The government of Belize (GOB) recently announced the date on which it shall commence, in earnest, its highly questionable “(Mis)Education Campaign” for the impending simultaneous referenda to be held on 6th October 2013, concerning whether the matter of Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize’s sovereign territory should be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a presumed “final determination”.
My position is clear: “No to the ICJ”. Yet I am compelled to highlight a matter which I find increasingly more unnerving. Due to the GOB’s apparent impotence in dealing with their Guatemalan counterparts on this issue, along with their obvious caving-in to the allure of gaining access to millions of US dollars for participating in this farce of an undertaking, it is evident that Belizeans not only must defend against the apparent ‘opposite number’ to this equation, but we have been made to contend with an internal enemy… one which has seemingly allowed their self-interest(s) to override what should be first and foremost when it comes to the building of our nation — national pride and true patriotism, of course, buttressed on a foundation of practical and sound reasoning.
With authorities poised to place their grubby hands on upwards of US$4.5 million supposedly for the aforementioned (mis)education process and referendum, anyone who knows the realities associated with anything that involves political entities and money (in Belize) is aware that the likelihood of that amount of money actually being fully used for its said purpose is highly unlikely. Amidst the lack of: good governance, accountability and transparency, it is not too far-fetched to predict that many a sweetheart deal (aka misappropriation of monies) has already been: thought-out, drawn up and co-conspirators identified and secured, all in preparation for this impending windfall of funds.
I am disgusted to see that those who have been vested with the responsibility of governing our nation (from both sides of the aisle) have sunken to a depth which is laying the groundwork for the Guatemalan oligarchy to utilise a “legal” means through which to potentially obtain part of our nation, “The Jewell”. If one endeavours to take off their proverbial “red and blue” lenses, it becomes glaringly evident that true love of country… which is above self-interest… does not prevail among those who were elected to represent the people.
Beyond that, it is evident that our nation is hemorrhaging from a distinct dearth of coherent and nationalistic leadership, across the entire political spectrum. In particular, given the actualities which define the Belize-Guatemala issue, and thus have been manifest in the sovereign nation of Belize, I am convinced that the notion of providing both a logical and nationalistic direction for Belize is not mutually exclusive.
Stop for a moment and truly think about the apparent bipartisan effort that is encouraging Belizeans to sanction going to the ICJ on a matter that has no business whatsoever to be presented before a foreign court of arbitration, for “determination”. Honestly, how foolhardy is it? After all, why would one engage in a process which is: (1) unnecessary, (2) unpredictable and (3) unbalanced, in that you are the only party that has anything tangible to lose?
I’ve said it before and I shall continue to say it, all those who sacrificed, in whatever fashion, for Belize’s independence and accompanying territorial integrity throughout our history (many of whom remain unheralded) must be turning in their graves at the notion of the GOB and the opposition, persuading Belizeans to place our international existence at the mercy of the jurisprudence of the ICJ.
It is a distressing thought and due to either: (1) a misguided, narcissistic intent to go down in the annals of history as being those who tried to legally bring an end to the unfounded Guatemalan claim, (2) being motivated by the rudimentary affliction known as greed or (3) quite possibly a mix of both, Belizeans find ourselves on the precipice of either doing what needs to be done, to safeguard our nation; that is to vote down this ICJ madness and move toward addressing the matter without digressing from our already established status, or to become the laughing stock of the world community, by placing our territorial integrity up for debate, in a foreign court no less. Needless to say, those in decision making positions in Belize have placed the nation and our people in a precarious situation.
The Guatemalan oligarchy must be salivating at this time because under the auspices of the Organisation of American States (OAS), and more ironically with the unbridled support of the Belize government, they have effectively moved their unfounded claim from the realm of being defined by outright aggression and bullying, to that of being placed within a legal context… one in which the ICJ will undoubtedly seek “equity” in determining the matter.
Given the established philosophy which guides the ICJ, I implore Belizeans to recognise that we do NOT need “equity”, as it relates to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our territory. Going to the ICJ is not only illogical for our (already established and recognised) nation, it is playing directly into the hands of those who intend to acquire part of our country… all facilitated by what I refer to as “the enemy from within”. It is time to wake-up and understand that the aforementioned, may very well prove even more damning than those beyond our borders who obviously do not have Belize’s best interest at heart.
My people, be prudent and understand that Belize cannot benefit from going to the ICJ, for the pursuit of ‘equity’ in this instance is in effect a zero-sum proposition for the nation of Belize. On the day of the referendum, don’t give-in to the unsubstantiated, false predictions of those who have demonstrated utter and complete disrespect for that which makes us Belizean… our history, our Constitution, our border, our struggles, our nation’s status in the world community and, simply put, our reality of being recognised internationally as a sovereign nation with our territory intact.
Demonstrate your disapproval to this disadvantageous and misleading call to go to the ICJ, not only the international community but also to the “enemy from within”, by voting a resounding “NO” to the ICJ on the day of the referendum — 6th October 2013. There is a better way to address this issue, yet the immediate task at hand is to attune ourselves as to just how insidious and potentially damaging the current thrust to go to the ICJ can prove to our nation’s well-being.
From that point, we shall embark on a progressive, logically sound diplomatic path, one which respects our constitution and does not jeopardize the nation-state of Belize.
Long live Belize in its, current, legal and geographic legitimacy.
Belize, Sovereign and Free – No ICJ!
- Commentary: The ICJ and the Belize-Guatemala issue: A den of strategy and deceit (cayobuay.wordpress.com)
- Belizeans and the ICJ Concern (fiwebelize.com)
- The Icj and Guatemala’s Claim to Belize: a Case of Self Interest Over Sovereignty? (fiwebelize.com)
- On Belize vs Guatemala at ICJ (cayobuay.wordpress.com)
- Hon. Julius Espat on Belize – Guatemala – ICJ (fiwebelize.com)
- On discussing part of our path to the ICJ (cayobuay.wordpress.com)
- Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute heads to World Court (antiguaobserver.com)
- Constitution of Belize – Citizenship (fiwebelize.com)