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Aug 27, 2014

Garifuna Activist Dr. Theodore Aranda Lashes Out at FCIB

Theodore Aranda

Earlier today, CIBC First Caribbean issued a statement in which it says that the use of official language is encouraged within the working environment as a courtesy to all its customers and employees, particularly for conversations that are held in earshot of other ethnicities.  We do note however, that while English is Belize’s national language, Creole and Spanish are also spoken colloquially within the professional setting.  According to Doctor Aranda, the prohibition of Garifuna, in this instance, is a violation of the Constitution of Belize, as well as the employee‘s human rights.


Dr. Theodore Aranda, Dangriga Resident

“The Constitution of Belize embodies and supports the maintenance of the culture, the identity, language of the people.  It is embedded in our constitution so First Caribbean Bank has absolutely no right to violate the laws of Belize or violate the Constitution of Belize because that’s exactly what they are violating by firing somebody who says hello to her customers, something that they should encourage but rather they are trying to destroy.  They are in violation of the constitution of this land.  Secondly, because of the constitution of this land, the laws of this land prohibits totally the discrimination or the crushing of these factors that make up the culture of the people.  So what we are saying to the First Caribbean Bank now is you either shape up, stop this nonsense or else you are going to have a battle with us right through.  Now, the young lady whom they are attacking, whose rights they are violating has tendered a resignation.  The first thing that we want to say to that young lady is it’s no longer her fight.  She should not tender her resignation, the bank must reject that resignation if and when it gets to them because by accepting the resignation they are indeed strengthening and emboldening the fact and indeed executing the fact that they are discriminating against her and that she is to accept the discrimination.  The answer to that is no!  They must reject that resignation by the young lady and instead of punishing her, instead of destroying her like that, elevate her to a higher position because she is elevating the quality and the competence of the bank.”


CIBC First Caribbean says it has not suspended any employee for the use of Gariifuna in one of its branches.  Again, we do note that the allegation being made is that the employee has submitted a letter of resignation in the wake of a meeting with bank officials.  Earlier today, the United Garifuna Association Incorporated, an organization in the diaspora, also issued a release condemning the actions of CIBC First Caribbean.

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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3 Responses for “Garifuna Activist Dr. Theodore Aranda Lashes Out at FCIB”

  1. David Smith says:

    I am of Garifuna descent, however, I do not believe any other language but the language of Belize which is English, should be spoken in a business setting. If there is a need for a translator to satisfy a business transaction then it is OK. be it Garifuna, Spanish or any other language. This was an issue with Phillipinoes speaking Tegalog in Hospitals accorss the US.

  2. dats just gud says:

    History has shown that the Garifuna People are never a People that allow advantage to be taken of them. Dangriga the Culture Capital; where is the United Garifuna Association Incorporated or the Garifuna Council? Don’t just issue a press release that is not enough……….

    If the case is true then its a unforgivable Act…..action must be taken…….

    Garifuna People; don’t allow this to happen, you are Farmers and Educators you helped build this nation whether people want to believe it or not. Tolerating this nonsense are having your ancestors turning in their graves………

  3. Adrienne Cooke says:

    Actually, the US tries to accommodate all languages in some form of business. Note here this is what is important! If you go to ATM’s you will see many languages represented!! It depends!! In the banks here they hire bi-lingual people to work to accommodate!!

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