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May 16, 2017

Garifuna Chair of Belize District P.S.U. Disappointed with President

Edmund Zuniga Jr.

A letter demanding that P.S.U. President Eldred Neal stands down from contesting his seat during the upcoming Annual General Meeting has been signed by nine members of the union’s Council of Management.  Among the signatories is Chair of the Belize District Branch, Edmund Zuniga Junior.  Not only does he sit on the committee, he’s also Garifuna.  Zuniga takes umbrage to the remarks made by his president, but says that he is especially disheartened because it is a direct attack on the ambition and contributions of his people to national development.

 

Edmund Zuniga Jr., P.S.U. Chair, Belize District

“The conversation really took me aback.  In this age, 2017, to hear people speak about race relations and Garifuna people and our history in such a manner really took me aback.  But I am more worried about the fact that our ambition has been called into question and our aspiration, if I might say so.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now as you mentioned, you are also the chair of the Belize District branch of the P.S.U.   Is there any position that has been or will be taken in light of what has been put out there?”

 

Edmund Zuniga Jr.

“Well tomorrow, Wednesday, we have a general membership meeting and it’s important that we take this issue to the membership, to the wider membership, and they will decide exactly what will happen, if anything will happen.  They will decide if they want to keep our president as our leader or if they make any other decisions then I have to bring that forward to the wider membership of the Public Service Union.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now as a member of the Council of Management, I believe yours was among nine other signatures affixed to the letter requesting that Mr. Neal tender his resignation.  Share with us your position based on the conversation that the Council of Management within itself.”

 

Edmund Zuniga Jr.

“Well, we, I was one of the signatories, yes, and I was one of the signatories primarily because as a union, we stand for nondiscrimination, whether it comes to sex, religion or culture.  And to have our leader speak in such a manner, really, is not the sentiment that we want around the table.  But as I said, we have to go to the wider membership and then the wider membership will decide what will happen next.  For me, as a person, as I said, his statements question our ambitiousness as Garifuna people.  We are not hungry for power and we have contributed to this country equitably and we continue to contribute towards this country, making it a better place for all of us.  And our diversity is our uniqueness and it’s our wealth.  What I have to say for anybody making such statements is that I have sympathy for them and for making such a statement, but as Garifuna people, we love all cultures and all races and we continue to build this country, and we will continue to build this country nonstop.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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