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Punta Gorda Should Be Declared The Capital Of Belize

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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019. 2:17 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Dr. Gerald Zuniga, Political Science Studies, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala &  Universidad Mariano Galvez, Guatemala City.

Punta Gorda Town is the most beautiful town of Belize without hurting susceptibilities. It is the highest coastal town in Belize and Barranco Village is the highest coastal village after travelling hundreds of miles along the coast from part of Mexico”s Caribbean Coast to the Sarstoon River. It is precisely on Guatemala’s Sarstoon side and all along the coast to Siete Altares, Livingston, that you see a sharp rise of this region of  Caribbean Coast to hundreds of feet which makes it picturesque and adventurous especially during the rough season; from Sarstoon to Punta Cocoli is nothing nice for the sizes of our vessels but our captains are very skillful.

Punta Gorda has the beautiful Caribbean Sea on the east, and lush mountain chains to the west. Many rivers and creeks, lush green forest, hospitable and welcoming people and I can go on and on. Punta Gorda Town is also the coastal town in Belize for serious real estate projects because it has less risk caused by climatic natural expressions and that could be expressed in lower premium by insurance companies. Building materials are also more accessible because of extraction from within the area. Less cost in this climate resilience issue. However, the Jacinto area needs urgent attention before the coming rainy season. The southern communities of Belize with all their picturesqueness are strategically abandoned by the State of Belize and Belize’s business communities for decades and without exaggerating for centuries. San Jose Village, Toledo is also a beautiful village and many others. Even if the State of Belize wouldn’t cared, the business community could have cared or should care but our native business community has been so temerous; afraid of taking risk. That fear has made those who are not afraid to take the risk, like the Mennonites, Indians and Chinese, eat away the pie. They will also eventually govern the country because with economic power comes political power. Rather they transferred most industries from the Toledo District area which was the first to have a sugar industry, rum industry, banana industry and rice industry among others. The actual rice mill of Big Falls, the only remaining is functioning below its capacity. These industries, though small, but they were industries. They want to blame the Guatemalan Claim for not developing the South. That is perfect baloney. I haven’t read any document where Guatemala tells or told the State of Belize don’t you ever dare develop the South of Belize; not explicit nor implicit. That is perfect nonsense! Crop! They need a scapegoat to justify their inefficiency and incompetence. It is mere negligence of State and the business community as I said earlier. No wonder they don’t care risking it at the ICJ because they have had an apathy for the South, anyway. There are four key actors that I observe using the scientific method that are responsible for the decades of debacle of Belize.

  1. The Governor General as Head of State
  2. The Prime Minister as head of government and guarantor of proper government policies but with erratic policies, instead.
  3. The International Community for not being guarantors of human development. and siding with the government rather than with the people.
  4. The voters for not rightfully using their voting power and choice.

Watch the myopic strategy of our government! They preferred to build a hospital in Corozal with Orange Walk  hospital and Chetumal nearby. Whiles those in P.G. must travel  about 101miles to get a somewhat tertiary level medical attention at the Southern Regional Hospital near Dangriga. Somewhat tertiary because it is understaffed and not fully equipped, intensive care is still a dream and as such, depending on your case you will be transferred to Western Regional or to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with also its shortcomings. Southern Regional Hospital should remain there for the people in that area. We need our own equipped tertiary hospital with the right personnel in quantity and expertise, in Punta Gorda or at least at the Dump Area for equidistance. We need our own hospital in the P.G. area! We need our hospital in the P.G.Area! The Punta Gorda Community Hospital is a little over 53 years now. I was the the first boy to be born there my mom always tells me. Two girls were born a few minutes before me. She never forgets. Since the hospital was new, for their inaguration there was a surprise and an inagural gift was made available to be given to the mother of the first child that was born. That hospital was first run by nuns for some years. That happened during those glorious years in Belize’s interpersonal relations history. They had a very good  p. r. Now it is the contrary, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health said it all in his recent declaration to the media about the death of the 11 months old baby at the Corozal Hospital. It is urgent that we recover good interpersonal relationship in our different sectors.

