Shyne boycotts Cuban president’s visit; Tracy Panton and Hugo Patt have differing opinions

Shyne boycotts Cuban president’s visit; Tracy Panton and Hugo Patt have differing opinions

Cuban President, Miguel Diaz-Canel is going to be in the country on Sunday. He is going to be the first Cuban President ever to visit Belize. As we reported the programme includes a Special Sitting of the National Assembly, a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, as well as the signing of two agreements. But UDP Leader, Moses “Shyne” Barrow won’t be attending. He is boycotting the visit because of the country’s human rights record. He has criticised the communist-run Caribbean island for having no free press and jailing of dissidents. He said quote, “I can only advocate with the platform that I have and there is absolutely no way that I could escort the president along with the prime minister and participate in anything to do with a dictator visiting Belize.” End of quote. But two of Barrow’s party colleagues have differing opinions on this. UDP Deputy Leader, Hugo Patt said on Facebook today in part, quote “32 years later, Belize and Cuba continue to build on the strong bonds that we forge at the start of our unfledged and uninterrupted diplomatic brotherhood…Belize will forever be a true and loyal friend, partner, ally and advocate of the dreams and aspirations of Cuba.” Patt ends by saying in Spanish – which we’ve translated – quote “I take this opportunity to join the Belizean people, to receive with open arms the President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Miguel Díaz-Canel. Belize is your home!” End quote. Albert Area Representative, Tracy Panton also said today in part quote “This historic, first, official visit of a Cuban President to Belize can only help to strengthen the bond of friendship and mutual respect we have nurtured over the past three decades. I look forward, on behalf of all Belizeans and on behalf of the People of the Albert Constituency more specifically, to warmly welcome His Excellency Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, the President of the Republic of Cuba, and his delegation to our shores this coming Sunday, February 12th, 2023. Long Live the Republic of Cuba. Long Live Belize.” End quote. UDP Lead Senator Michael Peyrefitte says he will also not be participating and that’s because he’s administrating the party’s next conventions this weekend in Cayo District. 

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