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Farrakhan tours Belize

By Richard B. Muhammad -Editor- | Last updated: Mar 14, 2013 - 4:43:21 PM

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Minister Farrakhan meeting with the children of the Muslim school in Belize March 8. Photos: Erwin Muhammad

( - The nation of Belize embraced the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during the trip, which included meetings with political and religious leaders, activists, students, youth, teachers and the general public during his successful visit.

His final address was delivered March 8 at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City, where the Minister also shared words of condolences for the late President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez, who died March 5.

Minister Farrakhan greets Belize’s Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Wilfred Elrignton March 5, 2013 at a special meet and greet function.

In his remarks, Min. Farrakhan again stressed the need for self-sufficiency, interdependent relations and unity among the islands in the Caribbean and the potential Belize has as a gateway to South America and link to the region. The educational systems of the oppressors, the British in English-speaking Belize and the Spanish in Guatemala, contained the hatreds of these European rivals, he said. But now in a post-colonial world, Belize and Guatemala have unnecessary friction, including a dispute related to water rights, when if united both nations could benefit, he said.

Belize must take her own destiny in hand, starting with feeding herself and then looking to export farm products out of the country, he said. The Mennonite religious community farms and feeds half the country, noted Min. Farrakhan, who paid a visit to the group.

Belizeans could feed themselves without competing with the Mennonites, the Minister said. The country must produce pure food and milk for itself, he added.

Western targeting of Belize and developing nations

Similar to guidance delivered in earlier addresses, the Minister stressed the need for politics more tied to national interest than inordinate party interest. Political parties must not see one another as enemies but must put the good of the country first, he said.

Min. Farrakhan warned that dependence on outside nations for food and medicine was a dangerous thing in a world where former U.S. Secretary Henry Kissinger authored a National Security memo that called for population control as a major priority of the U.S. government in regard to the Third World. Blacks, once the majority population in Belize, are not just 25 percent of the population, he said. AIDS, drugs and violence are claiming Black lives in Belize similar to parts of the Caribbean and America, he said.

These deaths are no accident but fulfill scripture in which the children of Israel, who are the Blacks in the West, are targeted by wicked rulers, he said. The West needs the resources of developing countries to maintain their power in the 21st Century, the Minister noted.

Minister Farrakhan spoke to a packed auditorium of students from the University of Belize and college students March 6. spoke to a packed auditorium of students from the University of Belize and college students March 6., 2013 Photos: Erwin Muhammad

A crowd March 8, 2013 filled Bird's Isle in Belize City as Min. Farrakhan delivered a final message during a trip that included meetings with political and religious leaders, activists, students, youth, teachers, a prison visit and public gatherings.

Minister Farrakhan’s Bird Isle address concluded his visit to the Central American nation. His schedule also included radio/TV interviews and a message to the staff and inmates of Belize Central Prison.

Minister Farrakhan met with Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow and was hosted at a Foreign Ministry reception. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca also received Min. Farrakhan. He was interviewed KREM TV, toured a library and school, spoke at the University of West Indies-Belize, the University of Belize and met with the university president, among highlights in his busy schedule.

The visit was Minister Farrakhan’s third visit in 27 years. A planned visit to Belize last December was postponed as the outspoken leader suffered from exhaustion and dehydration after visiting five Caribbean countries. He arrived in the country on March 4.

“In an interview minutes after arriving at the international airport named after our local civil rights champion, Phillip S.W. Goldson, Minister Farrakhan explained that the purpose of his visit is [not just to speak to the Muslims but to the Christians, the Mayans to all of the members of this potentially powerful nation,’ ” according to writer Shane Williams for The Guardian newspaper in Belize.

“He said the problem Belize is facing with urban violence is common among black people in the region and across the world: ‘I think that the future of Belize has to tie in to Central America as well as to the whole of the Caribbean. The crime rate is going up and you have gang problems here with young people. It’s the same throughout the Caribbean and the United States as well as Africa.”

Minister Farrakhan met the prime minister of Belize and minister of Foreign Affairs in Belize City. Then the respected and beloved leader met with “activists from several organizations inside the conference room of the University of the West Indies. … he met with students of the University of Belize at the institution’s Central Campus in Belmopan City.” During his stay, the Minister visited a prison, a local Muslim community and youths from around Belize City.

According to The Guardian, the Minister said, “I think the way forward is the unity of the people of Belize, three hundred thousand, and the unity of the Caribbean, so I hope that I can encourage us to find a stronger path of unity.”

Nuri Muhammad, who organized the trip, told a local news outlet, the trip was important and wide ranging—from time with students, parents and staff to a meeting with “leaders of the Mennonite community. This is a first and it is a first because the Mennonite themselves told me that this is not something that they would do normally. But since they understand the great interest that Minister Farrakhan has in applauding their great work in turning jungle into a productive functional society over just a little over 50 years. It is something that he wants to see and witness and affirm and acknowledge and congratulate the leaders of the Mennonite community,” said Nuri Muhammad.

Then, he continued, there was the important visit to a prison. “Over 95 percent of our people in the prison are really under 30 years old. We have a crisis situation in our society where we are producing so many young Black males that end up in our prison system. Far more young Black males are going to prison than are going to university. And it is similar to what is going on in Jamaica, in Trinidad, in Guyana and in fact even in the United States,” Nuri Muhammad told the TV station.

The Minister also attended Friday afternoon Jumaah congregation prayers for Muslims, which were open to the public, he said.

“When he was here years ago, he spoke about empowering ourselves and the importance of taking charge. You are an independent country, but independence doesn’t mean you are just politically independent. It means that you must behave as independent people in charge of all of your affairs. Your land must develop; your people must develop; your industry must develop. So it may be some hard talk and people may be slightly taken aback of his speaking that way, but I think it is because he’s had experience of talking to people over 57 years in this work and he has been particularly talking to people in the Caribbean; talking about the fact that in our societies we are looking at 65 percent of our young people and are we preparing our young people to become stronger leaders, more proactive and skill leaders in the challenges that face them in Belize,” said Nuri Muhammad.

Politics and education

An activist is a valuable person for the future of the country, but activists must be activists for Belize and think bigger than party or political leaders and be rooted in what the party of politicians will do for the nation, the Minister said in the meeting with grassroots leaders. One of the groups he spoke with was the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, which engages in farming.

His messages centered on the need for a self-sustaining and well developed Belize and how the country needs to avoid the trap of foreigners coming to buy citizenship in the Caribbean paradise, and provide true education.

“Education, real education, is an axis to the power that will allow you to do exactly what God gave instructions to Adam to do: Multiply and replenish the earth, subdue it. Multiply does not just mean have children,” he said, “When you multiply, you have a multiplier and multiplicand. What’s next? A product,” the Minister said during a session with students. “So God made every human being to be a producer and if you produce nothing than you have fulfilled the command to multiply.”

“Education is not only to lead us from darkness into light, weakness into strength, or power, but education is to lead that gift out so that when you know your purpose in life ... in (cultivating) your gift and offering your gift to make a better society and better world you are actually glorifying God,” he said.

Government and education must work together as students with an inferior education cannot produce a superior society, the Minister added.

Min. Farrakhan has spoken about Belize in a different way, with “something very special” that affected him in his trip to Belize, said Nuri Muhammad on the evening before the Minister’s departure.

The Minister talked about “the very special reality of what we are dealing with in Belize, the great potential for growth and development and the model that we represent to the world. But he has observed that there is an element yet to be cultivated in order for us to step out on the world and show this specialness about us,” Nuri Muhammad added.