Having an efficient hospital in the Punta Gorda Area could attract people from different areas. There is what we call now medical tourism. A government with priorities that values human life could have considered such as priority rather than the highway to Caracol and Sarteneja, without taking away the rights of the people in those areas for a good access but I am sure that those inhabitants in those areas would agree with me that having a small population in our country, the saving of a life is more important than a road. THE PEOPLE IN AND OF BARRANCO VILLAGE ARE YEARNING AND HAS BEEN ASKING FOR AN ALLWEATHER ROAD FOR CENTURIES BUT IT REMAINS AS A DREAM. They even peacefully manifested in Belmopan last year asking for a trafficable road  but it fell on deaf ears. Then when the manifestation is violent, they quickly oppress and suppress the people with the police force and normally only so they listen to people’s cry. The road to Caracol is no doubt more important. Those millions of dollars could construct allweather road serving better the living Mayan communities of Southern Belize and hospitals. THAT ROAD WOULD SERVE BETTER THE LIVING MAYAS OF SAN JOSE VILLAGE, OTOXCHA VILLAGE AND MANY MANY LIVING MAYAN COMMUNITIES.  You remember the experiences of the teacher in Otoxcha Village which was on the news, Senator Elena Smith experienced it “personally in person”, having  a prime minister with some level of empathy could avoid such . Kudos to the teacher and many more who undergo the same! Kudos also to Senator Smith and the  journalist for her first hand experience! Hope they follow up with the situation. These living  communities having better access can also generate tourism  not only the defunct Mayas of Caracol. Monkey River Village also needs an allweather road. Do you remember when Monkey River had the category of a town. It was  Monkey River Town some years ago. Chronic myopic and erratic government policies forced the people to migrate. They had many farms in the area like mango, bananas, and citrus leaving little investment in the area because of our system of centralization. We need to decentralize and deconcentrate our country for faster developmentt. The people of the area knows want they need than a central government. A central government is to facilitate the budget for the project the communities need. Now Monkey River is having problems with sea erosion but no money to solve the problem. What a tragedy and irony!  These people are not asking for a highway rather an allweather road. For those who don’t know, the votes of the people of Barranco  in 1984 were instrumental for a UDP government after many years of governments headed by Mr. Price. That UDP  government is when the actual prime minister’s political carrer began whom along with the late Derek Aikman projected as promising politicians. Sadly, Mr. Barrow could  be declared as the worse prime minister in Belize’s actual history. He now turned his back and laugh at the Barranco people and many other communities. The people of Barranco will have to go back to their century old route of access ; the sea.  Thanks to a decade old apathic government. Ten years without a cohesive and pragmatic plan of government and far from its own ideology of the original UDP party.

