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Nov 9, 2016

Watching the U.S. Presidential Election at Ambassador’s in Belmopan

The world got up this morning to a new reality that Donald Trump has been voted in as the forty-fifth president of the United States defying all polls and predictions in the long U.S. election campaign. Hillary Clinton did not get to break the toughest glass ceiling though projections had placed her ahead of Trump. On Tuesday night in Belmopan, the U.S. Ambassador hosted an election watch party since it is said that when America sneezes Belize catches a cold. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Bated breath and keen attention are expressions that best describe the tense atmosphere at the US ambassador’s residence on Tuesday night.  It is the quadrennial gathering of friends, families and employees for an election watch party at the home of Ambassador Carlos Moreno in Belmopan.  Several guests are seated inside a viewing room, held intently by ever-changing figures on a large screen.  The facts being absorbed are incoming results of the United States presidential election of 2016.  The candidates are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Republican and Democratic nominees, respectively.

 

Paul Whisnant

Dr. Paul Whisnant, American Citizen

“I’m excited that today is election day mostly because most people I know feel that when they voted, they went and voted, but they felt that they voted for the lesser of the two evils and half the people that I know were not excited to vote.”

 

It’s a sentiment that is shared among Americans both at home and abroad.  Neither candidate is an ideal choice for head of state and head of government of the United States. For many, the prospect of either nominee being named commander-in-chief was unfathomable.  But, here they are tonight, collectively holding their breath, awaiting the outcome of a fiercely fought campaign two countries away.

 

Carlos Moreno

Carlos Moreno, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

“This is an event that is really celebrated at US embassies throughout the world and it’s an event where we’re able to bring not only Americans who live in country but also to invite our local counterparts to share in the excitement of the campaign and of the election.  This particular election, I know, is being followed intensely by Belizeans.”

 

Indeed, the presidential race has been as much a trending topic among local pundits as is the current political climate in Belize.  In fact, a forum has been organized to discuss the potential impact of a win for Hillary Clinton as the first woman president of the United States.  That reality is still distant.  For now, Trump is ahead by a narrow margin.

 

Fred Brown

Fred Brown, American Citizen

“I have voted for Hillary Clinton.  As we all know, she’s a Democrat.  I’m a registered Republican, alright, and so I always vote for the best person, not by party, and I believe that she is responsible, she’s been around, she has history with the government and she understands how things work, both being a first lady with her husband, being in all of the various things.  Mr. Trump has no experience in that.”

 

Naiveté seemingly plays no role.  The underdog continues to defy all odds.  Dr. Paul Whisnant, an American citizen residing in Belize, believes that like himself, many voters are simply fatigued and are ready to move on past tonight.

 

Dr. Paul Whisnant

“Most people I know are more excited for this election to be over with.  They want there to be closure.  They want to be able to move on and begin healing and move forward.  It’s been [a] very controversial, very dirty election.  A lot of nasty comments, a lot of things going on and we just want to see some sort of closure.”

 

The divisive nature of politics isn’t lost on anyone attending tonight’s event, including Mexican-American Ambassador Carlos Moreno, a former Supreme Court justice.

 

Carlos Moreno

“I think the main thing to draw from this is that, you know. we really believe in a peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next.  We believe that the elections are free and fair and essentially corruption free and I think that when the results are finally in, we’re obligated as Americans really to support whoever is elected president at the end of the day.”

 

Until then, voters are holding on to hope, confident that their candidate of choice will emerge victorious.  It’s ten o’clock and guests are milling about anxiously.  Others are still very much enjoying good music, food and drinks.  For retired American national Fred Brown, he is still cautiously optimistic of a win for Hillary Clinton.

 

Fred Brown

“It’s still too early in a lot of states to call it.  I think it’s going to be very close but I trust the election.  I don’t think there’s going to be any false, you know, forgeries or any type of fraud going on and whoever is elected at the end of the hour, if it’s two in the morning, I’ll say I accept that.  I may not be happy with it but I’ll accept it.”

 

…and that acceptance begins with a recognition that the United States has awoken to a forty-fifth president.  Despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, billionaire businessman-cum-reality television host-turned-GOP candidate Donald Trump has edged out his opponent by as many as sixty-two electoral votes, to become president-elect of the United States.

 

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, President-Elect

“Thank you very much everybody.  Sorry to keep you waiting, complicated business, complicated.  Thank you very much.  I’ve just received a phone call from Secretary Clinton.  She congratulated us, it’s about us on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard fought campaign.  I mean she fought very hard.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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3 Responses for “Watching the U.S. Presidential Election at Ambassador’s in Belmopan”

  1. Eye in the Sky says:

    TRUMP all the way. He will make america great again.

  2. Shelly Leit says:

    Get ready to feel the repercussions of having an idiot and a narcissist in the White House. Trump has no idea what he’s doing, and he’s racist and sexist. He will negatively affect every country on earth. I voted for Hillary but America is still too sexist to elect a woman president even if she was far more qualified for the job than Trump. And Trump was endorsed by all the racist White Nationalist groups in the US.

  3. Bob says:

    Shelly you sound like ignorant Democrat. Quit crying, Hillary is a nasty women and everyone with any sense knows it and Bill was the biggest pervert sex offender ever. People like you love to play the race card and the sex card because that’s all you have. Don’t worry world you are much safer with Trump in the White House and Trump will make America great again. Trump is just the opposite of a racist, just remember the Democrats fought to keep slavery and it was the Republicans that died in the civil war to free them.

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