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#423564 - 11/29/11 01:42 PM The Roads To Caribbean Shores
Marty Offline
The UDP Caribbean Shores Convention will be held on Sunday December fourth. That's just six days away and all this week, the candidates will be working the streets from morning to night.

They have to because the convention was a hurry-come-up event - necessitated by the unexpected retirement of the current Area Representative Carlos Perdomo.

The candidates are the kind of people that should be in politics, educated, well rounded and well known. But while they are all qualified, only one can win. Who will it be? We tried to get a sense of that when we went politicking with them this weekend. Jules Vasquez reports:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
It's time, that's Chandra Nisbet Cansino's slogan and on Saturday we found her on University Drive taking it to the street.

Her campaign crew comprise many who have been her lifelong friends from the Division.

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"The strength of my campaign is the endorsement of the people from Caribbean Shores and if you notice the campaigners that are with me today are all people that are volunteering to campaign with me. You can ask every single one of them and they are all registered voters of Caribbean Shores and I think that is the most important endorsement that somebody can get."

And while they've known her all their lives, of the three candidates, she is the least well known:

Jules Vasquez
"I know that one of the criticisms against you is that you are virtual unknown. How have you been received? Have people indicated that: 'we don't know who you are?'"

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"By now I am no longer an unknown, so let that be stated on the record."

Ann Marie Williams and Santi Castillo don't have that problem; they are both household names and have both been so for about twenty years:

Jules Vasquez
"Just looking at it from the outside, I would say that we shouldn't even be having this conversation of who will win because it should be automatic that Santi will win. He is wealthy, he is well known. He is popular in different arenas and so it should be automatic that he should win. How would you respond to that?"

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"I would respond to that by saying that it is people that vote Jules and Its people in Caribbean Shores that are going to vote for me."

Jules Vasquez
"Yes, but all those people know Santi and I would imagine being that he has been in the public spotlight so long that they must like him."

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"Well I like him too. I think he is a pretty nice guy but when it comes to what Chandra has to offer Caribbean Shores - I do believe that I am the better candidate and I believe that people believe that too."

Santi Castillo
"I haven't walked into a home yet which has not welcomed me and actually Jules I'll take it a bit further. I haven't walked into a home that has not recognized who I am and the reception has been great."

Jules Vasquez
"You are a nurse and Santi is a businessman. How much is that important in your campaign, I saw it as the first thing on your flyer. How important is it to project that? You are somebody career presumably is built on compassion for others."

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"The feedback that I am getting from people is that we have a lot of businessmen already in government. We have a lot of businessmen represented in the United Democratic Party and people are looking for more diversity and that is one of the things I was trying to bring forth that there has never been a nurse that has been on the slate for the United Democratic Party as far as I can remember."

And there's also never been a women's right champion like Ann Marie Williams:

Ann Marie Williams
"Jules the experience has been amazing. It's better than I thought. The voters are very receptive and it's just a great sense of encouragement. For me this is actually my life's work."

And, according to Williams, what's making it easier for her is the contrast between her and her establishment opponents:

Jules Vasquez
"A lot of people are saying..."

Ann Marie Williams
"From one perspective; the money perspective."

Jules Vasquez
"No from the endorsements as well."

Ann Marie Williams
"From the money and the endorsements."

Jules Vasquez
"Money and endorsements, that's what makes politics work."

Ann Marie Williams
"No, that is not what makes politics work. If money and the endorsement would make politics work, a lot of the people who they don't want to win and win wouldn't happen. The endorsements don't make politics work. If we have an educated electorate that we have in Caribbean Shores, people sees already that a lot of the people who are endorse and have money they do anything. I don't even have to get somebody to try to sell me because people know exactly who they are voting for. I have been here. I have earned my keep."

And while Ann Marie has put in her work over years, so has Santi Castillo.

Santi Castillo
"Jules a lot of people have told me that I have been contributing in many ways to the Belizean society from they know me, for the last 30 plus years, so they know that this is not because I am in politics. I've been doing this for 30 years and they know of my sincerity."

But, his opponents say they know more about his money:

Ann Marie Williams
"And if I need to be a millionaire or I need to have a lot of money to run then the voters need to question my motives because I think service above everything else and what's in your heart comes not from having money but it comes from a place deep within and I think a lot of people who are going to support me and people who live around me are people who track my career they know that. I have no interest in money. My entire life is being one with service."

