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#348713 - 08/19/09 10:59 AM Esquivel back and comments on Dual Nationality
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Former PM Esquivel Bounces Back from Near Fatal Accident...

In the news business when we get to interview former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and newly appointed Appeals Court Judge Denys Barrow in the same morning, that's as good as it gets. And we don't say that because of their status - but because of their particular situations. Esquivel is recovering from a major traffic accident that happened five months ago while Barrow is the newest judge on the Court of Appeals and generally judges don't grant interviews.

But Jules Vasquez was lucky enough to get them both on Friday. We start with Esquivel. He returns to work on September first after a difficult and prolonged recovery from the second major road wreck he survived in ten years. He told us that with the help of physical therapy, he's feeling well and his overall strength is at 75% - but there's one thing that worries him: those steps he'll have to climb to get to his office inside the administration building in Belmopan.

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, Survived Accident

“I am feeling great, very good.”


Jules Vasquez,

“What has been the hardest part of your recovery?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“Well I guess that has to be divided into two. One was the infections because when I went to Miami the first time, clearly it was to repair the physical damage, mainly the face because the jaw was broken, various bones in the cheek and I had a broken leg and broken arm. But while there as happens very frequently, I got several infections in the hospitals which basically were left untreated, because they didn’t show themselves until I got back to Belize, which is why I had to go back again and so sometime was spent getting rid of those.”


Jules Vasquez,

”You return to work on September the 1st?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“Yes the therapist feels that I am ready and I feel that I am ready and as I mentioned the other thing is the office is 40 steps up but you just gave came up my step and that is twelve and I do that twice a day so that’s more than halfway there so yeah.”


Jules Vasquez,

“What do you recall of that day, the day the accident occurred?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“Well I can say I recall everything up to the point when I was taken to Belize Medical Associates. After that I really don’t remember. Certainly I remember the car slipping off the road and turning over. It was an experience you know that I have had before so I kind of knew what to expect including the loud crashing noise of the vehicle as it turned over. Then fortunately it ended up on its wheels but I couldn’t really move. Now I know that this left leg was cut underneath the front of the car. People arrived fairly quickly on the scene so I remembered being taken out. I remember being taken on a horrendous ambulance ride which I think would have killed me sooner than the rollover to the Belmopan Hospital and from there back to the Hector Silva Airfield for the airplane ride to Belize City and the ambulance ride to Belize Medical Associates. But after that I don’t really remember.”


Jules Vasquez,

“When you were trapped in the vehicle, were you frightened that you would die?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“Not at all, the thought never crossed my mind.”


Jules Vasquez,

“I don’t know you as an excitable person however during all this the prolonged recovery period, did you at any point start to curse your fate in terms of how did this happen to me?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“No, no because there is no point in that, it happened and that is what you got to accept. This happened, not how did this happen, it has happened. Now what do I do? Well I get better and I have to do then what it is required to do that.”


Jules Vasquez,

“Will you be scared when you go on the road again?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“I don’t think so. I don’t it will be foremost in my mind. It is like if you’ve been in any kind of crash; you fall off a bicycle, you have to get back up and ride the bicycle.”


Jules Vasquez,

“I assume Mr. Schnarr is still your driver. Will you advise him to do anything differently on the road?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“Yes I think he will definitely be more cautious when there is wet on the road and we all know it doesn’t take much rain, just a slight drizzle, on that Belmopan road for it to be come slippery.”


Jules Vasquez,

“Have you ever thought about giving any attention to because of the influential post you occupy in the government, I know you know longer have an executive seat per say, but you do carry influence, of staring some sort of campaign or some type of activity to resurface these parts of the road?”

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel,

“I think you can bet because I am not the only one. A lot of people have had that problem.”

http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=14799



...And Weighs in on Dual Nationality

And while he's spent months in a Miami hospital, don’t think that Esquivel hasn't been keeping up. He's very abreast of current political affairs and surprisingly the view of the senior adviser to the Prime Minister on dual citizenship in the National Assembly differed from the Cabinet position.

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, Survived Accident

“We are talking here about Belizeans coming home to live and whether they should be allowed to contest elections having dual nationality. The question has been posed by those who oppose, well simply give up your other nationality and you’ll be fine. I think that is a powerful argument. I know of two Belizeans who have done that, not for the purpose of running but as a requirement and showed that their commitment was strong enough and have done it.

So there are Belizeans committed enough who are willing to do that but it is a great sacrifice we have to admit. US citizenship is one of the most prized citizenships in the world I would imagine so I can see how difficult it would be for people but I tend to lean with that opinion that if you come back home and intend to live here, that is the commitment you should be making, this will be your residence for that period of time then you should be willing to give it up.”

Those two people he mentioned are Pearl Stuart who gave up her US citizenship to become Belizean consul in Los Angeles and the American born James Murphy who gave up his US citizenship to be Cabinet Secretary. Esquivel says he has not yet reviewed the Cabinet paper on it and looks forward to doing so. And for good measure, he added that he is opposed to absentee allotting which he feels may logically extend from this proposed amendment.

http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=14800
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Live and let live

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#349349 - 08/26/09 10:38 AM Barrow Disagrees with Esquivel [Re: Short]
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Barrow Disagrees with Esquivel

Prime Minister Barrow also reacted to Manuel Esquivel’s statement last week that he does not support the constitutional amendment to make it so that persons holding dual nationality can sit in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Barrow it appears had not heard, or heard of the interview that was on the news a week ago. So he seemed more than a little taken aback by what the senior statesman had to say. For context we begin with a portion of those comments form Esquivel followed by Barrow’s reaction.

Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, Former Prime Minister

“There are Belizeans committed enough who are willing to do that but it is a great sacrifice we have to admit. US citizenship is one of the most prized citizenships in the world I would imagine so I can see how difficult it would be for people but I tend to lean with that opinion that if you come back home and intend to live here, that is the commitment you should be making, this will be your residence for that period of time then you should be willing to give it up.”

Hon. Dean Barrow,
“That is Mr. Esquivel’s view. It is certainly is worthy of consideration as are the views of all the citizens of this country. I must respect that view. I very firmly disagree with it. In fact I completely disagree with it but he is entitled to his view.”

Jules Vasquez,
“But he is the senior statesman in the party right now. He is not just another Belizean, he is the senior advisor to you.”

Hon. Dean Barrow,
“Well then perhaps his view is entitled to extra consideration. Having given it that extra consideration, I say again that I completely disagree with it.”

http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=14862
_________________________
Live and let live

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