• Paco Smith | Chairman | BPP

GOB Complacency, Rather Complicity, Amid Guatemala's Unprovoked Aggression

Paco Smith | Chairman | BPP

With the overabundance of chicanery being promulgated by the various enemies to Belize's territorial integrity, sovereignty and overall well-being, who include: the PUDP, the OAS and the Government of Guatemala, I sincerely hope that Belizeans are not only making note, but are also setting aside their inherent political biases via taking a sober look at the status of matters afoot.

Make no ghost fool you, the meeting recently attended by the Foreign Minister and his Guatemalan counterpart in Turkey, was nothing more than an attempt to beg for funds to maintain the ever-so-ineffective OAS office at the so-called adjacency zone - http://lovefm.com/2016/05/27/turkey-commits-funds-to-the-oas-peace-fund-for-belize-and-guatemala/ That office as well as the OAS's involvement has clearly proven biased in favour of Guatemala and that translates into it being of no good toward engendering confidence and even worse insofar as Belize's best interestn is concerned. After all, Belize is not claiming anything from, nor any part of Guatemala. Furthermore, Guatemala has steadily increased its intransigence via unprovoked aggression, to the point where they have annexed Belize’s side of the Sartsoon River - http://lovefm.com/2016/03/23/guatemala-tells-caricom-sarstoon-river-is-theirs/ Yet, the OAS does not see fit to reprimand the Guatemalans in any form or fashion. Instead they continue to countenance the Guatemalan’s disrespect for agreements and international law, under the guise of working toward a peaceful solution.

In yet another example of the demagoguery that is at play in Belize, the gathering attended by the Speaker of the House, in Nicaragua, was not only a farce, but also a waste of time, for within his capacity albeit he presides over the sitting of Belize’s House of Representatives, he holds no tangible, lawmaking powers, particularly when it comes to signing external agreements. In effect, his trip was tantamount to that of a PR jaunt, because nothing substantive was derived concerning the matter. The occasion was dubbed, “the signing of a Declaration of Peace” - http://lovefm.com/2016/05/20/belize-and-guatemala-sign-declaration-of-peace-in-managua/ complete with the obligatory promise from the Guatemalans to 'play by the rules'. Yet, for anyone who has even an iota of what the Guatemalan diplomatic strategy entails, they know for certain, that the Guatemalan’s agreeing to something and actually honouring it, are two completely different things! Hence, the moniker of being “Serial Agreement Breakers” is quite befitting of the Government of Guatemala.

In both instances, the Dean Barrow administration, along with their friends in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, persist in doing whatever they can to push their FAILED, bipartisan "4A Policy" of: APPEASEMENT, ACQUIESCENCE, ACCOMMODATION and ADHERENCE.. I liken both of the aforementioned occurrences to that of "window dressings", for to the un-attuned among us, both appear good. But to those who know the dangerous games our elected officials are playing, it is an affront to the intelligence of the Belizean people.

Case in point, following the meeting in Turkey, despite assurances that a protocol would be worked out for the Sarstoon and that Belizeans could, once again traverse our side of the river, upon attempting to exercise that inalienable right, members of Belize’s media were summarily stopped by Guatemalan Armed Forces, on Belize’s side of the river! - https://www.facebook.com/notes/news-5-live/you-are-in-national-waters-you-need-to-leave-now-guatemalan-military-to-news-5-t/944058622381676 Chief among the many disturbing aspects of the situation was to hear the Prime Minster continue to be unrealistic in terms of the mentality and resolve of the Guatemalans concerning this matter. Indeed, he expressed his concern, but the fact remains that after so many instances of Guatemala’s deception and inflexibility, one would think that, by now, PM Barrow would have become wise to their modus operandi. One cannot help but hearken back to when Guatemala’s current president, Jimmy Morales was elected on the promise that he would “regain the territory of Belize (for Gutemala)” and Belize’s Prime Minister referred to him as being a “neophyte”, concerning matters of diplomatic relations -http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=34122&frmsrch=1 In my humble opinion, since taking office, the administration of Guatemala’s new president has subsequently run circles around the Barrow administration, as it relates to their efforts, via the diplomatic realm, to put forth their case. In effect, while Barrow and his band of minions persist in playing checkers, the Guatemalans are certainly playing a decisive game of chess. As much as it pains me to see the incompetence and ineptitude of the GOB concerning this matter of national significance, I must concede that no-one in such an influential position should be so out of touch with reality. Hence the notion of a Fifth Columnist orientation within the GOB is not far-fetched.

