U.S. General: Belize is important to U.S. security
The two day meeting of U.S. and Central American military brass ended today in Belize City and before the assorted generals and colonels jetted back to their respective bases the press was given a brief update. For General John Craddock, head of the U.S. Southern Command, Belize and Central America play an important roleóin both their internal security and that of the United States of America.
Gen. John Craddock, Commander, U.S. Southern Command
ďFor a lot of reasons, Belize is in a strategically critically important location. If you look at this region, it is a transit zone. A transit zone for what? For transnational threats, itís traffickers of drugs, of ammunition, of money, of people. From that perspective, they move through this region and Belize is strategically located here and thatís important to the United States because itís part of our security as well as the security for the nations here in the region. So we value the fact that we have a good relationship with the Belizean Defence Force, we have a good relations between the two nations. We want to continue to develop those relations, encourage as much as we can to grow and be mutually supportive. Whether or not that leads to increased U.S. presence, only the future will tell.Ē
ďGeneral you are no doubt aware of the Guatemalan claim to Belizeís territory. At conferences like this you work closely with all governments and militaries of the region, does the U.S. military have a position or is the U.S. military playing an active role to discourage any military conflict between Belize and Guatemala?Ē
Gen. John Craddock
ďThe differences between countries or differences that arise over time for various reasons we respect that, the fact that they are sovereign nations and that they will at times have different perspectives on whatís right and whatís wrong from those perspectives. We donít want to take sides; we wonít take sides. We know that reasonable people will address these issues in a responsible fashion and that they will be worked out accordingly. We want there to be security and stability in the region, we look at it from a collective perspective and we would hope that that would be the end state.Ē