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Major Cabinet change as Eamon Courtenay leaves Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2023. 10:44 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: There has been no hint of it in his recent interviews much less any official confirmation, but Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration Senator Eamon Courtenay is reported to be demitting office at the end of this year, according to LOVE FM.

Reports say Courtenay had only agreed to serve for three years from the start of the John Briceno administration. He managed the overhaul of the passport system (and the resultant increase in fees) as well as issues with the migration of Haitians, Jamaicans, Venezuelans and others trying to reach the United States through Belize. On the foreign affairs front, he has had to confront official military aggression in the Sarstoon River by Guatemala and the shepherding of Belize’s case with Guatemala and latterly Honduras in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He has also hosted various foreign dignitaries and heads of state and Government from CARICOM and SICA.

But who is his replacement? Reports suggest it will be Minister of Education Francis Fonseca, with Minister of State Dr Louis Zabaneh possibly moving up to become a full-time Minister.

The reported departure comes days after the successful negotiation for a buyback of the Port of Belize Limited which Courtenay was said to be part of. He is now slated to return to private practice, also leaving a vacancy for Leader of Government Business in the Senate.

 

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