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Feb 10, 2011

Santino not fired because he blocked purchase of ministerial vehicle

Santino Castillo

We reported in our newscast on Wednesday, that Santino Castillo, the deputy chairman of the Belize Tourism Board who also chairs the Board’s Finance Sub-Committee, had been unceremoniously dumped from the B.T.B.  His firing came in a letter signed by the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, delivered at Castillo’s office. It is big news because Castillo has been at the B.T.B. for years, including a tenure as chairman, and in fact just recently he was re-appointed to the same Board from which he was fired. Aside from his credentials, the Castillo family is a well known supporter and financier of the U.D.P. So what went wrong? From what we gather, Castillo along with Stanley Longsworth, Jr., who was fired on Tuesday, had stood in the way of the extravagant spending at the B.T.B. and furthermore Castillo had just blocked funds towards the purchase of a brand new luxury vehicle for the Minister. But according to Minister Heredia, the firing is not personal and the two new members of the Board will made known by February fifteenth.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“Even if you are a good one and I feel that we have other good potentials outside that probably I need to bring back to see what they have, I have the option of doing that one.  You’re not there forever right or for the whole term of – likewise, with the Prime Minister, if he feels that one of us is not serving well, he can move you at his convenience.  So I am very thankful to Mister Santino for the time that he has been serving over there.  I feel that I need to do a little change in my Board and that is what I will do.  I have done so with my Chairman, let me see, one, two, this is the third time.  If I need to make any more changes and just re-appoint the rest, then I will so Wednesday.”

Marion Ali

“Some people have said that Mister Castillo has done well during his term, that he has actually save a lot of money…”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Let me tell you, the entire Board has done a wonderful job.  I don’t think there has been any Board that has been better than this one that we have.”

Marion Ali

“So why change?”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Because like I said, there are a lot of Belizeans that have a wealth of experience also.”

Marion Ali

“Ok, so it’s just to give somebody else a chance?”

Manuel Heredia

“Yes, somebody else a break.  If you have seen the way I have done my Board, it not political appointees.  I don’t believe in that and I have that option to do so because it doesn’t really affect me politically, right.”

Marion Ali

“You said this was the best Board thus far.  And there is saying, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it”?”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Well, like I say, I feel like there are other people, good Belizeans then, that probably are not as politically involved but have a wealth of talent. I still consider him a friend and in fact, I was one of his campaign people when he ran for this division.  I was a key person in his campaign.”

Marion Ali

“So it has nothing to do with him not approving, maybe the purchase of a vehicle for your use here or…?”

Manuel Heredia

“No man, that – let me be very clear, like the P.M. said; man, if you look at the records of the B.T.B., I don’t think you’ve had any Minister that has managed the budget and the affairs of the B.T.B. to the last penny than this one.”

So according to the minister, Castillo was a good Board Member, who he simply wants to replace. But in the scheme of things, the bigger question is did the prime minister know and will Castillo and Longsworth be left out in the cold?

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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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29 Responses for “Santino not fired because he blocked purchase of ministerial vehicle”

  1. belizean says:

    Manuel Heridia is a fool.. Talking NONSENSE, and a self praising politician.. He is the fool that needs to be replaced….

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    Manuel, you sound like Baghdad Ali. Why do you still have a portfolio? After you stuck your racist foot in your mouth last year, you should have been put in the attic like the crazy relative we don’t tell our friends & in-laws about.

    Why do we continue to reward these idiots for bad behavior. A Policeman shoots & kills a fellow officer in the station in his town, this fool opens his mouth & plants both feet in it. No one has been charged. Our tenders are about to be run out of business, our tour guides have been replaced in part by a foreign company, you have relocated the vendors so that they are less visible & make less money, a tourist was raped & flight attendant killed in San Pedro & he deserves a luxury car. What did Sanchez’ widow & children get? Forget the damn luxury cars, clean up the streets & promote Belize in the major media markets. Have Doug Singh & Dean work with you on presentation & looking sincere, we don’t believe them either but they at least look & sound like they believe their own bull..

  3. Common Sens says:

    Corruption, corruption, corruption……..never ending. “Grab what you can, while you can” mentality of this government.

    Ditching one of the most experienced minds at the executive level of tourism, to give someone else a “chance”?? YAH ALLAH, we are in a mess.

    Do yourself a favour Herredia (no “Honourable” or “Minister” title uttered from my lips/fingertips) – RESIGN.

    Personal note to Channel 5 (you can edit this part out):
    For credibility, start running one of your investigations on this character.

