Ambassador of El Salvador to Belize, H.E Luis Carabantes Palacios made an official visit to the Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Honourable Edmond Castro on Tuesday. With El Salvador’s Presidential Elections coming up on February 3, 2019, Castro said he and his ministry was pleased to facilitate the Salvadoran community in Belize, through their embassy, with the required permits to transport their people back home to vote in those elections. Members of the Belizean diaspora are unable to vote because they must be able to prove they were living in an area for at least 2 months to register. We asked Minister Castro about the official visit from Ambassador Palacios and his sentiment regarding the Belizean diaspora.
Minister Castro: “A couple years ago when they had municipal elections he represented a political party in El Salvador and they sent buses to Belize to take their people to vote back home in El Salvador. This time they are having Presidential Elections and he made a request and called upon my office to assist in terms of having the buses permission to come in from Belize so that the people from El Salvador will be able to go and vote in their presidential election which is voted sometime in February.
Jose Sanchez: ” Does this affect in your opinion in regard to those Belizean’s in the US who too would like to return to the jewel to vote either in the upcoming Referendum or General Elections?
Minister Castro: That is a very good question, I think we have many Belizean’s living abroad as we call them the Diaspora who already registered to vote not just in the April 10th Referendum but also in the General Elections and we know of many and those people who are living in the Diaspora should contact the person they want to vote for or whatever which political party and see how they can facilitate in the process of getting registered so that they can come home and vote. Belizean’s can come home and register. It is no different from you, it’s no different from me who wants to vote in the Referendum or the General Elections. You make sure that you meet the requirements of the two months period or if you decide to change your address you say well I no longer live in Lady Ville I live in Sand Hill so I would like to register my new address and that is a requirement not just for people living abroad but for people who live here. In the Municipal Election or General Election if I have voters in San Pedro, iIf I have voters in PG that is working there, it is my duty if they are coming to vote for me to get them to the polls. It is no different if you are living in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. If I have voters who are working there who went on vacation who have studied and are going to school there and when the time comes to vote they make sure that I make sure to set an arrangement for them to come home and vote as for those who are here that live in Punta Gorda or San Pedro and they are registered in my constituency it is my duty and obligation to get them to the poll so that that they can vote for me. It is no different for those living in Chicago or wherever. They could live there for decades, Belize is home and as long as they meet the requirement that you and I have to meet so they can vote so the nonsense of us de franchising is absurd we are not de franchising anybody. Every Belizean have a right to vote they just have to meet the same requirements that we have to meet.
Jose Sanchez: “So people should just contact John Saldivar and work it out?
Minister Castro: “I think he will need to come and make the arrangement for him to get on the voters list, whatever arrangement he needs to make he needs to do that. I have a lot of my non blood related brothers and sisters over there that they come home and vote regularly.