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Shyne: there are bigger fish to fry than to “protest for dictatorships”

Prime Minister John Briceno received major international press for calling out U.S. President Joe Biden for America’s longstanding policy against Cuba. As CARICOM Chairman, Briceno was one of the leading voices who criticized the U.S. for not inviting Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the recently held Summit of the Americas in L.A. Leader of the Opposition and UDP Leader Moses Shyne Barrow insists that the PM should not have used the platform to lobby for dictatorships. 

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “When I hear the Prime Minister using the Summit of Americas not to talk about inflation, not to talk about the looming recession that may hit the biggest economy in the world very soon, not to talk about derisking and demanding that a commitment be made that these large banks in the Americas not walk away from Belize, not talking about the highest fuel prices that we’ve had due to the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine none of this has been raised by the Prime Minister at the Summit of the Americas instead the Prime Minister took the opportunity to protest for dictatorships.”

Love News asked Barrow if he were to become the leader of the Government whether the close ties with Cuba and Venezuela will change. We should note that through those relationships medical students in Belize have received scholarships and Belize has benefited greatly from PetroCaribe funding. Barrow said that even brothers can disagree, particularly on human rights violations and a disregard of democratic values. 

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Diplomatic protocol does not require a wholesale acceptance of the policies of any government that Belize has diplomatic relations with. It does not require –

Reporter: But it is beyond the diplomatic relations department because for example the Cuban medical brigade has been here faithfull every 

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Again my position we have not had an opportunity as a party to discuss because people ask for reform but do you really want reform ? Or do you want things to continue they way they did for the last forty years ? I don’t believe in that. I also don’t believe in a homogenous democracy. I believe in diversity. This is democracy the fact that Paul could give commentary for the PUP and I could respond and Daniel could ask twenty questions on the sidelines wit no mic this is democracy. In Cuba you don’t even have a press corps and I have a problem with that. I appreciate what they have done for Belize but I have a problem with dictatorships as a Leader of the Opposition. In Cuba those people who are publicly chiding me and attacking me that are part of the party they would go missing in Cuba that’s what dictatorship looks like. So we have to appreciate the fact that I am not saying that as Prime Minister I would not have diplomatic relations with Cuba or Venezuela but that would not be a wholesale relationship that okay you give PetroCaribe, you give medical scholarships and I will say human rights violations don’t matter, democracy doesn’t matter. We that enjoy the privilege, the benefit of democracy should never turn our backs on those people who just like George Price and Philip Goldson they have a determination in Cuba and in Venezuela too.”