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May 31, 2017

Edmond Castro Says He Never Used His U.S. Visas

Edmond Castro

Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmond ‘Clear the Land’ Castro was the trending topic today, following a statement from his office confirming the embarrassing cancellation of his diplomatic and tourist visas by the United States Embassy.  Perhaps most stridently, was the rate at which his name was being called during today’s senate hearing where whistleblower Alvarene Burgess described in great detail dubious visa transactions with the Minister of Transport and NEMO.  We’ll have her testimony coming up, but first we begin with Castro.  In a late evening announcement issued by his office, Castro verified on Tuesday that his visa had been revoked and that a reason for its cancellation was not given by the U.S.  This morning however, he told the media that he didn’t request a visa from the U.S., but they gave him one anyway and that now he has no intention of renewing his visa since he has not been traveling to the U.S. since 2014.

 

Reporter

“Yesterday you issued a statement basically on the cancellation of your visas.  You said that you were basically invited by the embassy to go in to discuss it, and you said that that was not of interest to you.  Why is that and were you, have you followed up since getting that notice from the embassy?”

 

Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport/NEMO

“I don’t know if it’s the protocol.  My diplomatic visa would be expired in, I think, sixty-one or sixty-two days.  The passport will be expired on August second as well.  So I don’t know if it’s their protocol when to ask ministers or people with diplomatic passports to come in and discuss whether they want to renew or not.  I had no interest in renewing, so I declined that I had no interest in renewing any visa to go there.  So I did not go in and they do what they wanted to do.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“But as a government official sir, is it of concern to you that here is a case where you as the sitting minister have gotten your visa cancelled and of course your C.E.O. was also turned back?”

 

Edmond Castro

“We have, I have sixty-two days left on that passport.  I have not been using that visa or that passport for the past three plus years.  What I can tell you is [that] not many Belizeans, not many Belizeans would have a green card and turn it in.  I had a green card and after I had gotten elected in 2008, it wasn’t working for me.  I went to them, I called them and I went in and I turned in the green card.  I never asked for a visa.  They offered and stamped a visa in my passport.  I never asked for one.  I used it for like two years and I never used it again.  One of the other visas that they put in my passport, I never did use for five years or eight years, nine years, whatever it is.  I never did use it, so I have no desire or no need for such.  So then I don’t believe there was any intent or interest for me to go in and ask, or sit down and ask for such renewal if that’s the case.”

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