Jules Vasquez
"How do you answer the criticism that you are a business person and you are getting into politics as a business?"

Santi Castillo
"Jules at the risk of sounding arrogant we are already rich. How much richer can you get? I mean truth of the matter is that the money that is given to Caribbean Shores will be used for Caribbean Shores and because I am a businessman I am going to stretch that money way beyond what a normal non-business person could stretch it."

And the women candidates are stretching their dollars just for the campaign:

Jules Vasquez
"How much of a factor in this campaign is the issue of money? Santi is known to be a wealthy person and one would imagine that he is spending significantly on his campaign."

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"Financing is a challenge for us. It's very surprising and very humbling to see the people that have come forward to give support to my campaign. We are doing it the Obama way Jules; one one full basket and so every little that is contributed and every little that we can get we are using it very wisely."

Jules Vasquez
"How has it been managing an underfunded campaign? Underfunded in comparison to Santi's at least."

Ann Marie Williams
"Well it's been a bit challenging but you need to don't lose sight of the big picture. I am not here because I have a lot of money, because if I had a lot of money I've wouldn't have been running."

The other element that the women candidates have in common s that they are both trying to be the only females on the UDP's general election slate:

Jules Vasquez
"Is she a factor in your campaign in so far as that she also is a woman and you all are both campaigning to the only woman on the UDP slate for the general election?"

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"I try to focus my campaign on what I have to offer. I try to avoid the noise in the market and make sure that I check my change and so both Santi and Ann Marie are opponents and any vote that goes to them would be less vote for me. Really for me it's neither here nor there what they have and what I don't have it's what I have to offer. That is the way that I look forward."

Jules Vasquez
"You and Chandra both appeal to perhaps the same type of voter and in so doing you undermine each other because the person who might vote for you might also vote for Chandra because they want somebody who is not a businessman."

Ann Marie Williams
"The people who might want to vote for two of us, I still say look at the record. I have a name. I have made a name for myself. I go campaigning door to door and nobody has to ask who Ann Marie Williams is. I am not just here today and I wasn't out there to try to split hairs or anything. I offered myself, there is a difference."

Santi Castillo
"I have been hearing that, in fact a lot of people who I've met have asked me the question which I have not been able to answer; why is it that the status quo seems to be going with Chandra or Ann Marie when Ann Marie has been the forefront in women's affairs way before Chandra. This is the question that is being asked of me and I said I can't answer that. I can only tell you what I can do for Caribbean Shores has been my reply, so clearly they will be split there."

Santino, meanwhile was proudly walking the area this morning with the latest addition to his camp, Omar Burns, an area Captain under Perdomo - who defected from Chandra's camp on Saturday:

Jules Vasquez
"Omar, how are we to interpret the change in camps? Is it that you feel that the Nisbet-Cansino camp isn't a winning camp?"

Omar Burns
"Jules right now as far as I stand I've made a decision on Saturday to join Santinos and his team. That's where I leave it up to now. I have no word to say about the other camp, I will continue preach the gospel to get Santi elected."

Jules Vasquez
"As a former general for Mr. Perdomo, you have a responsibility during elections - everybody knows that that West Landivar is your area. Will you be able to tell those voters in that area 'listen, I change over, I want you to change over as well.'"

Omar Burns
"Jules, it's nothing hard for me to do. The people and I in Caribbean Shores in poling area 3, I have worked tirelessly every day, late at night with those people and will explain to them my reasons for changing camp and I think they will come home along with me."

Jules Vasquez
"Looking at it from the outside, just optics, people will say well Santi campaign is the big money campaign and you switch over because maybe Santi is offering you a nicer arrangement."

Omar Burns
"Jules, Santi is right here along with Roger Espejo and everybody body know I never have a dollar figure that we negotiate or anything. I came because I am genuinely felt I needed a change."

Santi Castillo
"I didn't offer a single dollar to Omar. He in fact called me if he can come over to our camp and I welcomed him. This has nothing to do with not a single dollar."

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"Really for me it's neither here nor there what they have and what I don't have it's what I have to offer. That is the way that I look forward. I try to avoid the noise in the market and make sure that I check my change."

