by Colin Hyde for Amandala

In 1859, Belize (British Honduras) signed a treaty with Guatemala, establishing our borders to the south and to the west. Guatemala has renounced that treaty because, it says, Belize reneged on an article in the agreement. The British had agreed to construct, "jointly" with Guatemala, a road that would serve the "mutual" interests of the two countries. Guatemala would have had "more" access to the Caribbean/Atlantic for their goods, and British Honduras (Belize) would have access "for the first time" to the Pacific for her goods.

It has been argued that Guatemala agreed to the "borders" because it was worried about British expansion in Central America. There are many historical documents that support this argument. It must be noted that the territory in question, land that Guatemala said was legally hers, had never, not at any point in time, been occupied by that country. Notwithstanding these facts, Guatemala has been a thorn in the side of Belize ever since it decided that the British not helping them to build the road, was a breach.

In 1893, Belize (British Honduras) signed a treaty with Mexico (the Mariscal-Spencer Treaty) which established Belize's border to the north.

Clinton Uh Luna has reported on a historical book ("Quintana Roo Entre Tiempos," written by Antonio Higuera Bonfil, financed by CONACYT and developed by the University of Quintana Roo) which says that many Mexicans, especially those who live near our border, were not happy about this treaty. They argued that Mexico was giving up land to Belize. In his 21st August, 2008 story to the Amandala, Brother Clinton wrote: This treaty was for the British to stop selling weapons to the Santa Cruz Maya of the Caste War. The inhabitants from different parts of Yucatan manifested their discontent towards the Treaty that was signed on the 8th of July 1893 (Mariscal-Spencer) where Mexico gave away part of their territory to the British claiming that they, the British, had never put a foot on such places as San Pedro Ambergris Caye. At the time in San Pedro alone there were 500 Yucatecos living there. The Yucatecos saw it as a mutilation of their national sovereignty. The inhabitants of Merida also manifested their opposition towards the diplomatic agreement.

The president of Mexico at the time of the Mariscal-Spencer Treaty was Porfirio Diaz. This gentleman had "two" presidencies. The first presidency seemed to be significantly better than the second. reports on the state of Mexico when Porfirio Diaz came to power. It says: Mexico, one of the Western Hemisphere's most poorly governed states, had suffered more than most. After half a century of independence its economy lay ruined, its people were exhausted by civil war, and over half its territory had been lost to the United States. The autocratic government of Porfirio D�az sought to bring order out of this chaos and to make Mexico into a modern industrialized state.

You have to respect a man who says, give me one term, I'll set things right then I will hand over. Porfirio Diaz won one term (1886-1870), reportedly set his country on good footing, and then he retired. His successor reportedly ran the country bankrupt, so Diaz took up the presidency again, in 1884. He would remain president until 1911, when he was militarily ousted. The history books have a lot of negative things to say about this second presidency. It is possible that Diaz, in this second presidency, which was a dictatorship, it is possible that his heart and head weren't in it.

We have a good example of what can happen in a second "presidency." I am writing about Belize's George Price. Things are said about George Price in his second term, 1989-1993, (his first terms ended in 1984), how he, a believer in prudent government, completely let go the reins to the local capitalists.

The PUP started gambling with this nation during Price's second "presidency." This "presidency" imperilled our future by engaging in full-scale usurious activities with private banks. Corruption notwithstanding, the projects were good, as they were in PUP 1998 to 2008, but they were high priced, and they were done with extremely high interest loans.

A Belizean who studied the English system told me, long years ago, that loans for agriculture over there are at low interest rates, and loans for fixed development, such as roads and drains, are amortized over three generations. He explained that such capital investments serve a nation, hence the very soft payments on the principal and interest. The second Price presidency gave control to spendthrifts. Belize engaged in borrowing that exposed us to the most usurious rates.

Good, or bad, as Diaz's second presidency was, Belize has to thank him for the Mariscal-Spencer Treaty. That treaty has helped the peace in our land, the development of our land, and made us good neighbours. Belize has border problems with Guatemala. Belize has no border problems with Mexico.

I don't have the hair off the horse tail in my hand here, but I believe the reason why the Mexicans have "rested" their issues with Belize is because Mexico belongs to Mexicans, and the reason why Guatemala has not "rested" its claim to Belize is because Guatemala does not belong to Guatemalans. Both of these countries have had shaky, military rulers. What makes them different is that Mexico looks to Mexico, while Guatemala looks to Spain of the past, and others.

It is telling how these countries responded so differently when leaders who believed in land reform, leaders who tried to uplift the masses, came to power. Mexico embraced Lazaro Cardenas. Guatemala hounded, drove Jacobo Arbenz into exile.

In 1798, Mexico did not belong to Mexicans. Spain was in charge, and it was Spain that led military forces into Belize, to expel the settlers. When Mexicans took charge of Mexico, the harassment of Belize stopped. When Guatemalans take charge of Guatemala, they will make a peaceful approach to Belize.

For now, their claiming Belize as an inheritance from Spain makes them an anachronism. This claim by Guatemala, it is an embarrassment to Spain, a country that is trying to distance itself from the pain it brought to the natives of the Americas. The Spanish Inquisition, they are trying to bury that, as they are trying to bury the genocide and the rape of the Taino, the Caribs, the Inca, the Aztec, and the Maya. Yet, there is Guatemala, trying so very hard to make them not forget.

Modern Spain has tried to separate itself from the horrors it visited upon the Americas, the spoor it left here, while Guatemala is fighting for spoils. The boat has sailed, leaving our neighbour to the west and south behind.

Until Guatemala treats us with respect, Belize has got only one neighbour. It is our good fortune that that neighbour also shows love to us. Maybe we are greedy. Maybe we should be satisfied with the one we have. Maybe it would be an embarrassment of "friendships" if we had TWO good neighbours. Que viva, M�xico! What can we say about Guatemala?

The US Democrats are proponents of, have sex with any who as long as he/she/it has got the proper age, and yu ask for it. The US Republicans are proponents of man can only have it with woman, and it should be as the Bible teaches. They will tolerate a man who is a little or a lot lewd, if he makes no compromise with the crowd for "any who or what yu want if there is consent."

In the recent senate election in Alabama, there was another issue, abortion. The Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, supports a woman's freedom to choose but he says once a baby comes forth he will be there to support. The candidate for the Republicans, Roy Moore, calls for the US to overturn the law that legalizes abortions.

The sort for "any who yu want", won, in a squeaker.