On several occasions, the Dean Barrow administration has fundamentally acquiesced to the demands of the Guatemalans, meanwhile the OAS sits idly by and does absolutely nothing! If I were to provide examples, I could continue almost indefinitely. Yet among the most recent involved the case of a Belizean Mennonite farmer, Roger Plett, who was abducted from his farm in western Spanish Lookout (Belize), by elements of the Guatemalan military and taken across the border. Needless to say, had it not been for his keen-quick thinking of presenting himself as a Canadian Citizen, I shudder to think what may have become of him. As a result, he was released and allowed to return to Belize. Even more disturbing is the fact that no less than both CEOs in Belize’s Ministries of National Security and Foreign Affairs, during their joint press conference had, on full display, that which defines the GOB’s “4A Policy”, at the micro-level, to a “t”, which is fundamentally, what I refer to as their “4I Approach” of: INEPTITUDE, IMPOTENCE, INADEQUACY and INCAPABILITY”. It was shameful, as neither appeared aware of fundamentally: (1) what transpired, (2) what actions had been taken by the security forces, nor (3) what were the facts on the ground. - http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/129282 Unfortunately, it was akin to watching a portrayal of keystone cops, for the lack of a better description. Yet beyond that is the woeful fact that the authorities casted doubt on Mr. Plett’s rendition of the ordeal - http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/129278 So disconcerting was the matter that at one point it was revealed, by the press, that local authorities were contemplating charging Mr. Plett’s worker, for what they referred to as “a mischievous act”. Hence, again, I assert that the notion of a Fifth Columnist element is not altogether implausible.

Last week, during the Belize National Teacher’s Union's "Stand Up for Belize" information session held in Orange Walk Town, none other than a high ranking representative from the International Boundaries Commission (ICB), which is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a blatant lie, concering the status as to whether the Special Agreement/Compromis, signed with Guatemala in 2008, had already been ratified by the Senate - http://www.belizeprogressiveparty.org/#!PRESS-RELEASE-BPP-Raises-Concern-Over-Assertion-Regarding-Ratification-of-Compromis/dbouw/574718b20cf2b585410dfa5e Thankfully, as a result of the due diligence of the Belize Progressive Party - BPP, the rumour that it was already ratified, was summarily dispelled. Thus making it clear that the government’s singular narrative which espouses that Belizeans should vote to go to the ICJ, is but a ruse. Belizeans must not be mislead on such a significant issue.

Testimony to the egregious “4A Policy” of the GOB, during another session of the BNTU’s “Stand Up for Belize” information sessions, this time in Dangriga, a representative of the Ministry of National Security admitted the government is giving serious consideration toward amending Belize’s Referendum Act, to lower the threshold. Most distressing is the fact that it is on the behest of Guatemala. This inevitably is a move with the intent to increase the chances of a “yes” vote to the ICJ, via referendum - http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=35695&frmsrch=1 Belizeans and true friends of Belize, we can ill-afford to lose more of our country, due to our conditioning of being dependent on the perceived wisdom of those whom we have voted into office. We can no longer afford to be gullible. The time is now, to embrace the new political consciousness that: embraces the Rule of Law, rejects the indisputably corrupt PUDP paradigm and puts nothing, save for the Almighty, before that which is in the best interest of our beloved nation of Belize.

With all that has been exposed, as to the subterfuge that is being proffered by the powers that be, I pray that Belizeans both at home and abroad, from all walks of life, are beginning to see the truth. There is an alternative to going to the ICJ and despite the near complete, local media blackout of this fact, the Belize Progressive Party - BPP continues in its quest to attune the citizenry. With that I encourage you to continue to do that which is necessary to become increasingly attuned and trust that you shall surmise that in the best interest of our nation, we must: (1) say "NO to the ICJ!", (2) demand the GOB rescind the Compromis and (3) amid the breach of the peace, brought on by Guatemala’s unprovoked hostility, in keeping with Article 39 of the UN Charter, take this matter to the UN Security Council. Failure to do so, would be tantamount to giving-in to demands and blatant acts of aggression by those who clearly do not have Belize and Belizean's best interests at heart. As an emerging nation in both CARICOM and Central America, with intent to be a world leader in sustainable development, such an abrogation, by the people of Belize would prove beyond tragic.

Paco Smith Chairman

Belize Progressive Party

8867 Today 8867 Tomorrow 8867 Forever

Belize, Sovereign and Free - NO ICJ!

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