The people of Sarteneja and the Caracol area have an allweather access but a life lost  because of no hospital is never recovered.  Others communities are equally Belizeans and it is within their human and constitutional rights for their government to attend to them. As I have said in my other articles that after an election, the prime minister heads the government for all Belizeans and not only those of his/her  party. What is the estimated tourism flow to Caracol? Who will benefit from that tourism flow, nationals or foreigners. Foreigners, I assume because WE HAVE A SYSTEM WHERE FOREIGNERS ARE FIRST AND BELIZEANS LAST.The Belize Tourism Board doesn’t even have a national tourism policy. Little do they know that economic growth is based on consumption. When you travel you consume. You exchange your money for someone’s goods or service. That leave money in that community and allows the community to grow. The Belize City Council should also foster city tourism. On Sunday there is no public transport. It shouldn’t be that way. Public transportation is a basic necessity in modern times. It should always be available for the people with low adquisition power, who can’t afford a taxi, to be able to go visit their sick at the hospitals, for example. Sunday should also be declared family day especially during the dry season. This would surely foster physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual development.  It would also foster social cohesion in a society that is leaning towards polarization. I was reading a brochure from the Belize Zoo and they say that they get no aid from the government of Belize but what more called my attention is when they say and I quote “We receive over 86,000 visitors annually, 13,000 of which are local students, parents, and teachers as part of dynamic on-site education programs.” Only 13,000 are nationals, that is, only 15% of Belizeans in general, visit our zoo and we only have one. That is poor statistics. There should be no school in Belize without having each of their students visiting the zoo. That is called first hand education. When you learn first hand noone can come tell you crop. I was so surprised to hear some high school students from either 1st or 2nd form, I won’t say the name of the institution, having an airy discussion in a public setting about an apple. Saying that an apple is dugged from under the tree while another  strongly defending her argument saying no you pull an apple off the tree. Both defending their arguments for a couple of minutes, until their other classmates said that yes you pull an apple off the tree. Hearing discussions like this even with the advent of internet is intriguing. We don’t grow apples here but allow the students to visit farms. They will also get an appreciation to farming while learning. The people in mid U.S. are wealthy thru farming while we here teach that it is dirty work and the Mennonites do it for us and they get rich while we remain poor. During my time at primary and high school we had many excursions to different areas, like the then Central Farm, Tower Hill Sugar Factory, the then Libertad Sugar Factory, Belize Flour Mill just to mention a few. Our PSE system is obsolete and archaic. It has led us to our underdevelopment. In my time, I had the highest PSE grade. However, neither PSE and CXC had and will be effective nor sufficient in modern living. It  also discriminates by way and affects self esteem because not having a CXC means you are slow or dull. There are individuals whose intectual development is a bit slow and become more intelligent than the one who possesses 10 CXC’s at a later stage or date. The exam is also bias because of cultural differences. CXC’s are universities entrance exams and many don’t get the opportunity to get there because they can’t afford it. Even if they have the CXC’s because scholarships are limited. Also most of the time those who benefit from scholarships are those who can afford the education, children of politicians, the politicians themselves, political affliliates or sympathizers and not necessarily those with the qualifications. It has also been debatable if a university should have an entrance exam, anyway. Some scholars say that instead of an entrance exam, there should be a placement exam. Entrance exams could also lend themselves to corruption like the case on the news of a famous artist and her children in the U.S. I had strayed away but our system has failed us so much and for so long that there is so much to write about and it seems like we haven’t found the right persons to fix it or even give us a sign of hope. Hope we see such in some manifestoes for the next general election They tend to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. They know that they don’t know yet they think they know and don’t seek the expertise of assesors and sink us into a dark cavern. Hopefull to see a vibrant Belize!

So it is true that we need better infrastructure but because of negligence of the State we need everything so prioritizing is important, saving lives has a higher priority. People pay taxes not a highway, unless if it tolled. A life saved is a taxpayer more. I always say we don’t have millions of people in Belize. Each person’s life in Belize should be cherished as diamonds. Whenever, the Prime Minister get sick he quickly leave the country for an illness that could be easily treated in Belize having the equipped  facilities and other suffering from the same would benefit. We got the know how. How is it difficult for our people to understand that a State function by taxes especially our States in this part of the world. More so, when they have socialist or leftist tendencies.  So surprising, however, that this actual UDP would have in mind nationalization. UDP was form on the platform of a center right party while the PUP center left. If the PUP would have nationalized, eventhough nationalization in this modern era is contraproductive, it wouldn’t have surprised because of the ideology of the party then. The UDP of the 80’s, when Mr. Barrow started politics was antinationalization and antiGuatemala. Now in 2019, it is totally the opposite; very peculiar.

So, if you get a heart attack or a stroke in the Toledo District, you and your family need to start praying some hundreds of Our Fathers and Hail Mary and also pray that the unequipped ambulance is functioning. What a mess! Now to put icing on the cake, the outburst of extreme violence in Punta Gorda. Extreme because the objective of the perpetrator or perpetrators is to kill. It is to physically eliminate someone. Yet with a hospital unequipped and no operating room, no surgeons, no anesthesiologist or anesthesician , no operating theatre staff, no ICU, etc. etc. As a matter of fact, God forbids, if we have a disaster here in Belize and we are hurricane and earthquake prone or of whatever kind of disaster with 20 seriously ill individuals that requires ICU attention. There is a guaranteed 50% casuality rate as of immediate because we don’t even have a facility to treat that amount of casualty. It is not even necessarily the type nor amount of injuries receive that matters. It is the promptness of the medical attention received and the preparedness of that hospital for the event or events. The state of Belize is responsible for most of our deaths in emergencies cases here in Belize either by omission or commission because of not having public ambulances available, trained rescue team, long distances to the immediate hospital (not strategically located), under staffed hospitals equipment  in poor condition or with poor or no maintenance, limited operatiing rooms, limited or no supplies including  blood products more so for rare blood types. Postoperative care is another issue of its own. This is scary especially with the new world tendency now of massive shoot outs at schools and on the streets. You see the mess we are in.

