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Former CEO for National Development says YES to the ICJ; former Mayor Zenaida Moya says NO

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Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2019. 8:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In an illustration of how divergent the views even of friends and (former) co-workers can be on the ICJ issue, former Mayor of Belize City and former economist in the Ministry of National Development, Zenaida Moya, and her former boss/CEO of the Ministry of National Development, Hugh O’Brien have taken opposite positions on Wednesday’s referendum.

Moya told us via telephone she advocates a no vote as a matter of history, personal belief and common sense, while O’Brien stated that he has been a yes vote for a long time and remains that way even though he thinks the no vote will win on Wednesday.

Moya did not say whether she is comfortable going against the United Democratic Party under which she served, but which she has had many disagreements with. She pointed us to an article by Dr. Gerald Zuniga, “To All the Brethren,” which he wrote earlier this week and which advocates that under Belize’s Constitution, the vote is improper and not constitutional as Belize’s boundaries are already defined and thus cannot be challenged.

Meanwhile O’Brien said that while he is not happy with the handling of the ICJ process by the Government; the isolation of the Opposition and dismantling of the bipartisan commission, and the subsequent politicization of the ICJ case by both parties, he prefers a peaceful solution to the dispute and the threat of escalated conflict. But he opined that a NO vote, which he expects on Wednesday, means the claim will not be solved in his lifetime.

O’Brien said he believes that with a yes vote our existing borders will be upheld by the ICJ. O’Brien also dismissed as “propaganda” any suggestion that a yes vote is a vote for Belize to become a part of Guatemala, attributing such a belief to the “failure of the education campaign and also the failure of the average Belizean for not clamoring or craving for information.” He also assured that he would fight, whether on the frontline or underground, if Guatemala was ever crazy enough to invade Belize.

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