The Unfounded Guatemalan Claim
Friday, 23 November 2007

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) has now recommended that the age old "differendum" between Belize and Guatemala be settled through recourse to the World Court - the International Court of Justice. The Prime Minister of Belize has issued a statement indicating that this recommendation will be subjected to comprehensive consultations with the Belizean people at the end of which they, the Belizean people, will decide in a referendum whether or not to accept this recommendation of the OAS.

The Prime Minister has also made it abundantly clear that the consultation and referendum will not be undertaken until after the upcoming general elections.

For several years, certainly since 2001, the Government of the People's United Party and the Opposition United Democratic Party have worked together in the national interest to maintain a bi-partisan approach to the Guatemalan issue. The Belize negotiating team has always included members of the both parties.

They have worked closely with an Advisory Group composed of political and civil society representatives.

In past elections the Guatemalan claim has reared its ugly head and no doubt there will be those who will want to beat the drum "we no wan no Guatemala".

Twenty six years after Independence, it should now be crystal clear to all right thinking Belizeans that our national policy of full respect for our sovereignty and territorial integrity remains steadfast and paramount. "Ya da fu we Belize" and "Tell Guatemala leave Belize Alone" are indelibly etched in the Belizean psyche.

Live and let live