Prime Minister John Briceno is in Los Angeles, California, for the Ninth Summit of the Americas. The Prime Minister is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Courtenay, Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Stuart Leslie, Foreign Affairs CEO Amalia Mai and technical staff. The official ceremony is underway at this moment but earlier today our colleagues at Southern Belize Media spoke to PM Briceno. Hipolito Novelo reports.
Hipolito Novelo,, Love FM News: Prime Minister John Briceño is in Los Angeles California leading the Belize delegation for the 9th Summit of the Americas. Several key issues will be discussed and Belize, according to the Prime Minister, is very interested in key conversations that affect the country.
John Briceño, Prime Minister: “The issues that affect Belize most is the issues of, as I mentioned, climate change, access to affordable financing and grants, and third, the issue of migration and that is where for us it’s important to be here, to be able to address these issues with our colleagues and with President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau and others in the region as to how we can address this in the region and to be able to assist and to help the countries that are most affected, for instance, us in the Caribbean and Central America are right at the centre of the problems we’re facing with climate change.”
Hipolito Novelo,, Love FM News: Three countries, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, were not invited to participate. Briceño reiterated the Government’s position when it came, especially, to Cuba.
John Briceño, Prime Minister: “We believe that for the Heads that are here, all of us believe that we need to speak out on the unjust treatment, the illegal and immoral and almost criminal treatment that we gave to the Cuban Government.”
Hipolito Novelo,, Love FM News: And while Cuba was not invited, Mexico was but President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was a no show.
John Briceño, Prime Minister: “I think what’s important is the country is here. Their President may have some legitimate reasons why he doesn’t want to come but what’s important is that Mexico is represented here. The Foreign Minister is here and the Minister of Economy is here and I think that’s what’s important, that there is representation from Mexico.”
Hipolito Novelo,, Love FM News: It’s yet to be seen what announcements will be made during the Summit and which of those announcements benefit Belize and if you’re a Belizean watching this and thinking how whatever is discussed and agreed to in LA affects you, the PM has this to say.
John Briceño, Prime Minister: “I can understand the frustration of Belizeans who are saying that coming here, it’s expensive and um, to be here for a few days in these meetings. But if we don’t come they’re not going to hear and they’re not going to listen to us. We have to participate. We have to *inaudible* Belize again. For instance, right now, I think we’ll be getting vaccines now for children from five. For children from five up, we’re going to be getting some vaccinations because we’ve been here. We’re hoping then that we’ll be able to get access to some more funding and more opportunities for Belizeans education, scholar, whatever it is that we can get but we have to come. If we stay in Belize, nothing is going to happen.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Reporting for Love News, Hipolito Novelo.