And turning now from a police investigation, to the police minister - he's actually the Minister of Home Affairs - and that's the ministry responsible for declaring pubic and bank holidays. So, two weeks ago when the list of public and bank holidays came out with the widely rebuffed "Dia De LA Raza" on October 12th - all the media was hunting down Musa to get an explanation. But, he kept himself scarce, avoiding interviews until today - when another, amended list of holidays went out. This one sheepishly removes Dia De La Raza and, without explanation, substitutes in its place "Indigenous Peoples' Resistance Day" to be observed on Monday October 10, 2022, in place of Wednesday October 12th.

So now that the offensive to some and inexplicable to almost all "Dia De La Raza" has been officially scrubbed from the official list - Home Minister Musa offered an explanation in an hour long sit down with the media on a broad range of subjects.

He said that while it may not have been the Printer's Devil, it was more or less, something like the Press Office Devil that got La Raza on The List. But, he claims the confusion all started when he couldn't attend Cabinet that week:

Hon. Kareem Musa, Min. Home Affairs
"Unfortunately, at that cabinet meeting, I was out of the country and Cabinet had made a decision to have October twelve as a holiday. Now, in terms of the actual name for the date that was not decided at Cabinet, we only revisited that matter yesterday."

"But apparently, I think it was some two weeks ago when the government press office had published the list of holidays. And as I understand it, it was because there was pressure coming from the printers who print the calendars for next year to have an idea of what the holidays were going to be."

"And so in that first list, it was erroneously placed as DIA de la Raza because, like I mentioned, no decision had been made in terms of the name itself."

"I know that there has been a lot of lashback because of that first publication. And yesterday, I am thankful that when I was present, we were able to discuss the matter, and all of cabinet unanimously agreed that the proper name for October twelve should be Indigenous Peoples Resistance Day to acknowledge and to recognize the survival, the struggle and the resistance of indigenous people in Belize, in particular the Mayans."

Reporter
"You said it wasn't decided upon officially, but when I spoke to Honorable Jose Mai some weeks ago, he didn't seem to have a problem with it. In fact, he embraced it."

Hon. Kareem Musa, Min. Home Affairs
"Like I said, different countries in Latin America call the holiday different things. He embraced it because of the holiday. October 12th being a mestizo himself and we belong to a country. We we all live in this country that is diverse, that is multicultural, and we all appreciate one another's culture and so coming from him, he is a mestizo himself. He's saying that that is how he would celebrate it."

We are reliably informed that the norteños in Cabinet are the ones who pushed for the Die De La Raza.

But, going back to Musa's comments, so, who "erroneously placed" the Dia De La Raza on the list? If you know the system, it's kind of nonsensical to suggest that the press office took it upon themselves to do so.

Well, so far, Musa has said that it's Cabinet who decided to observe the October twelfth holiday this year. He also said that a multi sectoral committee came up with the proposal for holidays - which went to Cabinet for approval. And they are the ones who chose to replace Sovereign's Day with October 12th - which, he would have us believe - they simply chose not to assign a name to:

Hon. Kareem Musa, Min. Home Affairs
"We did have a committee formed, a committee was formed that included the chamber that included our personnel from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the churches and of course, our ministry. And that committee had met to come up with a proposal for the number of holidays for next year. And like I mentioned, that then went to cabinet for approval. But that first recommendation coming from these partners had left in Sovereign's Day. So when it went to cabinet, Cabinet removed Sovereigns Day and replaced it with October 12th. So there was there was a change that happened at that cabinet and like I said, I was not there."

Again an addition to the list of holidays - but without a name? Hardly plausible… Musa did go on to explain why Sovereign's Day or Commonwealth Day on May 24th will no longer be observed:

Hon. Kareem Musa, Min. Home Affairs
"Commonwealth Day is not, as far as I'm aware, celebrated in other countries as a holiday. Yes, you do recognize it. What is not celebrated as a holiday? Belize might be one of the few were the last countries in the world to actually acknowledge that the Commonwealth as a whole and other countries have it as Labor Day but our labour day is celebrated on May first. So May May 24th, it is no longer going to be a holiday. Yes, we can recognize it and all of that. But. It's not going to be a holiday."

Reporter
"So is that because it has too many holidays, you think?"

Hon. Kareem Musa, Min. Home Affairs
"Definitely, definitely. We have too many holidays. I think the chamber would say we have we still have one too many. And so they would want to see one removed. So we might work on that for 2022."

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