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Feb 3, 2011

Police threaten to arrest Cruise Tourism bus operator

FECTAB’S Yhonny Rosado has been at the front lines of the tender crisis since it first broke out in early January. He has been amongst the most vocal and passionate in trying to get a level playing field from the Carnival Cruise Lines for tender operators even though he is not an offshore operator. This morning he took his plight alone to the Fort George Tourism Zone where one Carnival vessel, the Legend, had called on port. Rosado placed what he thinks of the cruise line on banners that he displayed on his own buses. That caught the attention and the ire of B.T.B. personnel who alerted the police who in turn threatened to arrest him. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following report.

Yhonny Rosado, Treasurer, FECTAB (File: January 28th, 2011)

“When you fight with Carnival not even our government is strong enough so gentlemen with this I would just like to remind you that Belize needs to hear us, fight with us, fight for your country, fight for Belize.  Don’t fight for any individual, fight for your country.  This is a country and Carnival matter.”

…and that matter which involves everything that has ran amok within the cruise tourism industry, as it relates to Carnival Cruise Line, was taken into his own hands this morning when he adorned one of his tour buses with a banner that, in a few words, summarized the need for shared profits.

Yhonny Rosado

“We put a banner, there were three officers [who] came up to me [and said] “if you don’t take off the banners you will be arrested together with your driver”.  My driver was approached about four times with different officers to say the same thing.  When I asked one of the media guys, to be specific [it was] Jules.  He told me that it is not illegal and only because of the media I was not arrested earlier this morning.  It is very, very, ridiculous.  All we‘re doing is showing Carnival that come to our country [and] share the profits and share the apple.”

Yhonny Rosado

Tour operator Yhonny Rosado is one of several stakeholders who have taken umbrage by the manner in which the industry is being managed at the moment.  The state of affairs, he says, is such that there are problems in various aspects of cruise tourism including zoning, the preferential treatment being given to Chukka/Bak-A-Bush Tours and most recently tender operations.

Yhonny Rosado

“If the tenders have a problem I have a problem because it is the same cruise industry that feeds us.  So we are showing [them that] we have been in many press conferences where every time we say we’re going to be showing up and what we can do.  So I have been brave enough [to] invest our little monies to put the banners and let Carnival and this country know that there’s someone standing up.”

Despite being the only member of a seemingly large umbrella organization representing tourism stakeholders that has taken action against the cruise line Rosado maintained that it was not a protest.

Yhonny Rosado

“If we were protesting Troy Gabb, Tom Greenwood, COLA which is Moses [Sulph] and Geovanni [Brackett].  They are very smart, we would get a permit.  They would have gotten a permit for me [and said] “Yoni go do this job, these are the permits” because I’m not standing up for my business or for my name.  I’m standing up for an industry that’s going through crisis.  So it is not for me.  So they send me here to do a job like anybody else and we do the job.”

Last Friday, pro tem chairman Jason Marin of the Executive Tenders of Belize was very vocal about sending a message to Carnival but today when the line’s only vessel called on port they were noticeably absent from the picketing line leaving Rosado to take on the leviathan company by himself.  Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The issue of the tender operators with Carnival Cruise Line over rates remains unresolved.

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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38 Responses for “Police threaten to arrest Cruise Tourism bus operator”

  1. Earl Grey says:




    TOURISM………….should be gravy……….extras………..bratta………

  2. louisville,ky says:

    Could it be that Yhonny has been hung out to dry, being the only one left holding the bag?? Obviously he has the courage of his convictions and is not only talking the talk but is also walking the walk. And why is BTIA so cautious in resisting waves that’s rocking carnival’s boat?? Sometimes it just makes me wonder, whose side are they really on. What… they don’t want Yhonny’s banner to upset the bully??

  3. REGGIE says:

    Why is the police trying to lock up MR.Rasado when he is fighting for the people right.Are they going to lock up Mr.Bailey who is driving around say that the INsurance Company must pay up?What is the difference?What did they do to the Pm when he came back and say thing will be ok for a while?NOTHING.OR IS BECAUSE THE MINISTER OF POLICE IS THE ONE THAT HAVE THE CONTRACT SO NOW HE IS USING THE POLICE 2 DO HIS DIRTY WORK.

  4. kinslito says:

    More power to Yhonny. If i were there I’d be standing beside you. There are a lot of problems in the tourism industry but they should be fixed by us and for us BUFU.

  5. Brian says:

    Quite frankly Belize has nothing special for cruise line passengers pretty much all the ports of call in the area offer the same type of tours.
    I have been to Belize several times on dive vacations which is great and I have been several times on a cruise that stopped there.
    Belize better get this sorted out because if Carnival leaves the other lines will soon follow. I do not like going to Belize on a cruise because the tender ride is too long and the ship is less crowed if I just stay aboard.