Added to this mess, is the mess of our own existence as a State and as a Nation. Suddenly, our Constitution is been torn and thrown into the garbage can or toilet paperized at its worst. A government whose constitutional responsibility is to govern for all Belizeans decided to campaign telling the people that they should risk their own existence as an individual, some are already without identification. A gross violation of any human being’s human and constitutional rights which is punible.  Also risking private properties when the State of Belize is organized according to our Constitution to protect private properties rather they want the ICJ to determine the fate of a people and their  private property. A court that has shown to have the tendency of appeasing the parties. Google the ICJ resolution on the Golf of Fonseca dispute. It was shared among the three nations El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This happened in their resolution of 1992.  We are not even talking about the cost in millions of going to the ICJ. If the majority decide that we grant the ICJ jurisdiction to solve this dispute because we were incompetent to reach an agreement when curiously we were never ask what to put on the table neither do we know what was on the table neither did our elected representatives to whom we delegated our sovereignty knew resulting in some vague and irresponsible agreements, decisions will have to be taken. There will be about 5 years of anxiety. Who knows how many will die from heart attack and stroke in our society that is plagued with cardiovascular diseases. THIS REFERENDUM APART FROM NOT FOLLOWING THE DUE PROCESS AND VIOLATORY OF OUR CONSTITUTION IN MANY AREAS THAT I HAVE DEALT WITH IN SOME OF MY PREVIOUS ARTICLES, IT ALSO VIOLATES OUR CONSTITUTION SINCE AS STATED IN OUR CONSTITUTION, WE ARE ORGANIZED AS A NATION FOR THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

This is in the preamble of our Constitution in paragraph (e). No individual can achieve HAPPINESS suffering from anxiety. Under no circumstance can it happens. On the contrary, anxiety brings a barage of illnesses with it. Some that are expensive to treat and with a health system in debacle we can expect the worse. All this violates our human rights as individuals and as a nation and the OMBUDSMAN should be given a safeguard defending the human rights of the Belizean people against an arbitrary decision of our government and against the Guatemalan government. Here is where the OAS and the UN should intervene because the UN is going against its own resolution granting us Independence on September 21st, 1981 with our territorial integrity of 8,867 sq. miles and defined borders. Now, suddenly we are like the Palestinian Territory. The Guatemalan oligarch don’t care because their interest is territory not us as a people. They don’t care neither do our negotiators care a biscuit that we suffer from anxiety neither the international community.

