Still no Guat ambassador in Belize; Guats break bank for referendum
Speaking on the occasion of the visit of the Secretary General of the O.A.S., Elrington told the media that contrary to information widely reported in the media in early March, the Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Estuardo Roldan had not had not returned to duties in Belize after he was called back to his Ministry as a sign of protest following the death of the thirteen-year old boy. But interestingly, a diplomatic note dated March first, 2017, was circulated to indicate that Roldan was back in post. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Morales posted pictures of Roldan at a meeting at the adjacency zone in which a smiling Roldan appeared. On the matter of the cost of the referendum which is estimated to be in the range of seven million dollars Elrington says that across the border, the exercise would be in the range of sixty million dollars.
Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“The Guatemalan ambassador is not back in the country. He is not back in the country. We would wish for him to come back. We are hoping that he is going to come back but he is not back in the country.”
“Sir, please clarify for us what happened there with the Guatemalan ambassador because there was a diplomatic note sent out by the diplomatic community here and the Foreign Affairs ministry had also received a notification I am told…”
“That note went far and near. It did go far and near. We didn’t send it out. I am not sure who sent it out, I mean the suggestion is that it came from the Guatemalan embassy but I do know that the ambassador is not here and we met with him two days ago when we were in Guatemala, Roldan he’s not here.”
“Sir, who underwrites the actual referendum process and how much will it cost over here and how much will it cost over there and, as a sub-question, Belize is going through its own election changes with redistricting, re-registration and a municipal election. Are we able to or is the Cabinet able to contemplate a timeline?”
“Actually in the case of Guatemala, our understanding was that they needed forty million dollars for the actual Election Day and twenty million for the education campaign. So that’s sixty million. Our understanding is that they do have that fund already. I did not ask them how they got it but in fact they have the forty million I’m told.”