So, on Sunday, which will it be:

Ann Marie Williams
"The people who are going door to door painstakingly to campaign to them. If they want a change then they should not be caught up in the hype because life is not about hype. When you peel off the layers and get rid of the hype, the next day you are still in the same place. The people who are poor are still poor or are poorer."

Jules Vasquez
"How do you answer the criticism that if you win its a victory and this is pointed criticism that Ann Marie has made, it's a victory over hype over substance; a victory of money over commitment to the community?"

Santi Castillo
"Well I don't think that's true because Ann Marie herself has complemented me on many issues in the past and I have assisted Ann Marie with many different request from her and they know Santi is about substance, so whenever Ann Marie has called on me I have assisted, whenever Chandra has ask my assistance in the ride across Belize I have been there. They know Santi is in fact is about substance."

Jules Vasquez
"You feel that you realistically have a chance of winning?"

Chandra Nisbet Cansino
"I feel like more than realistically have a chance of winning."

Santi Castillo
"I look forward to a victorious Sunday."

Ann Marie Williams
"And at the end we do our best and we leave the rest."

One week from tonight, we'll tell you whose politics pitch won over the most voters.

Channel 7


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#424249 - 12/05/11 02:55 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Results - UDP Caribbean Shores

United Democratic Party Caribbean Shores Convention - Sunday December 3, 2011 - Trinity Methodist Primary School

Santiago "Santi" Castillo - 907
Chandra Nisbet Cansino - 616
Ann Marie Williams - 137
Spolit - 20


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#424253 - 12/05/11 03:11 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Santi next Min of Tourism?
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#424261 - 12/05/11 04:37 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
Could be in the cards.

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#424348 - 12/06/11 02:23 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

UDP Convention Was A Sunday Show!

The run-up to Sunday's UDP Caribbean Shores convention, attracted a good deal of media attention, because it's an off-season convention and probably more importantly because the three candidates each had a compelling story and healthy advertising budgets. So, on Sunday all eyes were on the Shores.

7news was at the Trinity Methodist School before the polls opened at nine, until the winner was announced just after 6:00. Here's the story:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
Chandra had her flag hoisted high but Santi was rolling fifty deep as he walked from his campaign headquarters hand in hand with his wife and lead campaigners

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr. - Aspirant For Cari Shores Std. Bearer
"Good morning to Channel 7. Thank you very much for being here."

Jules Vasquez
"Santi why is it important for you to have this impressive showing at 8:55am?"

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"These people are all voters Jules. They all work for me, they have work for me for the last 4 weeks and the intention is to get the voting right away and start to work. We are going to lead the victory with a victory by placing it right away Jules."

Jules Vasquez
"What's your feeling this morning, nervous, confident, apprehensive..?"

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"Completely confident, hyped up, I can feel it already and that's the feeling....ride to victory with Santi!"

And while he seemed to have those red bull wings, it's the Nisbet-Cansino campaign that dominated the skies today - but on the ground she was more low key and circumspect:

Jules Vasquez
"He is walking with a posse of maybe 40 people or more 50. He intends to come in here I guess with a grand entrance. When that happens will you be intimidated?"

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Aspirant For Cari Shores Std. Bearer
"Jules I have never been about theatrics you guys know that. I have the voters here and I think that's what important."

Jules Vasquez
"Chandra, it's the big day. How does it feel?"

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino
"It's very exciting." (laughing)

Jules Vasquez
"Are you nervous?"

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino
"A little bit, remember this is not something that I do every day. But I think its good nervous."

Ann-Marie on the other hand said she wasn't nervous at all - just calm and confident, even in the face of dominant ground force by her opponents:

Jules Vasquez
"This morning both your opponents came down with platoons of early voters. Is this intimidating to you?"

Ann-Marie Williams, Aspirant For Cari Shores Std. Bearer
"No, no that's not a fair question. See my people out there?"

Jules Vasquez
"I am looking in the line."

Ann-Marie Williams
"The line?"

Jules Vasquez
"There is a big line with Chandra and Santi shirts."

Ann-Marie Williams
"Half of those people don't vote in this area. Please, ask me some other questions."

Jules Vasquez
"So you are not intimidated? Chandra have a crane, Santi come over here with a posse of 40 plus."

Ann-Marie Williams
"Why should I be intimidated? I have my team, they are with my shirts. My boots was set up and I was the first person out here. My sign is there. Why should I be intimidated? Cranes and those things don't vote. Come on you know better than that."