  6. Shashi says:

    If you don’t want us tourists there, fine. We can take our money elsewhere.

  7. John says:

    I am from Dunn, NC USA. I save up money and take cruises when I can afford to. Why should I have to pay your country more than the normal rate to go SPEND money there? We don’t have to even go there. I have been just about everywhere else but see that I should stay away from Belize. I will take my hard earned money somewhere else. I hope Carnival drops this port. I have seen some ports that if cruise ships quit going to them they would starve.

  8. Skywalker says:

    John from Dunn, NC USA, well hopefully you will be relieved to know that we don’t want you here either. Please stay away from Belize. Thanks.

  9. redbouy says:

    you know it is funny when people think that because they have money they can do whatever theywant. well let me tell you something SHAshi and JOhn…. you can take your money and stick it up your a$$. we don’t need your money and for sure we will not starve… you people are use to getting away with murder in other parts of the world… i have been to the tourist zone and you people don’t spend any money when you come all you do is walk like RETa…. and tis is the case in many other caribbean islands.. i know cause i been to those places and seen the same thing if you spend $3US it is a lot..that is the reason why Placencia said no to Cruiseship in the area… SHAshi and JOhn stay at home or go **^^!@!! yourself we don’t want your money……..

  10. cindy says:

    I agree with tourist. Cruise ships are the ones that bring in huge amount of money. BELIZEANS wake up! do you want not to have a job for the rest of your life? its better something than nothing. think about it. BELIZEANS are always greedy that is why they are in this deep !@#$ and in debt.

  11. Lord Smoke Monkey says:

    John from Dunn:
    Cruise tourism is only 10% of tourism revenue for Belize so it’s not that big a deal if Carnival sails off into the sunset. Furthermore, overnight tourists spend double the amount per day of cruise tourists and stay on average for a week.
    Most people in Belize hope Carnival will drop the port. I’m with Skywalker, you won’t be missed. Later on, turkey.

  12. gnewtwnd says:

    Shashi an john i am from there an i grab my belongs an ran from there an will neva look back, I advise u to do the same. trust me u guys wont be missed neither am i. bzean gonna make it they always do

  13. spanlish says:

    John from Dunn,NC USA you are a big jackass!! nobody need you stinking money you fool, the farther you stay away from mi country the better.
    Don’t you ever let me catch you in my country cause I wen beat the heck out of you, you will get an !@#$%% you never get before.


  14. The People Had Enough says:

    Cruise Tourism are not tourists anybody want to be honest, they don’t respect the destianations they visit and crowd out and chase of the overnight visitors who actually travel to…you know…learn about the world and the people of the world. Cruise tourists are Disneyland folks who needs to continue going there.

    We appreciate overnight visitors and they appreciate us and all other destination they travel to. So, as Skywalker clearly stated, we do not want CRUISE VISITORS, you don’t even qualify as a tourists (tourists spend more than a day in a destination).

  15. The People Had Enough says:


  16. The People Had Enough says:


  17. John says:

    Skywalker and others,
    We, Americans felt like we were welcomed into the countries we visit. I guess not. I have read the local news in your country. On one media outlet named LoveFM News, I read where people count on the ships to support their families. They don’t know what they are going to do without us. I guess you must have a job that does not count on our money. That’s great! If all of us (Americans) thought all of the citizens in Belize shared your feelings we would probably make sure no more cruise ships ever stopped there again. What would happen to your country? Think about it. Run a campaign for your country to stop the ships if the citizens don’t like our money. Get it going “Stop the Ships!” campaign going and get the media and your government active in it! See how far it goes. It really won’t bother us none.

  18. B Groovy says:

    My friends its simple economic, cruise ships have had to slash price to stay profitable so guess what, !@#$ goes down hill.

  19. vigilante justice 316 says:

    well I for one don’t eat from tourist industry so I won’t be starving should they stop pulling up to port. The industry is a fickle $%^^$ and I hope our government don’t think to put all our eggs in this one basket. grow other industries so we don’t have to be anyone’s $itch! big business always try to $hit on the the little man’s head, nothing new happening here.

  20. happy in north carolina says:

    Well i live in the city of Lenior NC but I never thought about going back to my country Belize. Yes I would think the banner that Mr Rosado had on his bus is very insulting. Mr Rosado needs to apolozies to the media and the crusie line. There is no place on earth for this kind of miss behavior.

