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Jul 29, 2021

Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel Biography Released

He served as Belize’s Prime Minister twice, first from 1984 to 1989 and again from 1993 to 1998.  But aside from the brief notes on his terms in office in history books and Wikipedia, there has not been a book that reflects on the private and public life of Sir Manuel Esquivel – that is until now.  Today, his wife, Kathy Esquivel, introduced a biography that describes Esquivel as a man of integrity. Here’s News Five’s Marion Ali with the story.


Kathy Esquivel, Author, Still Waters

“I think throughout the years many people have underestimated Manuel because he’s quiet, he’s humble, he’s unassuming, he never raises his voice, he doesn’t curse, he doesn’t shout. And so a lot of people throughout his time have thought that he must be a pushover and I think some people decided ‘Oh well, we can use him because he’s such a pushover.’ And then they were disabused of that impression.”


Marion Ali, Reporting

The book, “Still Waters” – a biography of the life of Belize’s second and fourth Prime Minister, Sir Manuel Esquivel, is a reflection of the life of a man known for his humility, but who was also criticized for decisions he made that many thought were unpopular. The book highlights those notable events and captures key moments in between that many of us don’t know of. Kathy Esquivel says the title best suits her husband for despite his calm disposition, he is also a force to reckon with and a romantic.  She says it’s all in there.


Kathy Esquivel

Kathy Esquivel

“I’m the pragmatist. He’s the romantic. He’s the romantic. Yes, so he did take me to san Marino ‘cause he visited there as a student and he thought it was so beautiful and so many years later we did visit San Marino.  One thing you’d like is also as a teacher he organized a trip to Mexico City. And someone said ‘Oh yes, I know of a bus, this Orange Walk driver – they had an old school bus. That was a trip to beat all others and you’ll see one picture in here with all of the passengers pushing this bus on one of its many breakdowns. So I put things like that in there as well as the political part.”


Doug Singh’s first impressions of the book encapsulate a portion of the book that reveals the Sir Manuel few people know.


Doug Singh

Doug Singh, Friend of the Esquivel family

“In the very first memoir the author states and I quote; ‘Manuel’s stoic nature, unfairly portrayed as coldness by the PUP meant that he just did not like to make a fuss about anything, especially if it involved him. This is the first indication that the author is about to reveal the man you thought you knew. The man that because of his public life has been smeared with a brush and painted so many shades of gray that if you believed what was said, you really did not know Sir Manuel.”


Singh even had some advice for the U.D.P., the party which Sir Manuel first led to victory at the national polls in 1984.


Doug Singh

“With the current problems that the U.D.P. is having, I would suggest that all those in the party leadership take a page out of this book, three pages in fact, page forty-one, forty-two and forty-three. Therein lies the blueprint of success. You will find in its inception that the party faced similar leadership challenges but was able to overcome it and became victorious.  Yes, it’s in the book.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Marion Ali.


Hard copies are available for fifty dollars each at Price and Company Limited on Daly Street, at the U.D.P. Headquarters on Youth for the Future Drive, and at book stores around the country. An electronic read is also available on Kindle for U.S. nine dollars and ninety-nine cents.  

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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