Chandra's supporters led by her mother were the first to fill up the lines followed by Santi's crowd but the very first to vote was Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife, Kim. The couple came early because they had to leave for a flight to Miami where Mrs. Barrow will be getting her second round of chemotherapy.

Standard Bearer Carlos Perdomo was also among the first to vote - no doubt for Chandra - whose shirt he wore.

Hon. Carlos Perdomo
"The biggest thing on Election Day is to bring out the people who have committed to you and if you are able to do that we will win. You just have to bring out the people that promise that said yes. It's one thing to say yes in your home and it's another thing to come out and actually put your X."

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino
"I have such a great working behind me. It wasn't something that I had to worry a lot about and I have full confidence that everything is ready for today."

Ann-Marie Williams
"I am extremely confident. I have done my work on the ground. We will mobilize our voters today; we have everything in place. It is just for the people to make the right decision. The campaign has been tremendous, it's been exhilarating and the promises have been great, but then you and I know there are only pledges and promises. So we will do our work and then we will leave the rest but I am extremely confident and upbeat."

Jules Vasquez
"Santi what will be the x-factor in today's event?"

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"Jules at this point I think the x-factor might be that I believe I will get more support from the grass roots people and in this type of weather they will come out for me. The weather won't hold them back."

But the well-resourced Castillo campaign also had another X factor:

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"Jules one of the things that we've done that I think it's the first time it's done in Belizean politics is that we have computerized the system for the first time. In each room we have a scrutinizer with an Apple Laptop and the name of the person is being removed as they vote at head office it is live being removed at the same time. Those people are then left with the computer list on the computer live of who has nit voted yet and those people are now being called to come and vote."

And while that was his X factor, Chandra-Nisbet Cansino's one might have been the support of Works Minister Boots Martinez who stood by her side much of the morning:

Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez
"The 3 candidates are good candidates but I think that in reality looking around in regards to the party I believe that we need a good female candidate. We don't have any female candidate at mayoral level or at national level and I think that my choice of choosing Chandra is an excellent choice."

Ann-Marie Williams
"Why big ministers are an issue, none of them can't vote in Caribbean Shores and as far as I am concern that's not important because at the end of the day it's a numbers game."

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"At the end of the day he has to make his decision on who to support and I don't hold that against Boots. He made his decision to support Chandra, but by tomorrow we are all UDPs and he will be supporting me."

Santi, meanwhile has Michael Finnegan in his corner - who was still cordial his opponent. And that was the tone of the day on this most civil convention - where opponents were more than civil, they were affectionate and the front line at the gate to the voting area where there was lobbying but not jostling for votes and they even shared some hearty laughs, but for civility - we'd have to give it to Ann - Marie's gate workers. They are all graduates of Anne Marie's Women in politics programme and seemed to do things by the books:

Nancy Juan Marin - Recently Ran In PUP Convention
"We are graduate from the first WIP (Women In Politics) training but also we are committed to supporting women especially grass roots women across party lines, across country and so anywhere there is a grass roots woman running with true leadership ability you will see us there."

Florence Goldson, WIP Participant
"We are going to support each other. We are going to ensure that women who are conscious women get in the House."

Indeed, it was a political picnic for most - except for Carlos Perdomo and his driver Omar Burns who found themselves on different sides of the fence:

Jules Vasquez
"Are you concern in so far as your 5 star general Omar Burns has on another shirt?"

Hon. Carlos Perdomo
"It's disappointing but it's a democracy, so we have to live with it but it won't affect us that much."

Jules Vasquez
"But you know how valuable Omar Burns was to you as a captain for you."

Hon. Carlos Perdomo
"He is invaluable."

Fast-forward to the evening at the close of polls and Santi supporters swarmed the gate while the party's grey eminence Dean Lindo sat to one side and the matriarch of the Santiago Castillo Empire Addy Castillo sat behind him awaiting the result.

45 minutes after counting started - Castillo supporters came out declaring that they had pulled ahead to a 200 vote lead. The celebration swelled into a chorus of "Santi" chants. With Perdomo camp defector Omar Burns leading the chant. When the chairman and the candidates came to the gate to make the announcement - we had to fight through the mob - and a sudden drizzle - to see the action through the gate.

