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Belize: US Embassy revokes government minister’s visa

From Caribbean News Service

BELMOPAN, Belize, Jun 02 2017 – The US Embassy here has cancelled the diplomatic and tourist visas of Transport Minister Edmond Castro.

But Prime Minister Dean Barrow has brushed aside calls for him to dismiss Castro over the cancellation.

Barrow told reporters that he had seen a letter sent to the minister by the US Embassy and that “there is no indication of any reason for the revocation of the visas, except that the minister declined to come in when invited to do so to discuss the whole issue of renewal of the visas since those visas were about to expire.

“As the minister has said, and that’s clear from the letter that what he said was confirmed by the letter, he refused to go in because he’s saying that he’s not interested.  In other words, had the visas not been revoked, had they been allowed to expire in the next couple of months he would not have sought any renewal,” Barrow added.

The leader of the main opposition People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceño, had earlier this week called on Prime Minister Barrow to “do the right thing (and) fire Minister Castro,” adding that he believes it is “shameful and disgraceful that we have now a sitting Minister who the US government has decided to cancel his visa and we need to ask the question why”.

President of the activist grassroots organization, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), Geovannie Brackett, is predicting that Washington will move against more government ministers telling Prime Minister Barrow that “he cannot remain silent after his Minister has lost his visa”.

IMAGE: Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Edmond Castro (left) with Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize H. E. Carlos Quesnel

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