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PUP divided over Cordel Hyde’s return?

Cordell Hyde, the former three-time Peoples United Party (PUP)’s Lake Independence area representative, may want to come back to the party, but the PUP’s Southern Caucus said Thursday that he should not be allowed to return. 

The Cayo South area representative, Julius Espat, said that “the Party has moved on.”

Mike Espat, the PUP area representative for Toledo East, said that both Hyde and Espat left together and he thinks that it is just a matter of time before both of them may want to come back, but the PUP Executive had already made a decision about both men: “The answer is no!”

The Reporter spoke to both Mike and Julius Espat after a Thursday afternoon meeting of the party’s Southern Caucus, where they explained that the  Party’s Executive decision about Hyde and Espat is still pending a National Party Council.

The matter may still go before a National Convention, they explained.

The Reporter also asked PUP Leader Francis Fonseca about Hyde’s return.

He replied: “I’m not prepared to discuss that issue at all, until I’ve heard directly from Mr. Hyde.

“Since he stepped down as a candidate,  he and I have had absolutely no communication.”

Asked if he would consider Hyde’s return in principle only, Fonseca said, “there has to be a discussion. Until a discussion takes place, I am not prepared to discuss the matter.”

There are obviously varying views about Hyde’s status in the party, as the PUP Chairman, Henry Charles Usher, said that as far as  he knows “Cordel Hyde never left the PUP.”

The former two term  Prime Minister, Said Musa, in whose Cabinet Hyde served and who stripped him of his Cabinet portfolio in 2005, replied to the question of Hyde’s return, saying that he prefers to not comment on the issue.

“That will have to be sorted out in the Party one way or another,” he said.

Oscar Requeña, the PUP area representative for Toledo West, said that its water under the bridge. Referring to Hyde and Espat, he said, “They walked away.”

The Reporter made several attempts to contact Cordel Hyde but were unsuccessful in doing so.

As the March General Elections were approaching, Cordel Hyde stepped down to be by his terminally ill son’s side in New York City.

After the United Democratic Party was returned to power, Hyde’s name was mentioned as Belize’s  Honorary Counsel in New York; but through his spokesman in Belize, William “Bill” Lindo, he declined the offer, saying that he was never consulted.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington accepted responsibility for the incident of naming Hyde without consulting him.

Mark Espat was appointed to head the government’s Superbond re-negotiation team.

It is unclear if Espat, who served as Interim PUP Leader when John Briceño abruptly resigned in early October 2011, wants to return to the PUP, after  his acrimonious departure.

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