Hon. Patrick Faber
"In the convention today ladies and gentlemen a total 1,680 people voted - a record in the Caribbean Shores constituency. We are sending a message to the People's United Party, in their convention their votes were 500 less than in this convention today. The challenger Ann Marie Williams received 137 votes. The challenger Chandra Cansino received a total of 616 votes and the new standard bearer Santino "Santi" Castillo received a total of 907 votes."

Hon. Carlos Perdomo
"We want everybody to know that UDP must win again and therefore I am giving my support to the winner of tonight Santi Castillo."

Ann-Marie Williams
"Good evening one and all, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity that you gave me this evening although I didn't win I'd like to say thanks for all those who took time out vote with me. I like to congratulate both Chandra and Santino and I pledge my support to move on with the UDP for victory. Thank you."

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino
"I am for the United Democratic Party and I look forward to working with Santi and the UDP in bringing Caribbean Shores to victory."

After that, it was time for the oath and then, a speech

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"I want to give special thanks most of all to my family and especially to you the people. Without you this would not have been possible. and last but not least we need the 1,600 and odd of you to come here the next time there is an election."

The wild clamour of the mob took over again - but Castillo remained calm

Jules Vasquez
"You won by a blowout. Was this what you were expecting?"

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"This was not what I was expecting Jules, The hard work paid off. I expected to win but certainly not by this margin and I thank the voters for having that confidence in me. I had a successful and at the end of the day I think the people voted for who they thought will do the best job in Caribbean Shores."

Jules Vasquez
"One might want to suggest although he has never said it that if the PM wife is supporting Chandra maybe he was too. Maybe."

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"That is not so. I personally spoke to the PM. In fact the PM said it publicly that he was neutral on it and he has always maintained his neutrality and I have always believed that. As I've said previously, every night I went to bed I felt that the PM remain neutral and those that did support Chandra that is their choice and the agreement was that when this was over whoever won the others would then support him as Mr. Perdomo is now supporting me."

Jules Vasquez
"So what's next for you now?"

Santiago "Santi" Castillo Jr.
"The next thing is to keep the engines running Jules, not slow down. I am going to meet with Mr. Perdomo and his committee and my present committee and together continue the work because I believe the general elections won't be very far away so we have to keep the engines lubricated to tackle the real enemy which is going to be Weedy Mahler of the PUP."

And so with the incumbent and successor having made peace, it was time for the Santi camp to sweep him away to the howls and arms of faithful supporters but not before he hugged his mother and then it was off into the wilds of a motorcade.

In the end, it was a blowout.

The final vote count was: Santi Castillo, 907 votes, Chandra Nisbet Cansino 616 votes and Ann-Marie Williams 137 votes. Total voter turnout was an impressive 1608 voters. In its April convention, the PUP attracted 1189 votes - and exactly one year ago on December fifth 2010, the UDP convention drew 1080 voters.

Channel 7


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#424353 - 12/06/11 02:29 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Santi rides to landslide victory in Caribbean Shores

The U.D.P. Caribbean Shores campaign was a month long; it was fought hard on the ground and on the airwaves by the three contenders. Two had strong political backing and on Sunday only one would emerge as the standard bearer for the constituency of four thousand plus voters that range from the affluent to the poor. The results were announced after six, the margin of victory was huge and perhaps not surprising. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports from the Caribbean Shores.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The Caribbean Shores convention started before nine o clock. Campaign supporters who assisted voters to the poling station gridlocked the entire block surrounding Lopez Mateus Park. After the candidates and the PM cast their ballot, a stream of voters entered the Trinity Methodist School yard. The team under the ‘A Woman’s Place is in the House’ motto stood their ground at one corner of the school gate. Though her white shirts were clearly outnumbered, Ann Marie Williams was confident.

Ann Marie Williams, U.D.P. Caribbean Shores Aspirant

Ann Marie Williams

“I’m very confident; I’ve done my work and this is only the day to make the machinery work to bring out the voters. We’ve sent for a few people, but a lot of my voters—some of them will be coming after church and some at a different time. I cast my vote. It’s pretty early as you can see, but the feeling is upbeat. As I said, it’s a numbers game so you just have to bring out the people. At the end of the day, it’s what you do on the day itself.”

