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Oct 3, 2014

Hunting Caye F.O.B. Under Fire

In the wake of significant unrest and public outrage towards Guatemala, the news that the Coast Guard’s forward operating base on Hunting Caye is being built by Guatemalans has likely become the proverbial straw. So much so that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has lashed out at the US government which is funding that facility. Like the memo about Caracol, the construction of the base by Guatemalans took Belizeans completely off guard, and the truth is that the news broke at the worst possible time. There is no issue which galvanizes Belizeans as much as the Guatemalan claim to our territory does. Still, emotion aside, there is the very real and valid national security concern, voiced in the House of Representatives by the P.U.P. leader and echoed by the government side.

 

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

Francis Fonseca

“We are building some facility out at Hunting Caye, the Coast Guard, I don’t know if it’s a headquarters or some other facility for the Coast Guard, and he is saying that he went out there personally and the contract to build this Coast Guard facility is held by Guatemalans, a Guatemalan company and every single worker there is a Guatemalan national. The Guatemalan company and Guatemalan workers building our Coast Guard facility – man there must be some national security risk in that taking place. Somebody has to be awake, man, somebody has to be awake. We can’t all be sleeping over there in government.”

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“That forward operating base is being gifted to us by the United States government. They have their own bidding processes that we must respect. And though we are not comfortable with the fact that a Guatemalan company is doing the construction, the question has to be whether we would look a gift horse in the mouth, and give up a much needed forward operating base from which to do the very same security activities which we all know are so important to the security of our nation.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I had no knowledge that in fact it is a Guatemalan company that is constructing the forward operating base. Minister said we don’t easily look a gift horse in the mouth, but you know there is a degree of insensitivity. I don’t want to be critical but there is a degree of insensitivity in terms of those who are gifting us this forward operating base in contracting Guatemalan contractors. I have a difficulty with that.”

 

The company contracted by the US is Binarq, which is registered in Guatemala. News Five has made an official request for comment from the US Embassy. We’ll let you know if we get one.

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5 Responses for “Hunting Caye F.O.B. Under Fire”

  1. Ali Babarrow's Belize says:

    Salamander and Ali should tell the truth.

    They sold the country of Belize to Guats a few years ago.

    Senile Sedi can’t remember that deal, but who cars?

  2. Ali Babarrow's Belize says:

    What non crooked UDP construction company could do the deal?

    They are still busy building the Dangriga market.

    They are over budget and need more money and ideas.tmta

  3. punkgial says:

    Yes, the Americans did the bidding,but GOB have a say because it is being built in Belize not in the USA and furthermore I do not think that the Americans will allow that Al-Qaeda get a contract to construct an embassy in Iraq.

  4. Al says:

    Still, don’t you need work permit to work in belize? therefore the labour department issued this, knowing full well that its all guatemala, but has no problem with it. Then again, can we blame the US government for making sure they get their monies worth? After all, with the government crony contractors, they have so much in scandal and outright thievery, not even i would want to hire them for anything.

  5. Francois says:

    There was once a city named Troy which stood under siege from the Greeks for 10 years. Those Greeks appeared to be leaving Troy in peace having not been able to break down its sturdy walls. However, while only appearing to leave, they gifted a large wooden horse to the Trojans as a supposed parting gift. The Trojans foolishly took this gift horse inside their city walls that day without looking ‘into its mouth’. That very night 50 Greek soldiers alighted from inside that gift horse to throw open the city gates after the Trojan ‘victory party’ put its defenders to sleep, and the main Greek army fell upon the previously impregnable city of Troy, consigning this place to the dustbin of history. Think of Belize as Troy, and the Guats as today’s Greeks. The Americans appear to have consigned Belize to Guat satellite status, i.e. the 23rd Department.

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