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The Leader of the Opposition also spoke on the latest revelation related to the visa scandal involving Edmund Castro, representative for Belize Rural North. News is that Castro recommended not one, nor two, nor three, nor five even but in fact 30 visas for Chinese Nationals. To make matters worse, so far no update has been provided by the Government on the Elvin Penner investigation in relation to fraudulent passports.

When it comes to the Edumund Castro Fiasco the Prime Minister has stated that it does not matter if Castro signed 200 recommendations there is no prove that the visas were released. A few weeks ago though, the Prime Minister was singing a different tune as he categorically stated that and we quote “If I hear you intervene 10 times and I hear you intervene 20 times – what I am to think? Except that you’re involved in a hustle.”


With that the PUP coined the PM’s latest response to the Castro saga as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘Disgraceful’. At the same time the party demanded that the public’s inquiries be answered.

Screen_Shot_2013-11-29_at_8.52.16_PMHonorable Francis Fonseca- Leader Of The Opposition

“We heard the Minister of Immigration say…his response was essentially NO – there is no update. What are the Police doing? We hear there is a Police investigation taking place…there should be provided to the people of this country some update as to what is taking place with that Police investigation. We understand as well that the FIU is supposedly investigating this matter as well. Well the Belizean people deserve to know what is the status of that investigation as well. We hear that the Auditor-General is in there in the Ministry conducting an investigation – again there has been no update to the Belizean people on exactly what is taking place. Man this is completely unacceptable. The Belizean people deserve to know what is happening. They are very concerned about this critical issue that is affecting our national sovereignty and the response we get from the Prime Minister of Belize and the Minister of Immigration – the two people most responsible for ensuring that we get answers – is that there is no update. The only response we get from them is a full rejection of the Senate inquiry. They can’t provide us with any answers to the questions but yet they reject any attempt by the Belizean people to get proper answers. The Prime Minister continues to staunchly defend Castro, even though has the news media has pointed out, he has done a turn around on this issue because at his last press conference and it was there for everyone to see. He made a big noise about the fact that, if there were 10 recommendations or 20 or 50 recommendation that a minster was providing then that will send up alarm bells and that will gave him, lead him to hold the view that some hustle as taking place. Well no presented with the evidence, now he has tried to move the goalpost. Now it’s no longer 10, nor 20 nor 50 now he is now talking about 75 and 100 and 200, man now even 1000. So it is absolutely disgraceful what this Prime Minister is doing in the face of clear allegations, very compelling allegation of corruption involving visa hustle that he himself talked about and said he was begging cabinet ministers for God’s sake stop it. Did Mr. Castro know all these Chinese Nationals he was recommending? Did he know them because a part of the process of recommending, yes people can recommend but you must recommend people you know. So did Mr. Castro know all these Chinese Nationals that he was recommending. That is the question that logically flows with that. If he did not know them, then what was his motive for making all these recommendations? Over this three week period, over thirty add recommendations for Chinese."

In the question and answer segment of the PUP’s conference, we asked Fonseca for an update on the former PUP heavyweight Cordel Hyde who is seeking to re-enter the party.

Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader Of The Opposition

“Cordel has as you know expressed an interest in coming back if you like into the fold of the PUP, some say he never left so that is an ongoing discussion there is no mystery to it and I think at the right time that will take place. He and I have had discussions very positive discussions and meetings and we will see what happens over the next few weeks or so. I believe he will be speaker next week Wednesday at the Fort George Convention for the Right Honorable Said Musa so I think Cordel Hyde is committed to working with the PUP in moving forward.”


In February 2012, the three-term incumbent stepped down as PUP Lake - Independence Standard Bearer citing the illness of his son Cory, who passed away in September.

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