Friday, August 18, 2017

U.S. Sent Castro a Message

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 19:23
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Thursday, 27 July 2017 After almost two months of having to hear absolutely ridiculous explanations for why the US yanked UDP Minister Edmond Castro’s Tourist and diplomatic Visas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington finally provided some clarity this week, which included throwing his colleague completely under the bus. At the end of May this year, Minister Castro announced quite casually that the US revoked his Visas. He and the Prime Minister then tag-teamed to downplay the obvious indictment of the Barrow Cabinet. They pretended that the visa-facilitating minister had no need to go to the United States – EVER - and that the Americans chose to revoke the minister’s visas two months BEFORE they expired just because... But the Foreign Affairs Minister has no such delusions about what it all means. He told the media last Friday, “the United States has different mechanisms whereby it exerts pressure on individuals and on nations – sanctions, revocation of visa, prevention of people coming in for one reason or the other. This is standard fare. And they do it all the time in the Caribbean. If they have reasons to believe that for one reason or the other they don’t find a government official— if they are not desirous of having that person visit their country, they revoke their visa. [It’s] something that they do all the time, really.” Elrington continued to reveal that “Clearly it’s a signal from them that they are not happy with something in relation to Mr. Castro.” “But if that’s the case you would think it would be only his tourist visa that would be revoked,” pressed the reporter. Elrington’s response? “Well it depends on the kind of message you want to send.” And as to THAT being an indictment on the Government, Elrington added, “you can’t indict the government for something done by one person in the government.” The Prime Minister also did not believe that the US Embassy has a recording of Minister Castro negotiating visa facilitation for Asian nationals believed to have been trafficked through Belize. Sedi on the other hand said, again nonchalantly, “well, you listen to what is happening between the United States and Russia— it seems as if the Secret Service records everybody. Everybody who is suspect they have recordings of their discussion and their debate on. So it would not surprise me that they do that in Belize, you know, people of interest to them, record your information.” He added that it is done routinely and that’s the reason why ambassadors are stationed in foreign countries: “so you can get information.” Classifying it as something natural and normal, the Minister stated that the US asks no permission to do this and “people who are doing nothing wrong should have no fear.”
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