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Shyne Barrow Responds to Minister Mahler’s Comment on his Trip

While Barrow has returned from what is a successful first trip as Leader of the Opposition, he has been the subject of much ridicule on social media and the wider public, but he seems to have managed to stay the course despite the criticisms. When asked about Barrow’s visit to the U.S., Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Anthony Mahler rubbished the idea that the celebrities Barrow met would do anything for the country.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations: “You want me to tell you the truth ? I couldn’t care less about Jay Z, Fat Joe, P Diddy or Love or whatever they name. They’ve done nothing for this country and they will do nothing for this country and so I couldn’t care less. What we have to do is ensure that we seriously look at how we will rebuild the tourism industry which represents 40% of GDP and maybe it’s a comical moment for the media to cover that type of thing but you have a responsibility, all of you in the media as well because all you do is report negativity and that goes international.”

When asked for a response to Minister Mahler’s comments, Barrow said that he hopes the meeting they will eventually have will change Mahler’s mind.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, UDP Party Leader:  “I spoke to Minister Mahler while I was away and you know I think his comments were unfortunate. I think you know he’s a young, new minister and so you know I will talk to him. I’m scheduled to have a meeting with him and talk to him and urge him and convince him to take a different approach because all tourists should be welcomed to our beautiful jewel and certainly billionaire Grammy Award winning American icons you know the Ministry of Tourism should be sending them an invitation to say you and Beyonce and whoever else please come to visit our country. I did not make any promises that anybody is visiting Belize but just to share the space with these American icons does wonders for Belize because every opportunity I have gotten walking the red carpet at Jay Z’s event I have mentioned Belize and you know all of his – Jay Z doesn’t even have a social media account but all of his corporations Roc Nation, all of his executives have posted the picture of him and I as the best moment of the night. And so when people talk about me I have been clear that it’s about Belize. All the media houses in the United States asked me how do I feel to be back and for me it wasn’t about Shyne being back it was about the Leader of the Opposition, the member of Parliament for Mesopotamia being in the United States to present Belize and all the interest of Belize and the Belizean people and that was thrilling to say the least.”

During his visit, Barrow went to the tomb of American civil rights hero, Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and then went to the Georgia State Capitol. Among several other activities, he also met with members of the Belizean diaspora. The Atlanta City Council also declared August twenty as Shyne Barrow Day. He also visited Belizeans living in Los Angeles and New York.