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Dec 1, 2009

African heritage organization, CABO, holds 15th AGM in Belize

Story PictureRepresentatives from Central and South American countries and the United States are meeting in Belize for the general assembly of the Central American Black Organization also known as CABO. The organization was established in Dangriga and fifteen years later, Belize is hosting its general assembly. The official opening ceremonies will be held at the Bliss Centre on Wednesday and for the rest of the week, the delegates will be deliberating at the U.B. campus. News Five Jose Sanchez has a report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
The Central American Black Organization is hosting its fifteenth general assembly in Belize City. CABO’s president Sidney Francis arrived today.

Sidney Francis, President, CABO
“CABO was created approximately fifteen years ago in Dangriga, Belize by six black leaders of Central America. They assembled in Dangriga in order to put together a cross border organization that has the capacity to make visible the presence of black people in Central America. So our main work is in that direction; to make our presence visible, in our country and also in the agenda of the policy makers because black people in Central America in most of the countries are excluded from the political, economic, social arena, environmental arena. What we try to do is to bring together the African families that is scattered in the different cultures of Central America. In order to rescue and to preserve those historical and cultural values as part of the heritage from our African family. Most black people in Central America face their culture walking in the valley of the shadow of death.”

The National Kriol Council of Belize is one of the local members of CABO that feels the need for cultural preservation and regional integration.

Myrna Manzanares, President, National Kriol Council
“We feel the Kriol Council plays and integral role because this is where we can mobilize our young people with the kind of resources and information wise that is available. We are able to use that and then also make linkages with the region and then from our experience and their experience, we can learn and they can learn to move to a different level.”

At least two hundred delegates from Central and South America will attend the meetings and Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya Flowers handed CABO’s president the keys to the city.

Zenaida Moya Flowers, Belize City Mayor
“What they have continued to do for the city of Belize is also significant. We have the Belize Kriol Association, the Garifuna Council, of course UBAD as well. They have been integral in terms of working not only with my council but with previous councils.”

Jose Sanchez
“If you take a look from the Greater Antilles, from Cuba to Jamaica to the Lesser Antilles all the way to Barbados- the African tradition is strong. Does CABO see a future link with the rest of the Caribbean?”

Sidney Francis
“Yes, definitely because we have a common link with the Caribbean. This fifteenth general assembly that we will celebrate here in Belize City is also an opportunity for us to make the jump. We are talking about fifteen and we think all these Caribbean island is a part of our history.”

Slavery has deposited an African cultural corridor in the Americas with over a hundred and fifty million people to carry on its legacy, and CABO hopes to be a part of it. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

CABO has joined the Central American Integration System which allows it to play a role in peace and stability in the region. Francis says that delegates from Argentina, Dominican Republic, Chile and Brazil will be in attendance for the assembly in Belize.

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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