EMBRACING History: Dr. Manuel Esquivel - 02/09/12 07:51 PM
Dr. Manuel Esquivel, KCMG, PC was born on May 2nd, 1940 and is a Belizean politician. As a leader of the United Democratic Party, he served as Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989, and then again from 1993 to 1998.
Manuel Esquivel, born in Belize City when it was still the colony’s capital, studied a Bachelor of Science in Physics at Loyola University New Orleans; he subsequently pursued post-graduate studies in physics at Bristol University, England. He taught science and mathematics at Saint John’s Junior College in Belize City before becoming involved in politics.
He was one of the founders of the United Democratic Party and was chosen as the party leader. Elected to the Senate (the upper Chamber of the National Legislature) in 1979, Esquivel served as Minister of Finance and as Minister of Defense and Economic Devlopment.
He was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II. This life-time appoi n t m e nt confers the title “Right Honourable”. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Loyola University.
When the party lost power in 1989, it still held the second largest number of seats in the legislature, making him the leader of the official opposition. After the UDP won the February 2008 election, Dr. Manuel Esquivel was appointed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow as senior advisor to government with the rank of minister on February 12, 2008.
Dr. Manuel Esquivel is married to wife Kathleen (Kathy), with three children. Daughter Laura has followed in her Father’s footsteps as City Councillor under the UDP since March 2006. Dr. Manuel Esquivel was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) in the 2010 New Year Honours.