By Vivien Lougheed
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Extra info for Adventure Guide to Belize, 5th Edition (Hunter Travel Guides)
Orchids are members of the most highly evolved plant groups on the planet. There are about 25,000 species worldwide. Their evolution has resulted in thick leaves that hold moisture for the plant. Some of the flowers are highly perfumed, thus attracting more creatures for pollination. FASCINATING FACT: The South and Central American Indians used vanilla, obtained from a highly perfumed orchid, as flavoring for drinks long before Columbus came to the continent. Similar in appearance to the orchids are the bromeliads, or air plants.
The UDP, an amalgam of three earlier parties, is the slightly right-of-center party, usually but not always in opposition. In its foreign policy, Belize tends to side with the US on international affairs and supports a moderate free enterprise line. However, it has been careful to keep its distance from US policies as applied to Central America, not wanting to be drawn into conflicts like those that occurred in Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador, and that are ongoing in Guatemala. Belize feels closer ties to the Commonwealth Caribbean states than to the Central American ones.
They are usually members of his own party. The Cabinet makes policy for the government. Its deliberations are secret; there is open debate in the Cabinet, but Cabinet members must keep that debate confidential. In effect, the Prime Minister has near-dictatorial powers for five years, assuming that his majority in the House is solid. , US) systems. The system is stable if there are only two parties as in Belize; one is certain to get a majority. But losing a vote means loss of confidence in the executive; a general election must be called.