Health Minister Pablo Marin is probably the only politician in recent memory who’s made news by not saying anything. Marin appeared front and center at a press conference two weeks ago to discuss the 13 babies that died in the pediatric intensive care unit. But he was the only one at the head table who didn’t say anything. Now, to put it kindly, he is not a man known for his oratorical skills – and it was a heated event, so we could kind of understand his role there as a mute placeholder.
But others have taken exception to it – and now are taking further exception because at his press conference this week – the PM basically said, it’s ok if the Honourable Marin keeps quiet, because he wins elections. Here’s what the PM said, and what the Leader of the Opposition had to say in response:..
"This is your Minister of Health and he does not say a word - I don't know if he was not allowed to speak or he chose not to speak."
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"You know I was at that press conference and I'm doing a press conference and there's three Ministers, four Ministers here - it's good to welcome Santi back after his accident - and they don't speak. Two things, I imagine the Minister - well I don't imagine, he told me 'Sir if you make a statement then I don't need to make one'. I don't think that you should speak that there is a lack of confidence you know, let me tell you something - Pablo Marin, the Minister of Health who represents the Corozal Bay constituency took over for purposes of the Village Council elections - the Corozal Southwest constituency, he is the one who went out there and organized the party and he has won every single one of those villages. I don't think such a man would have any lack of confidence, not where it matters and I don't think he has to make any apologies for not speaking at that press conference because his leader and his Prime Minister was making a statement."
Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition
"I thought it was absolutely shocking and disgraceful for him to talk about his political interests in the face of this great tragedy where we lost 13 babies and the families are mourning for him to say 'oh well Pablo doesn't owe any apology to anybody because he's performing well in the Village Council elections in Corozal South East'. What absolute arrogance and what absolute stupidity for him to be putting his political agenda ahead of the lives of these babies and their families, absolute nonsense and absolute madness."