Posted: Friday, January 29, 2021. 11:24 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: It is house cleaning at home and abroad, as the still relatively new Government prepares to announce its choices for key ambassadorial and diplomatic postings.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, Senator Eamon Courtenay, was typically brusque after Thursday’s meeting of the Senate when asked to confirm names: “All ambassadorial appointments will be announced next week by the Prime Minister.”
And the P.M. was only slightly more forthcoming when questioned earlier this week. All he would say was that “we are looking at very good candidates to be able to represent us very well abroad.”
In general order of importance, open seats include the Ambassador of Belize to the United States, last held by Daniel Gutierrez (he has told us he resigned a few months before general elections to come home); the Ambassador of Belize to the United Nations, most recently Lois Young; Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala, most recently Alexis Rosado; Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, most recently Oliver del Cid; High Commissioner of Belize to the United Kingdom, most recently Perla Perdomo; Ambassador of Belize to the European Union, most recently Dylan Vernon; Ambassador of Belize to CARICOM, most recently Lawrence Sylvestre; and Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan), most recently Diane Haylock.
Prime Minister Briceño mentioned that the Ministry had to lean on some of these ambassadors to come home: “When it comes to foreign postings, everybody knows the ambassadors work during the term of their government and when the time comes that they need to come home, I am told, I don’t know that a few of them did not want to come back home. And finally, the Ministry had to tell them you know, you have to come back home, you are no longer employed by the government of Belize.”
Belize City Councilor Dr Candice Pitts’ name has been mentioned for the Taipei post, and there are rumblings of a new post of Ambassador for Business and Trade. The Barrow administration had named former PUP parliamentarian Mark Espat as its Ambassador for Economic Affairs, where he notably assisted with Superbond negotiations, but he is generally believed to be on the outs with his party and has not spoken publicly in years.
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