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Feb 17, 2020

John Saldivar Tells His Side of the Story

On February fourteenth, John Saldivar finally admitted that he received monies from fraudster Lev Dermen, just as Jacob Kingston had testified in the U.S. District Court of Utah. Days earlier, Saldivar went on to become victorious in the U.D.P. Leadership convention, defeating Education Minister Patrick Faber who later resigned as Deputy Prime Minister. After intense public pressure and suspicion and in light of text messages and sworn testimony Saldivar wrote his side of the story late on Friday which did not give time to study it carefully.. The embattled former Defence Minister wrote a two-page, eight hundred and sixteen-word press release in which he admitted that he did receive monies from Dermen as campaign financing. Saldivar says he does not remember the messages and says that the legitimacy of the messages is highly suspicious. These text messages are what the U.S. prosecutors presented in court and it bears Saldivar’s local cell phone number. Saldivar, however, maintains he was never bribed by Dermen and points out that he was never part of any discussion to move any money from the United States to Belize, and never involved in any act of corruption or wrongdoing. But one has to question, how is it that Saldivar, who according to Kingston was given stacks of cash by Dermen, was able to exit the U.S. and enter Belize with that amount of money. Saldivar also confirms that his political colleagues also received monies from Dermen. He says “that I did receive campaign contributions from Lev Dermen just like many other politicians on both sides of the aisle who knew Lev Dermen.”  According to the text messages, four of Saldivar’s candidates were recently successful in conventions. The question now is who are the other U.D.P. politicians who benefitted from Dermen and his money? During a cabinet session, Prime Minister Dean Barrow asked his ministers if they had received monies. They responded ‘no’.

John Saldivar

Saldivar says he hid the fact because he would have been forced to withdraw from the leadership race and that would leave his colleagues demoralized and exposed to Patrick Faber. Saldivar justifies taking monies from Dermen by saying that is if politicians are going to be held criminally liable when they accept financial contributions from persons who later on turn out to be criminals, then all politicians are in jeopardy of one day being considered a criminal for having taken an innocent contribution. He goes on to attack members of his party by saying that, “there are some politicians even in my Party who are pretending sanctimoniously that they don’t.”

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