Jose Sanchez

“Clearly you and the other female candidate seem to have less shirts, but the question may be that perhaps maybe Santi has more workers out here. Does the show of shirts in terms of votes make a difference?”

Ann Marie Williams

“Well we won’t know if that makes a difference until the end of the day. But clearly they have more workers, they have more financing, so that’s the situation. Simply put, it is what it is.”

And it was a day still for campaigning. High above the park and the entire neighborhood, a banner that said It’s Time, the motto of the Chandra Cansino Camp. They stood guard at the other half of the school gate. Cansino also felt the day was promising.

Chandra Cansino, U.D.P. Caribbean Shores Aspirant

“I woke up at five o’clock. We met at our ground zero at about six o’clock, organized ourselves and by eight o’clock, we were already under the tents and everybody voted early. We were the first in line.”

Jose Sanchez

Chandra Cansino

“Ok and in terms of the chances. I see a lot of red shirts; some for you, some for Santi. How do you feel about just your whole operation itself this morning; your machinery?”

Chandra Cansino

“I feel good. I have an excellent, excellent organizational team and so the important thing today is to bring out the votes; especially when it is a little bit rainy like this, people might tend to stay in as opposed to coming out. And so basically that’s what we intend to do today.”

Santi Castillo

Santi Castillo, U.D.P. Caribbean Shores Aspirant

“From about 7:30 everybody started congregated and then we marched down from there—all in one line all the people that I had employed for the last month and surrounded by my family, my daughters, my girlfriend and all people who can vote—all the employees of Santiago Castillo limited, who vote in Caribbean Shores and we simply walked down to Trinity Methodist school where we are right now and immediately got into the line, into the alphabetical zones to put the Xs right away. So it gave me a great feeling; it gave me a great high and hype and I believe we started the morning with a bang and it has been looking positive since then.”

Jose Sanchez

“Today is all about numbers. Looking at the shirts, it’s very clear that even with your workers, you outnumber the other two candidates. Does this give you an extra feeling of victory early in the day?”

Santi Castillo

“Yes because most of the people that are wearing shirts, I made sure that they are all Caribbean Shores voters; including my daughter—I have one here with me. This is my daughter, Cassia and she helped me phenomenally in my campaign and clearly because we know that the people that are wearing shirts—seventy-five percent of them are voters and not just wearing the shirts—I am confident. If you look around, you’ll start to see their red fingers.”

An early look at the voting line showed mostly Santi supporters. No guess was necessary to figure out who this voter put his x for in the ballot box. The Party Chairman hoped more voters would show up.

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, U.D.P. Chairman

“I suspect it’s over four thousand voters and traditionally in this area, we’ve seen conventions of eleven to twelve hundred so we are looking to see if that number will come out today. So far it looks very good, we are within the first hour of the convention so far and people are coming out despite the weather. We hope that the weather will hold up a bit today. Or despite the weather, people will still come out.”

It was an outright unusually peaceful convention. Lee Mark Chang got some shade under his umbrella while Eric Chan chatted on phone. There was no cursing, no fighting, and even though one campaigner was removed from a polling room because of a previous incident, instead of acting up, she hugged a cop. The three candidates did compete mildly by hugging, kissing and talking to voters as they entered the school compound. The candidates hoped that voters would remember which names backed them. Cansino had Carlos Perdomo, Mike Singh, Kim Simpliss Barrow and Chief Executive Officers from the Office of the Prime Minister, Audrey Wallace. Castillo had one major supporter in Michael Finnegan. Finnegan bested both P.U.P. and U.D.P. candidates the last general elections. Though he didn’t give an interview, he predicted a win for Santi. However, the party predicted a six p.m. result.

Jose Sanchez

“What time in the day more or less should we have our Caribbean Shores representative?”

Patrick Faber

“We hope to have it by six or shortly after six p.m. The polls close at five which is an unusual hour for these conventions—we’ve given an hour extra on this particular one and we hope that by six we should be able to give an official response as to who the winner is.”

At 6:20, a jubilant crowd cheered as Patrick Faber read the results.

