Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018. 9:50 am CST.
By BBN Staff:Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has blamed the media for twisting his words and presenting his comments out of context to former Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, on the possibility of Guatemala invading Belize in the event that Belizeans vote ‘No’ to taking the territorial claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Several weeks ago, Elrington told the media that if Belize were to vote no, there was a possibility that Guatemala would invade Belize. Following his statements, Prime Minister Dean Barrow denounced the comments as ‘fear mongering’ and said such tactics should not be used to try to force Belizeans to vote yes. Barrow said he believed that doing so would only backfire.
Last week, members of the Belizean media including BBN were in Guatemala speaking with government officials, members of civil society and citizens on the ICJ issue. The media also met with former Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister, Morales who was surprised to hear Elrington’s comments. Morales told the media that he did not believe Elrington made such a comment.
According to Morales, Guatemala has many issues that need to be dealt with including poverty and said invading Belize is not high on Guatemala’s list of things to do. This week, however, Elrington disputed his own comments with the media, instead blaming the press for taking his words out of context.
During his interview, Elrington went back and forth with Channel 7 News Director, Jules Vasquez about the difference between the words ‘risk’ and ‘possibility’. Elrington says he said there is a possibility that Guatemala may invade if we vote ‘No’ but says he never said there was a risk that Guatemala would invade. As if that weren’t confusing enough, Elrington also went on a tirade about the way the question was presented to Morales stopping just short of calling the interview ‘fake news’.
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