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Mar 27, 2003

Max is back; will head Airports Authority

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While government has announced the names of its six Senators and the Senate president, there are dozens of other appointments, mostly to statutory boards that have been made but not yet made public. Reason for the delay is that the appointees must first respond to the offer, signalling their acceptance or denial. But word does get out and one appointment that has caught our attention is that of chairman of the Belize Airports Authority. He is none other than Belize Rural North representative Maxwell Samuels. No, we are not making this up. A government spokesman has cited Samuels’ years of experience as Minister of Transport as the rationale for the appointment. Other selections yet to be officially announced in the diplomatic corps are the appointment of Fred Martinez as Ambassador to Guatemala. Martinez, the U.D.P. representative on the team that negotiates with Guatemala, will remain in that capacity. Opposition Leader Dean Barrow has already gone on record as having no problem with that arrangement. In related news, we have been reliably informed that Guatemala’s former ambassador to Belize, the popular Antonio Castellanos, will be making a come back and is expected to present his credentials in the near future.

Elsewhere in the diplomatic corps, the future of Ambassador Amalia Mai appears to be unsettled at this time. Apparently she has been asked to leave Cuba and relinquish that post to former Foreign Minister and current super-ambassador with ministerial rank, Assad Shoman. It is understood that Shoman will also rack up some extra frequent flier miles as Ambassador to Spain. As for Mai, it is believed she will be named Ambassador to the Organisation of American States, working out of our Washington embassy.

Other government appointments that have been made public include Dolores Balderamos Garcia as Ambassador/Special Envoy for Children, Gender Affairs and HIV/AIDS. The former minister will lead the National Women’s Commission and work as executive chairman of the National AIDS Commission.

Another familiar face in Belmopan will be that of Elizabeth Zabaneh, who has been reappointed as Speaker of the House. Zabaneh served most of the last term as speaker, relinquishing the post to Sylvia Flores while she made an unsuccessful bid for the P.U.P. nomination in the Stann Creek West constituency.

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