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Leader of the Opposition brokers sister city agreement with New York City

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2022. 9:58 pm CST.

Pic Credit: Eloi Omella via Getty Images/Architectural Record

By Aaron Humes: “Start spreading the news,” Belize will be a sister city with New York, New York.

On Monday, Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow met with Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner to discuss the establishment of sister-city relations with the City of New York, after previously inking a deal with Newark, New Jersey.

Barrow told Channel 7 News that he was the go-between with the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, to link the Old Capital with The Big Apple: “I thank Mayor Eric Adams for keeping his word. He had just sent the agreement to me last week, but obviously, we were campaigning, and I was busy trying to make sure that I got elected to be Leader of the party, and I’m just grateful that all of the efforts that I make when I go abroad for bilateral relations are proven fruitful. New York City is the biggest city in the world, and I would argue the richest city in the world. So, they’re talking in tunes of tens of billions of dollars that they have, and that would be able to help the municipality of Belize City, with things such as a backhoe, a grader.”

(Strictly speaking, New York has been overtaken in population by the likes of Mexico City and Sao Paulo, Brazil, in this region and dwarfed by Tokyo, Japan, and others, but certainly still has an outsized reputation.)

Thousands of Belizeans have made their home in New York over the years, and Barrow said that Belize can take advantage of these relations to upgrade its capabilities from a city that “doesn’t have to do anything with anyone.”

But it will be up to Belize’s municipal executive – and as the Liza Minelli/Frank Sinatra classic says, “up to you, New York, New York” – to make the relationship work, but there are no limits and many opportunities.


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