To minimize the risk in an eventual going to the ICJ, Punta Gorda should be declared the capital of Belize. There is no constitutional impediment avoiding this from happening, if there is the political will. This will and would surely be a deterent to any decision of the ICJ when appeasing Guatemala’s oligarch because I don’t think they would have the guts to give away our capital to appease anyone and we would safeguard the Stann Creek and the Cayo District. This is if their claim is from the Sibun to the Sarstoon which we don’t even know. We don’t know the scope of their claim. What a mess! All this takes us as idiots. However, Art. 19 Transitory of their Constitution says that their claim is on Belize and according to Schedule 1 of our Constitution, Belize is from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon River. It is also in our national anthem. So we can deduce that they are claiming the whole of Belize eventhough they say that it is from the Sibun to the Sarstoon that formed a part of the Verapaz. Verapaz as such was founded around the 1520’s after a fight between the Mayan along with some Black Africans who had come to that area as slaves and the Spaniards. The Spaniards later seduced them to peace in the name of the cross headed by Fray San Batolomé de las Casas. Hence, the name Verapaz (Verdadera Paz) or True Peace. Colonizing them in the name of religion and taking away their lands. There are still descendants of the eventual intermingling of the Mayan and the Black African which the Spaniards called Zamboes. Those descendants are still found in San Jeronimo, which along with Salamá  the actual main town was part of the Verapaz founded in 1562. but they divided into Alta y Baja Verapaz in 1877. Salamá being the main town of Baja Verapaz and Cobán being the main town of Alta Verapaz. Izabal, Peten, and Belize were also part of the Verapaz. Izabal separated from the Verapaz in 1825, shortly after their declaration of Independence in 1821, Peten in 1839, and Belize was granted to the British for exploitation by the Boundary Treaty of 1859. Before then, the Verapaz was bordered in the north by Yucatan and Tabasco of Mexico, in the east by the Caribbean Sea, and the west by Chiapas which was also part of the Kingdom of Guatemala all the way to part of the now Panama. It was one block of land called the Kingdom of Guatemala up  to 1821, when the Kingdom of Guatemala got its Independence from Spain and that is why the now Central American countries less Panama celebrate their Independence Day on September 15th. They were all one block known as the Kingdom of Guatemala. Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica later separated from the Kingdom in 1838 and El Salvador remained until it separated in 1842. In the 1500’s, there was a wave of colonizations in this region of the world in the name of the Spanish Crown and 300 years later in the 1800’s there was the big Independence Movement. The Kingdom of Guatemala declared its Independence from Spain. Spain wanted or wanted not. The Spanish colonization came and disrrupted the lifestyle of the people in this region and certainly not to the better. There was a group of native people living in Panama eating with utensils made of gold. The Spaniards eventually raked the riches of the region and took them back to Spain with the help of their pirates. This region of the world was infested with pirates serving the interest of different Crowns and the region of Yucatan and Belize was no exception. So Chiapas got its Independence in 1821 and decided later to annex itself to Mexico as it is today. A piece of land named Soconusco remained but Mexico invaded the area in 1842 and annexed it by force but the Expresident of Guatemala, Justo Rufino Barrios signed an agreement in1882 that definitely granted Chiapas and Soconusco to Mexico. So the Kingdom of Guatemala was huge of which obviously Belize was a part. Spain in some treaties allowed Britain to taste a piece of the pie. They allowed the British to exploit their interest which mainly wood and later chiclé. They started in the North including Yucatan. They eventually drifted down and as years went by they were extending there exploitation into Peten not honouring treaties signed. As a matter of fact , those who signed the treaties were not the ones on the ground, anyway. There came the Boundary Treaty of 1859 which delimited the area of exploitation of the British to a specific area and as a recompense a road  and other agreements. The argument of Guatemala is that they gave Britain permission to exploit but not to occupy. Now the question is why didn’t Kingdom of Guatemala administer Belize as they did Livingston, for example. An answer could be that the British were already present here ,called the area British Honduras, exploiting and they were already a superpower with the fall of the Spanish Power. The rest is history and here we are. It is obvious that the British and those who were with British interest in Belize had as their sole interest and mission only exploitation. Thank God it was only wood and chiclé and not gold. Proof of it, they left no legacy here and to  this date. Anyone can see the Spaniards legacy in Latin America  from Mexico to Argentina and in Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico of which they are proud of now and expose it to tourism. Here in Belize our forefathers created what we now have as heritage which we are jeopardizing in a referendum to the ICJ; dishonouring our forefathers..

However, GUATEMALA SHOULD ALSO RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT THE FACT OF THEIR ABANDONMENT OF BELIZE. Any abandonment has a cost and usually a high price. They dillied dallied but they eventually got a Belize negotiating team that formally legally updated their claim and with modern English. We would have expected and assumed that this team headed by whom had Palestine descendants would had made sure that Belize wouldn’t become like the Palestine Territory and Israel. Why don’t Israel and The Palestine Territory agree on going to the ICJ? Instead, our negotiators better equipped Guatemala to face the ICJ and with no challenges because their papers are like here you go; take it.

Nevertheless, in an eventual appeasement of the Guatemalan oligarch with Punta Gorda included, WE WILL NOT ALLOW THE ANNEXATION. We will immediately ask Guatemala for our Independence and we will make our territory the new Singapore. We will surely not allow ourselves to become refugees either as what Sedi said in one of his interviews on Channel 5. Surely, in others countries it would cost his post. We from the South of Belize are intelligent people and along with our ancestors, have been instrumental in the development of country Belize without the due recompense and recognition. As recompense we are being paid with jeooardizing our own existence. Belizeans forget that the Toledo Progressive Party of the 70’s and 80’s had that vision.

We will create a back to Toledo movement inviting our diaspora back home and they are many, by the way. All forced to migrate because of the decades long strategic failure of our prime ministers to create jobs and opportunities in that area of Belize and in Belize as a whole.

