Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Pablo Marin have been returned to their respective portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Health, despite public missteps recorded in the last few years. While Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he cannot afford to ignore public opinion, whether at the polls or on the public square, both men have done their best in their Ministries and constituents. He described Marin as a hard worker, even if all his exploits haven’t made the news.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Belize’s Prime Minister: Some of the things that don’t make the headlines that he did very well include the kind of outreach over which he’s been able to preside, particularly with respect to Latin America. The number of relationships he’s been able to forge with Mexico, and several other Latin American countries. His accomplishments including the new unit in Corozal where the 1st surgery was performed are such that I always felt that, not that he was been given a bum rap, but that health being such a key front line area, the undoubted challenges that are there occupied center stage
Hon. Dean Barrow, Belize’s Prime Minister: I do not deny or dispute for a minute that there are difficulties, there are problems. But they are not problems of his creation, they are problems inherent in a system that for a while now has been broken, that I think we’re in the process of fixing but that we will never be able to fix to my satisfaction, to the public satisfaction any time soon. It must remain a work in progress, we must commit more resources to it. We’ve got to do our very best we can in this very important area. But because as I said, I am satisfied that Pablo gives it his all and that his all is more than decent, I was determined that he ought to be reappointed.
The appointments of Dr. Campos as Minister of State and Dr. Ramon Figueroa as CEO, Barrow notes, take stock of the public’s concerns. As for Elrington, he may have no honor except outside of Belize, but Barrow insists that he continues to remain an asset for the Government even if he runs into trouble with his presentation of the issues to the general public.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Belize’s Prime Minister: There are times when Sedi puts things in a way that’s not calculated to win him any points from certain sections of the public. I don’t say the media. I’m not going to get into a quarrel with the media because I don’t think it is just the media. I concede that there are sections of the public that do have the sense of disquiet. I’ve asked Sedi, and I think I’m supported in this by the cabinet to, not to be like a certain famous or notorious figure locally who said “leaders have to lie.” I don’t know if you recall who that were. But I’ve asked him to bear in mind when he is making his public pronouncements, the fact that if we can avoid controversy, we ought to. But I cannot go beyond that, because I insist, and this is a conviction indeed and knowledge that I will take to my grave, in substance he is an excellent 1st Class Foreign Minister.