NO To ICJ: US Shows No Support For Belize. Why?
By: Paco Smith | Chairman | Belize Progressive Party
With Belizeans being unnecessarily placed in the untenable situation, by its elected officials, of being forced to choose as to whether or not to take Guatemala's unfounded claim to the ICJ under less-than-amenable conditions, I am keen to remain abreast of regional and hemispheric developments.
Let it be known that I am among the first to admit that situations concerning "territorial claims" and the like are, essentially unique, in and of themselves, yet I also give credence to the fact that elements such as: the prevailing international political economy, geo-politics and a very ominous thing known as the Monroe Doctrine, are all-too-salient.
Allow me to direct your attention to the following article, concerning the US's most recent pronouncement on the occasion of Guyana's 52nd anniversary of independence from the UK. Essentially, amid the ongoing territorial row between Venezuela and Guyana involving the former's claim to territory in the Essequibo Region of Guyana, the US took the opportunity to publicly reject Venezuela's claim by reaffirming Guyana's sovereignty fundamentally with all its territory, in-tact.
I invite you to stop and think for a moment why the US would choose to do such a thing? Let me refresh your memory concerning the three things I mentioned. These include: the prevailing international political economy, geo-politics and the Monroe Doctrine.
Concerning all three, I dare say there exists a critical, common denominator...that being the petroleum deposits that Uncle Sam so dearly covets, so much so to the extent that much of the economic distress currently being experienced in Venezuela can be equally attributed to the very same, aforementioned elements, as it is so often intentionally portrayed by the western media as the sole responsibility of President Maduro. In this day and age, we must be real and lend deeper analysis to these regional-existential matters and draw our own conclusions.
I bring this to the fore because I want Belizeans, both at home and abroad, to (1) take note of that which I just shared and (2) juxtapose Belize's situation concerning Guatemala and summarily pick sense from the nonsense. Have you ever wondered why is the US so very "quiet" on the matter of Guatemala's unprovoked aggression against Belizeans on the Sarstoon? Here's a hint. Once again, go back to the three elements I mentioned from the onset. If you are unaware of what I mean by "the Monroe Doctrine", I encourage you to review the following link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine- Yet, in layman's terms, it simply means that the US, since the administration of James Monroe, drew a line in the sand and basically told the European powers that it shall do as it pleases in the Western Hemisphere, so as to ensure the US's national interests remain first and foremost.
Bearing this in mind, given the level of US-based multinational investment in Guatemala versus that which exists in Belize, I trust you can discern why I believe the calls for Belize to take the matter of Guatemala's unfounded claim to the ICJ, is fool's gold.
At last check, Guyana is intent on taking their situation with Venezuela to the ICJ. Given the US's disrespect for the internal affairs of Venezuela, is it a surprise they have come out publicly, in support of Guyana's territorial integrity? Let it be known that the US did not make such a pronouncement by happenstance. Case in point...when the US speaks, even the international courts take note.
Additionally and more importantly, I draw your attention to a most telling section of the adjoining article (beginning with the fifth paragraph, through to the end) which states, "And it comes as no surprise that Pompeo issued such a firm statement because the US giant, ExxonMobil, has been awarded a lucrative oil deal after it discovered mega oil fields off Guyana’s Atlantic coast." This is testimony to just how convoluted such issues can prove, if one is not intent on questioning the prevailing, mainstream narrative.
With that said, Belizeans and true friends of Belize..both at home and abroad, do not be guilty of taking the GOB's misguided advice concerning the ICJ as gospel. The question as to whether or not Belize should place our territory on the chopping block at the international court is a matter of straightforward, common-sense. The risk is too high!
The bi-partisan FAILED "4A Policy" of: APPEASEMENT, ACQUIESCENCE, ADHERENCE and ACCOMMODATION reeks of inexplicable subterfuge and it is up to the people of this nation to tell them that we shall not gamble our territory at the ICJ.
The elements of: the prevailing international political economy, geo-politics and the Monroe Doctrine cannot be discounted, as these have shaped the course of history concerning the Caribbean and Latin America. The issue of the Anglo-Guatemalan Territorial Dispute, as it currently stands is yet another iteration of what has always existed...a fusion of those salient elements and their impact on the well-being (or otherwise) of our nation.
The time to save Belize is NOW...before we lose it and in order to ensure we do not gift any portion of our 8,867 square miles to the Guatemalans aka multi-national North American special interests, Belizeans must acknowledge that voting to take this matter to the ICJ, particularly under such parameters, shall never bring a definitive, nor a satisfactory settlement to the issue.
As my colleagues and I at the Belize Progressive Party - BPP have detailed for over a year now, there are viable alternatives by which to mitigate this matter. Yet it is clear for those who are willing to see, the political will does not exist, among those in positions of authority (on either side of the PUDP non-divide), to do what is in Belize's best interest. Therein lies the power of the people in that we must send a definitive signal to the powers-that-be, stating clearly, that we shall never place any portion of Belize up for grabs.
Therefore, do your due diligence, and please do not end up looking at the forest, meanwhile being guilty of not seeing the trees. Common sense is what is required because no: court case, judgment or out-dated legal opinion shall ever negate the unnecessary risk proponents of going to the ICJ are asking Belizeans to subject our nation to.
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