was there helping set up. I’m surprised she is standing…and smiling…this campaigning business is HARD WORK.

The stage was set.

The kids (I mean future voters) were busy bouncing in the trampolines.

The DJs set up with the music (DJs for some reason never smile)…

I love when they mix in lyrics about the candidate or little bits of her speeches into dancehall or reggae music.  Good stuff.

We handed out LOTS of t-shirts and beads.  Hundreds.

Bobby Lopez, the candidate for Area Representative arrived to support Mel and to speak to the crowd.

He was mobbed for free shirts.  I picked up a nice gold number that I am sporting today.

The speakers lined up on the stage and the national anthem of Belize was played.

Mary Gonzalez of the San Pedro Sun Newspaper was the first to speak.  She introduced Ms. Paz and gave her endorsement.  The bottom line with every one’s speech was that the Blue and Red parties have had their chances and things are not getting better, in fact in many ways they are getting worse.  It is time for change.  It is time to break out of thoughtless familial connection to one or the other party and time to open our ears and really think about what the candidates are saying.  No more empty promises, think about who is going to serve you and your town best.

Mel spoke later.  Belize is made up of a rainbow of people, we need a rainbow of political colors representing us.

Everett Anderson, a co-owner of a dive company in town, gave his support to Mel Paz.  My favorite speakers of the night were the non-politicians who were just speaking from their hearts.  He said that his parents would “kill him” for speaking at the rally…they stringently adhere to one of the main parties.  He said it is time to listen to reason and “not mommy and daddy anymore”.

The crowd then heard from a famous political elder in Belize.

Don Hector Silva is a life long politician, has over 60 years serving in Belize and is a bit of a controversial figure.  In 2009, he stepped down (or some say was pushed out) of the PUP or Blue party and has a completely new attitude.  As an independent, he spoke sharply about the two main parties…he spoke of corruption, cronyism, and bribery.  He said that giving any money or gifts to a voter (gifts, that he claims are given everyday) is 100% illegal in the Constitution.   He spoke of $2 billion USD that simply disappeared under previous administrations (both blue and red).  He spoke about how one of the main parties has been “purchased” by the largest Mexican drug cartel.  He was definitely a dynamic speaker and got the crowd going.

In the end, the rally was a success.  It would have been nice to see a bigger crowd but the speakers has exciting ideas and I hope the message will get through.