In Event of Guat Invasion
The state funeral is set for Sunday, December fourth - and Deputy Prime Minister Faber and Foreign Minister Elringotn are expected to be joined by scores of world leaders.
Indeed, as the ambassador mentioned, Belize owes a great debt to Cuba - because of the role Castro played in pushing for Belize's inpdendence. Today, in his Belize City office, former Prime Minister Said Musa, told u show cuba was actively, and secretly involved in pushing for Belize's independence.
Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"Cuba was a leader in the Non Aligned Movement and the Non Aligned Movement was crucial in getting support for Belize at the United Nations, because they were 77, originally right, and eventually became over 100 of non-aligned countries, the Group Of 77. And when we were fighting for that independence we did it, of course, diplomatically. Cuba, of course, fought for their independence with blood, they shed their blood for it. And that's why we look to Cuba as the greatest example of a freedom-struggling people. They fought for their freedom. And Fidel, Commandante Fidel he championed that issue as number one I think in his mind: People must be free. A People must be sovereign. And that is why with all the help that Cuba gave to Belize, they never asked for anything in return, because they respected the sovereignty and independence of Belize."
"And Cuba from day one supported Belize. I suspect, although we didn't really discuss this, that they had a thing against Guatemala."
Jules Vasquez, 7News
"Regarding the training for the Bay of Pigs invaders...?"
Rt. Hon. Said Musa
"That's right, exactly. So, in a sense, it was very convenient for Fidel to show outright support for the struggle of the Belizean people from Guatemala. They didn't feel it was an independence from Britain. Independence from Guatemala! 'Cause we explained to Fidel that this neighbor is claiming us, and that is what's holding up our independence. HE says, "Ooohh". In fact, this has never been said before but there were only two countries that to my knowledge that gave verbal support, that in the event there was need for troops, in the case of an invasion (because the British didn't offer it , although they said they were here for defending us) but Forbes Burnham of Guyana and Fidel Castro of Cuba (did). And that is perhaps why the Americas always frowned on the fact that Mr. Price allowed us - or some of us anyway - to have this relationship with Cuba. Even long before independence, because Mr. Price the skillful politician that he is played all his cards, had to. So, yeah, to answer your question, Cuba was crucial in our struggle for independence."
"Was there a measure of covertness that had to be applied when one was dealing with Cuba in the 70's? Knowing that Cuba was a supporter of Belize, but at the same time, we could not appear to be in bed with America's enemy, or that we are left-leaning , because at the time that was the height of the cold war."
Rt. Hon. Said Musa
"Right. That's a fact. That is very much a fact. that we had to...the relationship was almost clandestine with Cuba in those days. Because of this antipathy, and not only that, the blockade that the US had against Cuba. Cuba was the arch enemy - in this region - of the United States. And of course if it's the enemy of the United States, all of us supposed to fall in line right? In the whole English-speaking Caribbean."
"The thing about Commandante Fidel Castro, is that he is at heart, even before being a communist - if he ever was - at heart he was a humanist - that man he was concerned about humanity there's no two ways about it. And of course when you move unto the international character of the man, you will see that becomes very clear."