Patrick Faber

“In the convention today, a total of one thousand six hundred and eight people voted—a record in the Caribbean Shores constituency—sending the message loud and clear to the People’s United Party who received in their convention almost five hundred votes less than this convention today that the U.D.P. is alive and kicking in the Caribbean Shores. In this convention, twenty ballots were spoilt. The challenger Ann Marie Williams received a hundred and thirty-seven votes, the challenger, Chandra Cansino received a total of six hundred and sixteen votes and the new standard bearer for the United Democratic Party, Santino ‘Santi’ Castillo, received a total of nine hundred and seven votes.”

Ann Marie Williams

“Good evening one and all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you’ve given me this evening. Although I didn’t win, I would like to say thanks for all those who took time out to come and vote with me. I would like to congratulate both Chandra and Santino and pledge my support to move on with the U.D.P. for victory.”

Chandra Cansino

“Likewise, I would like to take the opportunity to say thanks to my husband for taking care of my children for one month and thanks to my campaigners, the team behind me. It was surely a great experience. It was almost surreal to experience a campaign with the level of respect that we experienced in this particular campaign. So I think it says a lot for the U.D.P. and I look forward to working with Santi and the U.D.P. in bringing Caribbean Shores to victory.”

Jules Vasquez, 7 News

“If the PM wife di support Chandra, maybe he was too?”

Santi Castillo

“That is not so. I personally spoke to the P.M. In fact he said it publicly that he is mutual on it. And he has always maintained his mutuality and I’ve always believed that. As I’ve said previously, every night I went to bed, I’ve felt that the PM remained mutual and those that did support Chandra; that was their choice. And the agreement was that when this was over, whoever won, the others will then support them. As Mister P is now supporting me. The results were something like nine hundred and something for me, six hundred nad something for Chandra, one hundred and something for Ann Marie. I won by almost three hundred votes.”

Carols Perdomo

Jose Sanchez

“Mister Perdomo because you are the senior man in this territory, your support is still necessary for Santi. What will you and Chandra do now? Will you lend your support to Santi?”

Carols Perdomo, Caribbean Shores Rep.

“We just pledged—the two lady candidates and myself—one hundred and ten percent backing to Santino. And I told him that he and I will begin to meet because now that the convention is over, we have to rally the U.D.P. troops because gonna have to now go after ‘Weedy’ Mahler and we’re gonna make sure that the P.U.P. stay out of government. Rigth Santino?”

Santi Castillo

“That is correct. Fully correct.”

Jose Sanchez

“What will you raise your platform on for the general elections?”

Santi Castillo

“I’m going to use the same platform that I’ve been using so far—the same ideas, the same campaign strategy Jose. Nothing will change. I will just lubricate the engine a little more.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you expect all these people to ride to the finish with Santi?”

Santi Castillo

“That is correct. I believe that all of these people, the sixteen hundred and something of them that came out will now ride to victory with Santi for the general elections.”

Jose Sanchez

“In terms of the actual statistics of other Caribbean Shores, it seems like a higher number came out than previous. Is that correct?”

Santi Castillo

“That is correct—almost seventeen hundred voters—a record. About five hundred more than came out for the P.U.P. in their one.”

And Santi then rode shoulders of supporters to victory. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Gender was not a factor in the convention. The combined number of votes the two women received was still less than what Castillo garnered. Castillo’s opponent is Anthony Mahler from the People’s United Party.

Channel 5


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#424364 - 12/06/11 03:05 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Santino wins in Caribbean Shores

He is a businessman whose previous foray into electoral politics came up just shy of a victory in Belize Rural South in the early 90’s. But tonight, Santino Castillo is the man the people of Caribbean Shores chose to represent them in the next general election, constitutionally due in 2013. The decision to hold a convention on Sunday follows the announcement earlier this year that the incumbent, Carlos Perdomo would not seek reelection, citing health reasons. Three candidates, Ann-Marie Williams, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino and Santino Castillo contested the election. After the ballots were counted, Santino Castillo emerged as the new Standard Bearer capturing nine hundred and seven of the votes that were cast. Chandra Nisbet Cansino followed with six hundred and sixteen votes and Ann-Marie acquired one hundred and thirty seven votes. A total of one thousand six hundred and eighty persons came to cast their votes and a total of twenty ballots were spoilt. Following a declaration of his successful candidacy, Castillo spoke with reporters.

When asked how he felt about taking on the PUP’s Anthony Mahler in an election, Castillo said that he will employ the same strategy, the same discipline and the same hard work that won him Sunday’s convention.





