What's Next in addressing the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute?
Paco Smith responds to a concerned Belizean: Mr. Phillip Bucknor asked - ""Mr. Smith, what do you believe is the appropriate course of action?"
Mr. Bucknor, my apologies for just getting back to your query, for given the high traffic of posts, this particular one somehow got lost in the shuffle.
In any event, in particular, following today's events in the Toledo District, let me attempt to surmise what I believe is the appropriate course of action.
Initially, I will say that in terms of your question, the response is two-fold, due to the fact there are, unfortunately, two-opposing sides, concerning this matter.
In terms of those who do not appreciate the dictatorial exploits of the Prime Minister, I believe the next step is to now organise a nationwide protest movement. The rationale underlying this derives from the fact that by way of the Prime Minister applying such a subversive application of the Public Safety Act, he intentionally impinged upon the rights of Belizeans to move freely throughout the entire length and breadth of this nation. Meanwhile, he did absolutely nothing to address the daily raping and pillaging of our marine resources in and along the Sarstoon River, by illegal Guatemalan fisher-folk, among other groups of people. Additionally, he failed to address the illegal occupation by GAF troops into our territorial waters. Of note, both of the aforementioned activities continue, unabated, meanwhile our security forces are being used to subjugate Belizeans, within Belizean territory. This is unquestionably inappropriate, on so many levels.
What GOB Should Do Now!
Now, concerning the perspective of the GOB, in the person of its "Head", Dean Oliver Barrow, I submit the appropriate action that should be undertaken is to (1) rescind the asinine regulations which are of concern, (2) submit to the fact that his "4A Policy" of: APPEASEMENT, ACQUIESCENCE, ACCOMMODATION and ADHERENCE is an abject FAILURE and endeavour to abandon it, in pursuit of a more assertive and nationalist rubric, (2) Inform the OAS and the Guatemalan Government that in keeping with the GOB's re-calibration of its Guatemala Policy, in light of the unmitigated Guatemalan aggression on various fronts (e.g. their annexation of the Sarstoon River, continued illegal activities in the Chiquibul National Forest, etc..) and shall therefore rescind the Compromis that was signed in 2008. (of note, since then, it has gone through two iterations on the behest of the Guatemalans and still has not yet been taken to our Senate for ratification and (3) Submit the matter of Guatemala's unfounded claim and increased, unprovoked aggression to the UN Security Council for determination.
With regard to (3), I believe this is the most prudent route, for by way of such submission, Belize would
preserve the stipulation under which we obtained independence with "all (our) territory in-tact". This is a noteworthy distinction from that which prevails in the Compromis in which the prospect of Belize potentially losing land in the event the case goes to the ICJ. Therein lies the crux of the matter concerning my staunch conviction that going to the ICJ is neither the sole, nor the most prudent means by which to address this matter of national significance. Buttressing this viewpoint is the reality of Guatemala's propensity to demonstrate outright disregard for any manner of agreement, coupled with the fact that the ICJ's track record of enforcing their judgments is less than stellar.
Therefore, by way of the two-differing perspectives, I submit what I view as the respective, appropriate courses of action, concern matters, at present.
I trust this explanation has shed some light concerning my viewpoint on the matter.
8867 Today 8867 Tomorrow 8867 Forever
Belize, Sovereign and Free - NO ICJ!"