  21. 100% Belizean says:

    It is good to know that tourists are reading Channel 5!!! They should read all the newscasts and know that Carnival is being unfair to Belize / Belizeans. I am hard pressed to think that good thinking tourists would give their money to companies that act in this fashion. @Brian, if you did visit Belize then you would KNOW that Belize has LOTS that no other destination can offer, Mayan Ruins, World’s 2nd Largest Barrier Reef, etc…

    Belize enjoys visitors and is open to all, but Belize, like every other nation must stand up for itself. As far as I’m concernded, Carnival can GO!!! Although, it is sad to see Mr. Rosado basically be abandonded by all the HARD talkers… I thought they’d rather not EAT than kiss Carnival’s @%@… They don’t realize that it was the perfect time to switch it on Carnival… They should have left all the people out there and not Tender them… If Carnival can cancel stops??? STAND UP, be UNITED, that is the problem in Belize, never united…

  22. TP says:

    Skywalker: with an attitude like that you are going to lose hundreds of thousands of tourist dollars. I sure won’t be spending my money there. Glad you don’t want it but my guess is that there are other people there that rely on tourist dollars to support their families. My guess is the vast majority of cruisers could care less if they don’t stop in Belize and would be just as happy if not happier at another port. A port with a dock or shorter tender and one that doesn’t have unappreciative people like you.

  23. Steven says:

    It is comments from people like SKYWALKER who have convinced me to NEVER go to Belize EVER AGAIN. I cruise for more than 2 weeks per year … but NEVER AGAIN to Belize. There are PLENTY of islands that appreciate tourism and tourists.

  24. dianne says:

    John from Dunn, you make Americans seem petty and greedy. I think Carnival is trying to bully Belize. We were told that money spent shore excursions booked through Carnival did not even go to Belize! I was appalled at the poverty I saw there. There is more to this than you and I know.

  25. rwilymz says:

    [[ if you did visit Belize then you would KNOW that Belize has LOTS that no other destination can offer, Mayan Ruins, World’s 2nd Largest Barrier Reef, etc… ]]

    There are Mayan ruins all along the Yucatan coast, most better preserved/excataved, and closer and on better roads.

    The ‘world’s second largest barrier reef’ also runs the length of the Yucatan coast and it can be dived on at Roatan, Costa Maya and Calica.

    The only things unique to Belize – which I love coming to, by the way – is cave tubing and Belikan beer. Everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING else, can be found at the alternate ports. I listen to Americans; one-fourth of the passengers on the ship don’t even get off in your country.

    The tender ride is long, it takes forever to get off the ship because the tenders hold only a few dozen passengers, and many Americans are grossly overweight and take for EVER to work up the courage to take that step from the big Carnival cruise ship onto that little, tiny toy boat bobbing up and down that you people call “tenders”.

    Now, I’ll agree that the tender operators are getting screwed here, but I will heartily DISagree with who most of you people think is screwing them. Belize is a corrupt little country with a corrupt little government which operates by bribery and graft. Look at those who “serve” you to find who’s screwing you.

  26. rwilymz says:

    [[John from Dunn, you make Americans seem petty and greedy]]

    Diane? Are you an American? Americans ARE petty and greedy. And selfish, and self-righteous. But so is everyone else, where have you been?

    If you’re American, and if you cruise [particularly Carnival], then you should be well aware of the fact that huge numbers of Americans want their cruise stops to be at places that are, for all practical purposes, a “Junior America”. And they get very upset – downright indignant – when they see houses that are unpainted, goats tied in the yards, chickens running around, and huge throngs of loud people all trying to sell something.

    Apart from Belize, this is the constant criticism of places like Progreso, and Ocho Rios, and a few weeks ago there was a guy who had to be talked in from the ledge because he had been to Nassau Bahamas and it was, in his words, “horrible” and “dirty”.

    That is what Americans are like. Go to cruise message boards sometime and hear what people say about these places: “dirty”, “poor”, “ugly”, “unsafe” … “why does Carnival even go there?” I yell at them, rather constantly, for being Ugly Americans. I could use your help.

    But I will have to say here that Belizis are not doing themselves any favors with this.

  27. lynlyn says:

    Go Rosado! Although I no longer in the business in Tourism. but I support you all the way. Yes, it is not only about the industry of Tourism but we need to stand up to ourselves. Finally someone decided to stand up for us as a country not for his own business. Yes I am sure it affect him in terms of the amount of people he can take for tours, but if it affect him, it affect the whole country. Because the money circle around the country, and build the economy. These tenders will have to spend their money here in Belize. And Tourist spends money here. But what these big company like to come and demand what they want. As we said, they like to come and demand what they want and we have to bend over and give it to them. No, this is a fair trade world. Go Yhonny! Boy, go de strong.!

