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Oct 30, 2014

US Southcom Issues Ultimatum on Hunting Caye F.O.B.

On October ninth, the construction of the Coast Guard’s forward operating base on Hunting Caye came to an abrupt stop. Following public outrage and outcry at the news that a Guatemalan company using Guatemalan workers was building the military facility, U.S. Southcom issued the stop order. In the days following that order, the Coast Guard told the media that they had met with their U.S. counterparts and were discussing a way forward. There was every indication that the relationship between the U.S. and Belize had not been fractured. But at a press conference called by the Ministry of National Security today, there are other indications. According to Minister John Saldivar, the U.S. has now handed them a ‘take it or do it yourself’ scenario.  

 

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

John Saldivar

“We have been advised by the US Army Corp of Engineers that at this point there are only two options for Belize. One, that the construction of the forward operating base continues under the existing contractual arrangements with BINARQ and no change in their workforce configuration. Option two is for the government of Belize to complete the construction of the forward operating base. These two options were presented to Cabinet on Tuesday by my ministry and Cabinet has made a decision to go with option two which is for the government of Belize to continue and complete the construction of the forward operating base.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I’ve been told that the cost of completing the forward operating base is one point six million dollars—a cost that government will gladly assume in the context of our determination to demonstrate to the people of this country that we are both willing and able to stand on our own feet. I want to be perfectly clear that decision is not in any sense meant to be a rebuke to the United States of America. The fact is that in contracting with the Guatemalans, they did what the agreement side by the last administration perfectly entitled them to do. So there can be no quarrel with them. But in the context of the fallout from the disclosure made as to the fact of this Guatemalan company being the contractor, the context of the outpouring of nationalist sentiment—which of course is something that this particular government is always anxious to encourage—I am perfectly happy with the decision of Cabinet.”

 

Following that Cabinet decision, G.O.B. has been contacted with the information that BINARQ may be open to compromise, which would entail that company hiring Belizean labour. If those talks proceed, the matter will be taken back to Cabinet.

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7 Responses for “US Southcom Issues Ultimatum on Hunting Caye F.O.B.”

  1. kmh says:

    About time Belize started paying for its own projects instead of relying on outsider “donations” all the time. We say we are a sovereign nation and want to be respected as such, yet we constantly solicit funds from other countries for projects we ourselves should be doing anyway. Maybe there will be less chance for squandering of government money if it actually has to go to building things and buying things. Belize has been independent long enough, Time to stand on our own feet and show the world we are not poor little dependent colonial mindset people anymore.

  2. Sammy says:

    CH 5, I think your question* has been answered.

    *Will there be repercussions for the PM dissing Secretary Kerry?

    All peoples on this earth are the same, in spite of claims and assurances that they are noble. Humans love revenge. It is sweet. It is grounded in the reptilian part of the brain.

  3. CEO says:

    This is the way you will be treated by others when you are not respected in other parts of the world. The US would never have made this type of deal if it was them. Typical American mentality; it’s our way or the highway!

  4. Avery says:

    Kerry will be gone soon enough. I just hope that he is replaced by someone who respects Sovereignty. Obama wasn’t only the choice of Americans but in polls conducted throughout the world (which I do oppose on the basis of sovereignty) he was the choices of most foreigners even though they couldn’t vote. I am guessing that was the same for Belize. If it wasn’t then I guess this doesn’t apply to Belize but I have no sympathy for people who supported Obama who now complain about how he is running America.

    I do find it interesting how progressives/leftists/Liberals say that they are the ones who are sensitive to people from other countries but when they get in power they sure don’t act out this sensitivity do they?

  5. Avery says:

    A bigger threat to your sovereignty is your membership in CARICOM. They actually believe they can change your laws for you. When any country submit their laws for review and revision to a foreign group, by definition that country no longer has sovereignty.

  6. Steve says:

    F#*k the contract. Belizeans can lay bricks as good as any Guat! The existing work has probably been wired to explode anyway…

  7. Steve D says:

    Screw the Guat contract. We’ve got people capable of laying bricks & roofing. Whole things probably either boobytrapped or wiretapped.

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