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Jul 1, 2013

Prime Minister gives interview to London’s Sky News

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow is winding down what he has dubbed his quasi-official visit to London, which included an audience with the Queen and Prince Charles and meetings with high level government and business officials. Barrow’s visit, even if quasi-official, also attracted the attention of the media and the Prime Minister had a sit-down with the BBC and with Sky News where he was questioned on various pertinent topics. Not surprisingly, one of those questions was about Lord Michael Ashcroft, a former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in the UK, who has huge investments in Belize, two of which the government has taken control of.

 

Host

“A lot of us here associate the name Belize with the name of Michael Ashcroft, Lord Ashcroft, who takes a keen interest in British politics, as a conservative peer. Is he someone who is in your view, a friend of Belize?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well it certainly started off that way. There have been some hiccups as things have proceeded, but he still got wide-ranging interested there and certainly the Belize Bank which is largest retailed bank in the country is owned by him…continues to do very good business and continues to be welcomed.”

 

Host

“So that will make him presumably very influential person in your politics?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“He is. I was going to say, you said he takes a keen interest in British politics. I hope his interests in Belize politics is not quite as keen because if it were I’m it wouldn’t be favorable…I wouldn’t think so.”

 

Host

“You’ve got Guatemala; I understand holding a referendum on a claim to your territory.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No, actually what was supposed to happen was that we were supposed to have a joint referendum to see whether our respective electorates would agree for us to go to the ICJ to have a final legal resolution. The Guats pulled out of that and so things are a little bit iffy. But the agreement that obliged us to do this has not been scrapped. They’ve said that we are mainly seeking a change of date so hopefully we might be able to get things back on track in the not too distant future.”

 

Host

“You are not worried about a takeover?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No I don’t. I think those days are long past…there was a time when we used to be very much so worried, but I think those days are long past.”

 

Host

“Finally, you, I think, are the first black prime minister of Belize. How much of an inspiration for you is Nelson Mandela?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I mean, absolutely a phenomenal inspiration. I’m glad you raised that issue because it allows me to make a case or put in a plug for how seamlessly Belize has managed tectonic demographic shift since the time of the civil wars, the problems in Central America has been this huge in migration of Central Americans. So that now, the largest segment of the ethnic population would be Hispanic or Mestizo. Notwithstanding that, here it is that a black person is able to be elected prime minister. So I think we assimilated very well. We managed the demographic change rather seamlessly and we are very proud of it.”

 

Prime Minister Barrow is due back in the country early this week.

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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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5 Responses for “Prime Minister gives interview to London’s Sky News”

  1. Rod says:

    What a disgrace

  2. Greg says:

    Belize needs to become a British Overseas Territory! We will benefit tremendously from British protection.

    If anyone is worried about dealing with the British, please don’t. We have dealt with the British before when we were a crown colony.

    We are not part of Guatemala, and we never will be. We are Her Majesty’s Realm of Belize, and we hope to continue swear true allegiance to the Queen and all Her heirs and successors.

  3. Initiate says:

    Rod is short and sweet this time…..

  4. ceo says:

    Dumb news person! We (Belizeans) are all people of colour! For googness sakes don’t let the Brits further divide us. His answer should have been: “Mandella is and should be an insperation to all people”.

  5. Al says:

    Mr PM, Sir you do not hold a candle to Mr Nelson Mandela, not one candle. It is a disgrace for you to even consider that. Mandela did not rob his country, he fought for what is right, can you say the same?

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