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Aug 18, 2021

PM Says Board Recommended Letting Vasquez Go

Gustavo Vasquez

This morning, the press lay-waited Prime Minister John Briceño as he left a radio station to ask him about a range of burning issues; chief among them – the surprise departure of Central Bank Governor Gustavo Vasquez after only four months. Vasquez had told staff he “faced stiff opposition from the Ministry of Finance and special financial and economic sector interests.”  Today, PM Briceño refuted Vasquez’s claim that his ministry was trying to control the Central Bank.


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“He’s absolutely wrong and I can assure you that myself as the Minister of Finance and my Deputy Minister of Finance [have] no intentions to control the Central Bank, but we do have a responsibility to see – the Central Bank is the Government’s banker. The Central Bank has to be the Government of Belize’s chief cheerleader in trying to get the economy going, in trying to get the banks to reduce their interest rates, in trying to get all that excess liquidity being pumped into the economy to grow the economy, to create investments, to create jobs and the Board is feeling that they were not seeing that they felt that at the end of the day that it’s best that they part ways. Despite the fact that Manuel is my friend– he remains my friend – I am here to do a job and so I had to accept the recommendation of the Board.  I can tell you that I am the one that recommended Mr. Manuel Vasquez to be appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank, but it just seemed that the Governor and the Board of Directors were just not getting along.”


In response to a question on the optics of firing Vasquez, who worked for years with the I.M.F., the Prime Minister said that the I.M.F. will see the results of the work that the government has been doing, in terms of the fast re-growth of the economy.  He said former Governor of the bank, Sydney Campbell will not return to that position. PM Briceño said that Vasquez and the government are currently in negotiations to work out a settlement for his three million-dollar contract. 

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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