  28. Jason Dion says:

    There we go – increase the tender fee by $2 then we (vistors) can feel like the cost to get to the island was high enough and not want to pay a tip to the operators. I wonder if a more organized approach directed towards the cruise operator or it passengers may work better. Maybe a pamphlet of some sort showing what the locals make from the 2$ increase and how this would help the industry. Help everyone understand the situation rather than just hide the conflict from the passenger.

  29. Dianne says:

    rwilymz I AM American. But not always proud of it. I expect to see the local lifestyle and culture. I am embarrassed that Americans want to see “Junior America.” How boring would life be if you went to a destination and found it was just like home?

    I’m sure the Belizis are not doing themselves a favor by standing up to Carnival but I have to admire their spunk!

  30. Sarah says:

    I am booked on a Carnival cruise in May with a scheduled stop in Belize. When I originally heard about all of this, I was quite upset. I’ve never been to Belize and was really looking forward to it. A few bucks extra really doesn’t seem like a huge deal but now, after reading all of the responses from locals, if we do stop, I’m not getting off the boat. The dislike and, frankly the rage towards cruise ship tourists is more than crystal clear. It’s obvious to me that Carnival should just pull out, as well as other operators. They don’t want us there so why should we go?

  31. corf says:

    I always knew that when my country ( Belize) opened its doors to American tourists, it was a very bad idea. All they do is come here and find faults.Break up our barrier reefs,smuggle in drugs off the cruise ships and expect to get away with it and still they critisize us like their country is perfect.I need to educate them that in the early 80′s,Belize was known as “THE” most peaceful country in the entire world until we start to let in these wicked people. I will pray that the tourism industry falls through because in all reality” SARAH”, i really don’t mind if you all don’t come. We were surviving long before you all came,while you were here and i’m sure we will survive long after you all are gone.The only thing you all are right about is that we are govern by a greedy and corrupt government that wants you all to keep coming back .Back in the days when the government was pure at heart, we didn’t miss your money and harsh critisizm one bit.Go look for another peaceful country to ruin.You all did enough damage here already.

  32. The People Had Enough says:

    Sarah, that would be a great day, take your cookie cutter, Disneyland vacation boat and go elsewhere. We want tourist in Belize who actually want to learn about Belize, who want to meet people and spend more than a couple hours on some tour where you here some dude yelling some website trying to market his business; so tacky cruise tourism is. Don’t get me wrong, i have always wanted to take a cruise and dont really care where it lands, cause i would just party, drink, eat like a glutton (hopefully don’t get sick) run jet skis up and down the coast of whatever island or destination the ship goes, maybe take a tour where we are herded and rushed, get back on the boat and on to the next destination; oh buy a t-shirt to give to family and friends, stop at 2 or 3 other destination and not have a clue in hell what any of those countries where about, what the people are like etc…so yeah, we don’t want tourists like you in Belize.

  33. The People Had Enough says:

    I am appalled by the comments cruise visitors are saying on this particular thread; listen the borderline racist and demeaning remarks by posters such as sarah, rwilymz, happy in north carolina; it seems that the ignorance and arrogance run pretty deep in people who take these kinds of ‘vacation’. rwilymz, what the hell you talking about, the yucatan is dead as a door nail, i have friends who fish and dive that area and the only thing they see alive is tampons and diapers from cruiseboats dumping crap in the water and i agree, 1/4 of Americans don’t get off because they probably physically can’t, to much McD’s, and for toy boat, you down right retarded for making a statement like that and your country the great ol’ USA is not corrupted, lol, that is too damn funny, America has got corruption down to a science, they feed you garbage for food, give you garbage to drink from tap, charge you and arm and leg when all the garbage you put in your body starts to kill you and are proud that at the end of each fiscal year when your loving government announce how the GDP has grown so much, with 17% of the GDP is from health care, in other words sick and dying Americans. Yes your ‘little’ country is corrupted but ask yourself who corrupted our ‘little’ country, we do not make guns, drugs or were never a greedy people until foreigners, especially greedy Americans came here, am hating on Americans i have a lot of American friends who disgust the ones who give them a bad name and most love Belize for what it is; a bad name. And yeah, I agree we are not doing ourselves any favors for allowing cruise ships in our country, everyone can haul ur !@$$ elsewhere, we were surviving off over night/eco-tourism for decades and will continue to do so, only a fools in Belize City who already completely 100% enslaved and dependent on cruise ships to make money want to deal with them and only the greedy elite Belizeans who want to make big bucks by monopolizing the industry will fight for cruise tourism.