Create our own education system with universities with emphasis on science, engineering, and technology for our quick development.

Create strategic interinstitutional exchange of staff and last year students nationally and internationally with strategic institutions.

 Have a national budget based on real economic activities.

 Have our own defense and security system.

Teachers, police, soldiers, doctors and nurses will be justfully paid and educated.

Preventive medicine will be the mainstay. Doctors will visit and treat patients at home when and where necessary. Our hospitals will be top notch with the healthcare of your choice: conventional and natural medicine.

Swimming, first aid, yoga, sports, and self defense will be compulsory from preschool.

Nurseries with early stimulation for working mothers and families will be made available

Home tutoring by skilled retirees, also.

 Retirement age at age 65 with access to healthy programmes like yoga, pilates, tai chi, healthy meals and homecare where and when needed.

 Emphasis on healthy family practices, social cohesion, and respect for the elderlies.

Zero tolerance to joblessness, loitering, and environmental littering and pollution.

Agroindustries and manufactering industries for exportation.

Assure our food security in quality and quantity.

Create our own infrastructure with 4 lanes as minimum and overpasses where necessary because later they would cost more, anyway. Roundabouts are short term, obstruct traffic, and challenges to drivers especially the poorly constructed ones we have in Belize, zero engineering skills.

A suprastructure with division of powers, and a Constitution based on individual freedoms and human rights. Scholars in key post, ministers appointed based on knowledge and will to carry out policies of development, representatives representing the interest of the majority not the minority. A Constitution for us to achieve true happiness understanding the true essence of our existence  as human beings of love and respect. Zero tolerance to nepotism: fostering meritocracy.

Sustainable use of our resources. Exploitation with conservation understanding that climate change is the Earth’s natural process and mitigate its impacts. We have the most abundant water source in the whole of Belize and will use it in the best of our interest. Israel harvest fish, fruits, and vegetables from deserts. What wouldn’t we not be able to do with our water source.

We would construct our own international airport and seaport with and to international standards. We have the deepest seahore bed in Belize, anyway. Guatemala’s Puerto Santo Tomas is already functioning to its maximum. Orange Point, Punta Gorda would be a strategic point for such.

We will welcome foreign investments with tax exemptions on heavy duty machineries and a 2 year tax exemption grace period jobs being created.

 We will make strategic alliances with the people from Peten, Izabal, the Guatemalan people in general to foster fair trade and cultural exchanges also with part of Honduras, which we have been doing for centuries. 

We would negotiate a dry canal with Guatemala for trade from China and the Far East benefitting us regionally and Eastern United States and the Nothern Caribbean.

Implement a foreign policy and international relations with nations who respect individual fredoms and a just marketplace economy.

Nothing utopic here, all is achievable. We must have a plan and won’t be like Britain with its Brexit. Presently, with the actual  government , we gave about a referendum but no plan post referendum whether it be a No or Yes vote. And if Yes, we will be living with uncertainty until the ICJ’s resolution. More calvary than the Guatemalan claim itself. We will not allow ourselves to be annexed to Guatemala because Guatemala doesn’t even have the budget to finance and maintain any annexation. ALSO, WE WOULD CHARGE THE STATE OF GUATEMALA A HIGH PRICE  FOR REPARATION FOR CENTURIES OF ABANDONMENT.  It is like the typical negligent father that abandon his children when young and appears when they are grown up and says my children. Ironically, Guatemala has a claim over Belize and can’t finance their referendum. According to bews sources their referundum was financed by tge international community at a cost of $40,000,000USD and Belize’s about $5,000,000USD. How will our nations pay back that money? What are the conditions? If is a grant and from Europe, which European country or countries have money to give away when they don’t have the best economy and they need to pay for their security to the OTAN as demanded by President Trump? Aren’t they seeking something in return or they are us “sorry” for us?

