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Britain planning to play bigger role in Belize? #535228
03/06/19 06:31 AM
03/06/19 06:31 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,166
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Amandala is in possession of documents that suggest that the British government may have plans to “develop their footprint in Belize.”

The information surfaced in the context of British plans to “help meet their obligations in the Caribbean,” because Britain will leave the European Union “within the next 90 days”, and because, according to the documents, Britain “needs to stand tall on the world stage.”

Belize is the most probable Caribbean country in which such an exercise to expand British involvement would take place (there were reports of the Caribbean’s Guyana and Montserrat being considered), because in the documents it is stated that “MinAF (Minister of State for the Armed Forces) has always been pretty clear we should develop the Belize option – as far as I’m aware, we don’t have any access options in either Guyana or Montserrat to build on like we do in Belize.”

British Defense Secretary, Gavin Williamson, is quoted as saying in the Sunday Telegraph of December 29, 2018, that “it is time to strike a more optimistic tone about the UK’s future outside the EU.”

With the support of Britons, the DefSec says, “The UK will stand tall on the world stage after leaving the European Union.”

The leaving of the European Union, he stated, “is our biggest moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War … we can actually play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play.”

Another British source stated, in reference to the nation’s plans for expanded involvement: “We have been pretty clear we should develop Belize while supporting OTs to develop their own reserve defence forces – as we have been with Montserrat by supplying them uniforms and training, etc.”

The enhancement of their presence could be “highly beneficial for a modest investment.” Other sources said that this could happen “in the next couple of years.”

According to other information emerging from the interview with the Defence Secretary, Britain wants to become a “true global player” post-Brexit with military bases in South East Asia and the Caribbean.

The Defense Secretary is quoted as saying that the political focus would shift “quite dramatically” and the UK has to build “deeper relations … with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Caribbean countries, and also, nations right across Africa.”

These countries, said the DefSec, “look to us to provide the moral leadership, the military leadership and the global leadership.”

Britain will turn its back on the “1968 ‘East of Suez’ strategy … which left Britain withdrawing from military bases in Malaysia, Singapore, the Persian Gulf and the Maldives,” he says.

The bases would have service and maintenance staff, and supply ships and equipment sited there.


Re: Britain planning to play bigger role in Belize? [Re: Marty] #535248
03/07/19 05:53 AM
03/07/19 05:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,166
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

British Base For Belize?

And while Guatemalan encroachments unto Belize territory - both terrestrial and maritime - remain a security threat, there's an X factor, and that's the British. For many years before independence, they had a fixed security presence. And, according to the left leaning newspaper out of the UK, The Morning Star, the British are talking about setting up a military base in Belize.

Late last year, British Defiance Secretary Gavin Williamson told the Sunday Telegraph that he and was looking for new opportunities to expand Britain's "presence" in the Caribbean. The discussions for a location centered on Guyana and Montserrat.

A freedom of information request by the Morning Star supported by Guyana's Stabroek News quotes emails reveals that there has been little or no planning to build a barracks in Guyana or Montserrat - but there does appear to be a scheme to upgrade Britain's jungle warfare training camp in Belize.

The Morning Star reports, quote, "Amid the confusion, officials began to privately rule out a new base in Guyana or Montserrat, but predicted that Britain would upgrade its base in Belize." We asked the National security Minister about it today:

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"I read the article which you sent to me and as far as I am aware there has been no discussion about setting up a military base in Belize. What I do know is that the British are interested in increasing their training here in Belize. They are very satisfied with the terrain and the facilities and the assistance received from the BDF and so we can expect I believe in the next few months and years for them to continue to increase their training presence in Belize."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"If a conversation were to be broached, Belize being a sovereign nation in charge of its own defence, but yet having known vulnerabilities. Would the government of Belize be amenable or welcoming to such a proposal were it to be broached?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Given the current climate and the current claim with Guatemala, we have always welcomed some sort of defence guarantee from the British and certainly if that is in the form of the establishment of a base, I'm sure our government would give it positive consideration."

UK Minister of Defense Mark Lancaster visited Belize in September of last year to sign a revised Status of Forces Agreement - the first since 1994. That's the memorandum of understanding which allows BATSUB to remain in Belize. In October of 2015, BATSUB resumed its operations at full capacity after it had all but pulled out in 2011.

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