  34. rwilymz says:

    [[rwilymz, what the hell you talking about]]

    Reality. It’s kinda a hobby of mine. You spend a good amount of time criticizing Americans. So do I. In fact I’ll agree with a great many of your specific criticisms. I spend quite a lot of time bawling out my fellow Americans for [some of] the very things you mention.

    Many people don’t get off the ship because they physically can’t; I’ve watched them. They are too fat to move well and make the leap between the stable cruise ship and the little tiny boat that’s tied up along side it, bobbing and swaying and banging against the bulkhead. And then some are just too old to make that jump. They don’t want to fall and break an ankle. Go figure!

    …which is why I called the boats used as the tenders “toy boats”. You don’t like that? Too bad. Pay attention here: THEY ARE TOO SMALL TO BE USED SAFELY BY MANY OF THE PASSENGERS. That answer isn’t going to change no matter how many times you protest and make inane claims of “racism”. Belizze needs bigger tenders.

    For the record: the most racist person I’ve even been around was the tour guide we had for Altun Ha several years ago, who spent the entire trip up making vile comments about the Spanish, and the Meztiso, and the Garifuna, and a different type of Meztiso … It’s a universal trait, mi amigo. Don’t be pious.

    I hope to be back in May, because I love Belize … for what it is. I simply don’t have pretensions that it’s anything else. If I see you, I’ll buy you a Belikan and we can insult our countries’ politics. There’s a lot to insult.

  35. Americangirl says:

    I’m an American and just was at the Belize City port last week. I was also there 4 years ago and really wanted to return because the snorkeling is incredible.

    I think that my responsibility when I visit Belize (and anywhere) is to be respectful of the people and culture of the area. If people don’t want me there, I shouldn’t be there. And I certainly shouldn’t impose my cultural expectations on Belizians! At all the ports we visited on this last cruise, we arrived to controlled, walled-off ‘safe’ areas that, frankly, were a big turn off. In the ‘safe’ zone, I was pestered, bullied and badgered to buy things that I don’t need. It was like being in a big shopping mall that you couldn’t escape from. I know that this isn’t the ‘real’ Belize. I also felt as though if I spent $$ there, it wouldn’t really get to the people who might really benefit from it–only some rich group or multinational corporation.

    The only way to end this mess is to create an economy that isn’t so dependent upon American tourist dollars–not silencing people who complain about a cruise line’s plan to decrease tender fees. Belize is an amazing country with some very amazing people.

    Thinking about it, I don’t think I’m doing the people of Belize any favors when I visit and spend my tourist $$ there–I’m only making the country more dependent upon my money.

  36. Mike in TN says:

    My wife and I are booked on a cruise to come to Belize. We chose this cruise because of Belize, this is our third attempt (first one was missed because of sickness, second because of weather). I really hope we get to go there because we visited there 20 years ago on a mission trip and fell in love with the people and the country. My wife is now ill (we are in our 40s) and we only have few more years in which she will be able to travel at all and given the prices these days a cruise ship is the only way we can get there.

    I was not able to see any Mayan ruins when we were there before. The group chose to snorkel at Golf’s Caye instead. I absolutely loved that, but it has been my dream from then to now to experience the Mayan culture and ruins of Belize. I am still hoping that I can get that opportunity.

    Unfortunately it appears on this site that we are considered “Disneyland” visitors because we are coming via a cruise ship. I have never been to Disneyland and never plan to. You guys need to appreciate people coming to your country by whatever means they are able to get there. It has been our dream for 20 years to return because of the beautiful people and culture and now I’m not so sure I wouldn’t be more welcome in Costa Maya. I don’t know know what to think or what I feel about the stupid price bull. Let them work it out, but you, the people, those that represent the true nature of the culture need to tone down the rhetoric or people like me who fell in love with a country and culture many years ago may just decide that country and culture no longer exists and there’s no need to return.

    I am not for the tender operators and I am not for the cruise industry. I don’t understand enough from either perspective to make a determination on that. I am for the tourists and the Belizean people. Surely we can get along. I want to support your country if you won’t hate me for getting there via a cruise ship.


  37. Keith says:

    My wife and I are thinking of taking a Carnival Cruise trip for Progresso, Mexico, and Cozumel. It is actually a five Day voyage parting out of Mobile. Anyone have any experience with this type of cruise vacation? I aren’t able to obtain many details regarding Progresso

  38. Keith says:

    My wife and I are thinking of going for a Carnival Cruise to Progresso, Mexico, as well as Cozumel. It is actually 5 Day get-away leaving out of Mobile. Anyone have knowledge about this cruise? I are unable to ascertain much information regarding Progresso

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