Guatemala never respected Art. 19 Transitory of their Constitution. Neither do they have a special clause in their Constitution in regards to nationality for Belizeans. Rather we are considered as Central American, no preference. However, the Central Americans gave a cedula allowing them to enter any Central American less Panama freely. We as Belizeans don’t have such cedula. Guatemala budget has deficits and can barely maintain their own territory and public administration. Guatemala’s budget is highly financed by remittances. Some of that remittances come from Belize itself. I INSIST THAT THIS CLAIM IS MERE CAPRICHOUSNESS OF GUATEMALA’S OLIGARCH AN A FEW ULTRA’S AND NOT OF THE GUATEMALAN PEOPLE AND IT HAS ALSO PRESCRIBED. They  won’t accept the prescription of their claim because this claim has become a matter of pride and ego to some especially to those that have the school of thought that General and Expresident Justo Rufino Barrios was a traitor allowing the annexation of Chiapas and Soconusco and they fear the same of Belize. Our youngsters would tell Guatemala, you sleep up, brethren and the Guatemalan has their famous saying “Camaron que se duerme pescado que se le come.”  Guatemala slept up for centuries and we should not pay the price.  Remember also, that the Guatemalan oligarch is the vestige of the Spaniards colonizers. This oligarchy is dated long before 1821, before their declaration of Independence. Their Declaration of Independence was a rebellion of the same oligarch against Spain not to pay taxes. The children of this oligarch carried on that claim based on honoring pride, personal ego, and territorial interest forgetting that expansionism in the world is not the go. However, we can’t turn our heads on the fact that Britain also for centuries didn’t honour their treaties with neither Spain nor Guatemala rather played the strategy of a bully and play the fool to catch the wise type of thing and have us now in this deep cavern. The Guatemalan people in their majority are hospitable people. They are known to be most hospitable people in Central American. Proof of it, it is the  most cosmopolitan society in Central America; despite of its 36 years of nondeclared civil war. The Guatemalan people in their majority recognized the existence of Belize as an independent, sovereign nation, with its rights for self determination. Hence, 73.35% didn’t vote in their referendum. Also expresident Jorge Serrano Ellias had  recognized the self determination and independence of Belize from the early 90’s. That important recognization was and is totally ignored by Belize’s negotiators and politicians. How many years ago! Yet we recklessly have legalized the claim of this oligarch and as icing on the cake our governments past and present want us to have a referendum obliging us to a yes vote with the minimal level of patriotism and nationalism. Not even asking us, they are telling us to vote, yes. Forgetting that the hallmark of our Constitution is freedom and that we are not living in Cuba. It isn’t even a consulting referendum. They are obliging us and binding us instead of asking us if we are willing to grant our jurisdiction to the ICJ. This raises an issue of a suspicion of a conspiracy and we should ask President Trump’s government to declassify any and all information in regards to the Belize/Guatemala negotiation talks even beforing going to a referendum.

Hope the court will respond positively to the request of our sovereign representatives who filed an injunction against the Compromi and Referendum Act and we press the brakes and take a new and different approach to this claim. Guatemala must recognize that their claim has prescribed and we as a nation has the right to our self determination and live in peace as good neighbours. Hence, we have diplomatic relations. Otherwise, it has to be written in the Guinness Book of Records that we have diplomatic ties with countries and we are not a country. Any new negotiation with Guatemala must be with the argument that their claim has prescribed dued to their violation of Article 19 Transitory of their own Constitution on the grounds of centuries of abandonment and that negotiations are based on the international relations principles of good neighbours, the economic principles of a marketplace economy and to strengthen our sociocultural heritages shared by both countries. The injunction should be granted. Noone nor agreement is above our Constitution. International Public Law is not above Consitutional Law , unless in regards to human rights. So no agreement trumps our Constitution. More so, when the agreement violates our Constitution in itself. The agreement has no life of its rather be declared nulo ipse jyre. That is, null and void. Those agreement didn’t follow the due process and violate the Constitution. The Guatemalan Referendum Act also violated their Constitution. Art. 19 Transitory of their Constitution is crystal clear on how their referendum with Belize should be solved and it is blatantly violated. Eversince that new Constitution of 1984 has come to life, there has been a constant violation of it despite that they have a Constitutional Court. Belize is no exception, anyway. Our Judiciary now has the golden opportunity to revert that tendency. OUR JUDICIARY IS THE GUARANTOR OF THE CONSTITUTION OF BELIZE. I believe that they jealously guard it in a physical vault and the vault of their hearts.

Long live Belize with its territorial integrity of 8,867 sq. miles!!!!

Que viva Belize con su territorio integro de 8,767 millas cuadradas!!!!

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