  4. same old says:

    same old same old and no one does anything, whos the fool here

  5. Josie says:

    nothing surprises me about this government, they trampled on their supporters out of greed. what does minister heredia knows about financial budgeting/analysis

  6. PRINCE MICHAELS says:

    Can this even be done without a majority vote from perhaps the res of ministers or a board that overseas the hiring and firing of the tourism board? You would certainly think so! Now, Im sure a lot of u guys also heard Barrow’ s response when asked about the missing plane and how the entire situation was handled, it was less than satisfactory in my opinion . Now we have another government official with a nonsense response to the issue at hand. And as Mules rightly said, ” if its not broken, why bother fixing it?” His response again is that he’d like to give someone else a break? You moron! Why would u replace a premier board member as Mr. Santino? So how do u know if the person you’re trying to appoint will be or is even capable of handling things within the tourism industry? The way things has been going with all these cruise ships and ferri people, I think we need a board who is well experienced and capable of making the right decisions even under the most stressful situations or circumstances. So, this minister is clearly …. talking through his @$$, same as Borrow did the other night!

  7. Justice says:

    You know Mr minister the change that would have benefitted the country more would have been to give Santi your job. You know very well it is personal. You wanted that vehicle, you are drolling for that vehicle and Santi did not see the need. He is more qalified than you and all you want is to rape the country which is typical of your administration. Let us see whose relatives will get the job. family tree is easy east to trace.
    I would like to see you replaced, “fool di talk but tha no fool di listen”.

  8. belizeanpride says:

    it’s a shame how politics are runned now. politics are very nasty now, greed, power, lust has been the main points in the path of disgrace for our politicians nowadays. hopefully the incoming board members work perfect since Mr. Castillo was very good along with Mr. Longsworth maybe the new ones will be excellent according to the views and thinking of Heredia, Damn!

  9. Reggie says:

    Heridia just need people in place that he can make his deal.no different from the Pm put all is family in place so he can get what he want done.Santi you see them come and go.so take care of ur business and i am looking forward to see you start the next new party one for the people.They say never but a hungry man in the kitchen .reason he will eat out all the food.Like the UDP is doing to the people.get rid of the G.O.B.Power to you Santi to stand up to them.he want SUV and people is starving.

  10. Chance says:

    I think the Minister made a bad decision in terminating a good director and doesn’t have a clue of management skills. The tourism industry will take the brunt of this decision. Belize needs to focus more on agriculture and make that the premier industry for Belize.

  11. MyLegacyB4myPeople says:

    Silly people you voted us in , we are not smart but we got power and we want money and plenty of it, you just watch me I want my luxury SUV and I will get it and there is nothing that you can do about it, starve if you may but we won’t . Like I said the laws are for commoners we use our discretionary powers to get around those silly laws, we all do it whether you like it or not how else will we be able to increase our wealth building legacy scheme. Remember, My Legacy B 4 My People.

  12. BT says:

    We can complain and protest governments until the cows come home, but until the system of GOVERNANCE changes nothing is going to improve. Here how I would like to see the system reformed:

    1. Ministers need to have their powers completely stripped. The CEO should be the person with power, and the minister is simply his or her liaison to the National Assembly.

    2. The CEOs would be nominated by the minister, but their appointment would have to be ratified by the house of representatives. From then on the minister would simply report to the house on the performance of the CEO and his or her ministry.

    3. The House should meet weekly to conduct the business of actually running the country. At the beginning of each house meeting there should be be a “question period” where any member of the house can rise and ask any minister (including the PM), to respond to a question about the affairs of his or her ministry, including the actions and performance of that ministry’s CEO.

    4. A CEO would be fired if the majority of the house agrees, or if he or she is found to be guilty of corrupt activities in the execution of their duties.

  13. spanishfly says:

    it makes absolutely no sense!!!! if santi is doing good and mr. heredia so wants to give someone else a break then y not wait until mr. santino’s term has ended??? Belize is unbelievable…..sometimes i wonder if we would be better if we stayed under british rule!

  14. KISHORE MAKHIJANI says:

    I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR POLITICIANS BECAUSE WHEN THEY OPEN THEIR MOUTH TO SAY SOMETHING ,THEY THEMSELVES DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING.

    PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY WAKE UP POLITICIANS!

  15. Curious says:

    what you think is the average IQ in this UDP Cabinet???? you get the picture, that is why reshuffling in this cabinet is so hard..

  16. Earl Grey says:

    POWER CORRUPTS………… HERE IS A BLATANT EXAMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHY FIX WHAT’S NOT BROKEN???? Usually it’s by POLITICIANS WITH NOTHING ELSE TO DO.

