Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington gave potentially his last statement in that capacity at the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly in New York City this week.
His 19-minute address touched topics ranging from natural threats including climate change to activities happening in Belize at the local level. But it is what he said at the end that has Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) up in arms again.
After declaring support for Haiti and Guyana in their ongoing disputes and saying that the Caribbean is a “zone of peace,” he addresses the Belize-Guatemala issue in these terms: “Earlier this year, we signed a protocol to the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala, to submit Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim, to the International Court of Justice. We expect that this will facilitate and speed up the process to finally and definitively put an end to the unfounded claims that have plagued us and our regions for far too long.”
According to COLA, that leaves out any mention that the process is subject to a referendum in both countries, which it says is misleading and reckless.
In a press release issued near news time it hits out at the Foreign Minister for failing to use the opportunity to internationalize the claim, to make friends and make our case for not going to the ICJ.
It says the Minister is articulating the position of the Government of Belize and argues that this is a sell-out of the right to participate in a democracy and the uncompromising position that Belize, all 8,867 square miles of it, is ours.
It closes by saying, “Again, the Foreign Minister has betrayed us” and repeats its call for the base at Toledo to be built.
The PUP has also responded, repeating that it no longer trusted the current administration to uphold the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize without consulting Belizeans and that it does not support the holding of a referendum in Belize concerning going to the ICJ.
The PUP also says that it, quote, “will continue to work and internationalize the position of Belize to the unfounded and unjust Guatemalan claim to Belize and to ensure that we continue to safeguard all of the rights of Belize to all of its sovereign territory, and all insular and maritime areas and preserve them intact.” End quote.
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