Small Protest by Anti-LBGT Crowd

The new US Ambassador designate Carlos Moreno arrived in Belize on Saturday morning. After a few days of settling in - he presented his credentials to the Governor General at 10:00 this morning in Belmopan.

It's usually a routine event - and for the media , a near non event that typically gets relegated to the end of the news. But not this one. Tonight it's a headline because Ambassador Moreno became the first Ambassador ever to face a protests while he presented his credentials.

Now, we're careful to say that the protest was very small and the man leading it is known to….how to put it nicely? "Tilt at windmills"? But Patrick Menzies made it a first today as he chanted down the new ambassador. 7News was in Belmopan:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
"Abomination" - that's what activist Patrick Menzies shouted as the US Ambassador's Chevy Suburban drove past slowly on Ring Road at 9:50 am.

It wheeled into the sweeping driveway for Belize House, which is the Governor General's office in Belmopan.

Once inside, escorted by a protocol officer and accompanied by his wife Christine, Moreno presented his credentials:

Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize
"Good morning."

H.E. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize
"Good morning to you. So nice of you to have us here this morning to receive my letters of credence, I look forward to this moment for many months."

Ambassador Moreno presented his credentials after which they had a private conversation. And while inside was warm and sociable, outside was hot and intemperate - really less than a handful of protestors, but what they lacked in numbers, their leader made up for in conviction:

Patrick Menzies, Protestor
"We opposed the fact that he was the only judge that went against prop 8 in favour of families in California and was selected by Obama just like he did to the Dominican Republic of sending then a homosexual ambassador. We now have one that supports the LBGT agenda. My word to Obama and Mr. Moreno is to keep your abomination in Obama's new nation in his White House. This is not Obama-nation, this is Belize. We have a constitution and we reject Obama, Moreno or anybody else to come here and try and tell us to change our constitution or change our laws to fit Obama's trash."

Kerm Thimbriel, Anti-Moreno
"We believe that it is very strategic for the Obama administration to have sent Mr. Carlos Moreno in Belize in such a time like this."

Patrick Menzies, Protestor
"The US Ambassador is an agent of the US. They are sent out to spread democracy, not homosexuality, but this is Obama's new democracy - his new democracy is homosexuality and that's why we reject it. If he feels that he should promote homosexuality in California, keep it in California. This is Belize C.A., Central America, not CA for California - don't get your CAs confused."

After the rant, the protesters dispersed and half an hour later - the Ambassador finished his meeting with the Governor General and spoke to the media in the parking lot of the US Embassy. But on this day, the protestors dominated. We asked about the supposed LBGT agenda:

H.E. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize
"To say that there is any kind of homosexual or LGBT agenda I think is off the mark. The United States has its own constitution in laws which I interpret it in the fashion that I saw fit with a fidelity to the law that applies in the United States. I would not presume to apply the law or take a position or any matters that are based upon Belizean law. That certainly is not my province. No I would never comment on any pending litigation. The question of human rights and the freedom from violence and discrimination applies to all individuals irrespective of what their ethnic group is, background and so forth. I think that's enough said on that particular topic."

But for his opponents, human rights is merely code for what they insist is an LBGT agenda.

Kerm Thimbriel, Anti-Moreno
"He has also said that he is a man who is fighting for human rights and so it is obviously very clear to us from the comments that he has made in terms of what he wants to do in our nation and I absolutely disagree with him on that issue."

Jules Vasquez
"What does he wants to do?"

Kerm Thimbriel, Anti-Moreno
"From the trend that we are seeing around the world and coming out of the United States of America, Mr. Carlos Moreno obviously is very pro-LGBT."

Patrick Menzies, Protestor
"I am not afraid of any Tom, Dick nor Harry, not the moreno, the blanco, the amarillo nor the anaranjado - none. I am a Belizean, born here and I am also an American, so he can tell me what he wants and I got a word for him."

Menzies says he only had a crowd of five because more than that and he would have required a permit to protest.

The ambassador is expected to have a full press conference next week. As we have reported, he is a retired US Judge from the California Supreme Court, and his wife is a retired professor in art and animation.

US Ambassador Proposes A Refocusing Of US Assistance In Belize

And while we're used to the US Government assisting with security initiatives, the new Ambassador says he'd like to tweak that focus slightly. Today, he discussed his interest in education and the arts and how that shapes his approach to crime:..

H.E. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize
"But I also think there has to be kind of a refocusing of the types of assistance. Both my wife and I are very interested in education, particularly of the arts. Belize itself has a rich cultural history in art and music. In fact I was talking to the Governor-General about this. He has a very fine and deep enduring passion for music. Without disclosing the contents of that discussion, we agree that cultural assistance particularly directed towards youth, getting at the root of the problem with respect to citizen security and so forth. I think that one of my recommendations in my capacity as Ambassador here will be to channel resources in the direction of non-military assistance but to take the form of assistance in terms of educating youth in particular, steering them away from gang violence and drug use and so forth."

The Governor General today told the Ambassador he will be calling on him to assist with his music programme.

Channel 7