    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DUE PROCESS?????????????

    POWER CORRUPTS………… ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS…… ABSOLUTELY!!!

  17. Earl Grey says:

    SANTINO……………THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO YOUR/OUR COUNTRY.

    YOU ARE A TRUE PUBLIC SERVANT!!!!

  18. dalia says:

    MINISTER HEREDIA, I HAVE EMPLOYEES, AND NOWAY WILL I FIRE SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE
    SO GOOD FOR MY COMPANY JUST TO GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A BREAK, WHOM I HAVE TO
    KNOWLEDGE HOW SHE OR HIM WILL DO HIS JOB. WE ARE SMART BELIZEAN MR. HEREDIA
    AND PROUD OF OUR COUNTRY, WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE FOOLING. MR. SANTI IS AND
    HONOURABLE MAN.

  19. Mellow Belizean says:

    The old Belizean saying comes to mind: Da fool di talk, but da no fool di listen! Let’s look at this with logic: Mr. Heredia says in his own words, “I don’t think there has been any Board that has been better than this one that we have.” If this statement is true then he has already admitted that the Board was excellent, so why remove Mr. Castillo and Mr. Longsworth? Why break up your dream team? He says it’s just to give, “…somebody else a break.” At this point, if it’s not a personal issue, or corruption, then I think the minister’s mental competence should be taken into question, since there is a history of seriously flawed decision-making on his part. If it were private industry, he’d be out on his @ss.

    As he himself stated, “… likewise, with the Prime Minister, if he feels that one of us is not serving well, he can move you at his convenience.” Well the ball is in Dean’s court now. In light of this (latest) nonsense, can he honestly say Mr. Heredia is serving the Belizean people well?

  20. Josie says:

    WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE PICTURE OF HEREDIA YOU CAN SEE HE IS HE IS NOT BEING TRUTHFUL, HE IS A SLIME. SANTI LET GO OF THOSE PEOPLE AND KEEP YOUR PRIDE AND STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE. AND YES IF YOU START YOUR OWN PARTY YOU GOT MY VOTE

  21. carlos says:

    Very surprise the firing of mr. santinos. As somebody said he has been a good supporter of the udp but it seem that his party no wants him again. Why? good question. All the problems going on now with the tourism is because the pm does not have a competent person to manage the ministry in charge of tourism. Why they can’t learn from Mr Mark Espat ? During mr. Espat’s term tourism flourished everybody got the benefit directly or indirectly. So mr. Barrow, get a competent person to manage this ministry.

  22. pinochio. says:

    this godamn udp only could destroy themselves then no give a damn how then supporters think or feel. and they wont listen to advice. like that we gwine down the drain real quick. i lost a lot of respect for mr heredia. loks so stupid trying to explain himself

  23. Indy says:

    This is very dumb! Giving someone else a chance? What is the a football gave? This is the livelihood of many people. If the man is doing a GREAT job there is no need to remove him. You remove someone that is not doing a great job. That is what you are suppose to do Mr Minister. It seems that you are going backwards.

  24. CEO says:

    UDP is doing every thing they can to lose the next election! This is why no one cares to do good in Belize! This is the recognition you get for a job well done! After the next general election you will have no one to blame but yourselves to be back on the sideline.

    Just think: they maline their staunch supporters, fire those that are of significance in the party, bad mouth others and do not do much for the little guy.

  25. belizeanpride says:

    why don’t the pm fire Heredia for the stupidity he did, this is not good name for the UDP nor for the country.

  26. shy says:

    Ohhh no wonder the man vex cause he noh get brand new vehicle!

  27. GUMA says:

    Minister Heredia is a fool!!! What a stupid explanation!!! It is obvious he fired Mr. Castillo because he did not approve the purchase of a luxury vehicle! Minister Heredia is like a small child who fired an excellent person like Mr. Castillo just out of spite even when he admits Castillo has done a great job! Poor baby wants his luxury vehicle!!!!

  28. shock says:

    If that minister is a real politician he will pay keen attention to how the public has responded to his decision to let go Santinos. On the other hand it could be that he see the hand writing on the wall that his government will not win the next election, and this guy could be standing in the way and preventing him from getting what he want before its too late.

  29. same old says:

    My felow belizeans,
    as long as you yourself dont stand together and stay devided,
    any party an person will take abuse of it, you tek and tek the abuse, complain and complain,
    but nothing is done by yourself, its 300000 people and the top is only a 100 greedy people
    do you see where the power realy is and the problem, get together and do something or stop complain about it.

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