LOVETV

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#424379 - 12/06/11 04:31 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
from a friend.....

This was my first political convention and i went to take deliberate mental notes. It was my first one, period. Here were my observations:

1) Santi Castillo is unstoppable and has crazy momentum going for his campaign

2) All the King's men & women came out in support of the runner-up: there were no fewer than 5 Barrow Cabinet Ministers and other senior "ranking dread" govt executives rallying support for the runner-up...to no avail.

3) When the PM retires he now has someone to fill his shoes.

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#424425 - 12/06/11 10:03 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Chandra is a relative newcomer to public life and Santi has been in the public eye for many yrs. Now he has to win against PUP's Anthony Mahler. The interesting division will be Freetown, where we are thinking Lee Mark Chang will win over Francis Fonseca and PUP has to go back to convention and pick a new party leader, again. I assume they will beg Johnny to step in and this time, give him the keys to the treasure chest so he can run an election. Said back in charge again, yesterday firing Ms Rachel from PUP executive. PUP can't move forward til they finally flush the toilet.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#424488 - 12/07/11 03:18 PM Re: The Roads To Caribbean Shores [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Implications of the Santi victory

Amandala

Political observers had expected a Santi Castillo victory in Sunday’s UDP Caribbean Shores standard bearer convention, but Chandra Nisbet Cansino, supported by the departing incumbent, Hon. Carlos Perdomo and his constituency committee, put up a pretty good fight.

Santi’s victory gives the ruling party a jolt of energy, not to mention money in Belize City, and it is bad news for the new PUP Caribbean Shores standard bearer, Anthony Mahler. Inside the UDP, this is a victory for the Dean Lindo/Michael Finnegan section of the UDP, a victory which may end up being a good thing, politically speaking, for the Dean Barrow administration.

Reacting to the savage financial aggressions of Lord Michael Ashcroft and the Fortis electricity company, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been drifting in a kind of populist/nationalist direction since 2009. Barrow’s fiscal policies, most notably the General Sales Tax (GST) regime, have government finances in relatively good shape, but the private sector has been experiencing contraction instead of growth. There is a worldwide economic downturn which is to be blamed for much of our domestic business malaise, but it is for sure that Mr. Lindo will want the ruling party to become more business-friendly than it has been.

Older readers will remember that Dean Lindo was the first political leader to threaten the PUP machine in a really serious way. He did so between 1974 and 1979 by winning the support of the business community at a time when Premier George Price was being populist and nationalist with his “mixed economy” package. His more ideological enemies were accusing Mr. Price of listening to Assad Shoman’s socialist ideas.

In his daily politics, Michael Finnegan behaves in a very populist manner. He is street comfortable and street smart. But Finnegan is a political conservative. He does not believe that the masses of the people can help themselves all on their own, which is why he has been so close to Mr. Lindo, going all the way back to 1972. Finnegan, like Lindo, is a friend of big business.

After the PUP’s crushing defeat in the December 1977 Belize CitCo elections, Mr. Price brought the late Emory King into Queen Street to run The Belize Times, the PUP newspaper, so that he could better appeal to business interests who had been attracted to Lindo’s “anti-communist” UDP. The PUP’s general election victory of 1979 suggests this move away from the left worked politically for Mr. Price.

The reason the Santi victory will likely be a good thing politically for the UDP is that the PUP has moved back hard towards the philosophical, neoliberal right. In the recent 9th Amendment controversy, the business community went against the Barrow government. In Belize, whenever you go against anything red, you are supporting something blue. With Santi in effect, and the strengthening of the Lindo/Finnegan faction, business leaders will be less negative where the present administration is concerned.

It appears to this newspaper that Mr. Barrow thought it important for the UDP to choose at least one lady standard bearer. Presently, they have none amongst their 31 candidates, whereas the PUP has at least three distaff candidates. For Mr. Lindo and Mr. Finnegan, however, business was more important than gender, and it may be that they are actually saving Mr. Barrow from himself, so to speak.

It may be that there is now a vacuum for a real roots party, for sure in the old capital. But, electoral politics is about organization and money, or money and organization – take your pick. At this stage, we see a VIP which is more rhetoric than money and organization. The foundation of the original PUP was the trade unions. We don’t see the VIP as focused on making that link. So, so far this remains a PUDP game.

Power to the people.


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