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Dec 17, 2014

Is There Any Constitutional Constraint Against Implementation Of The Agreements?

Dean Barrow

Immediately following the signing of the agreements, Prime Minister Barrow responded to the P.U.P. position on the thirteen agreements with Guatemala.  He was quizzed by the media in Placencia on whether any constitutional constraint would interfere with the implementation of the agreements.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There might be legal questions, but I am saying that this does not in any way conflict with the constitutional requirement that any settlement with Guatemala go to a referendum. As I said this is a matter of modalities now that can provide for closer on the ground ties. To some extent, we have already started going down that road; we have the partial scope agreement and there are various others measures of cooperation that pre-exist. So I don’t see that there ought to be any reservations about what has happened here. I think that it really ought to be welcomed as truly representing a historic breakthrough in terms of the joining closer together of the two countries and in terms of what the president said, wanting to make clear that this helps to demonstrate what is the official position that Guatemala does not represent any threat to Belize.”

 

William Neal

“While the agreements right now are just the main bones, in terms of fleshing out to make sure that the nuances. How will that be handled to avoid the criticism of the Opposition for example and to not create some public kind of reservations?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well why not let us wait until people have seen the agreements so that in my view they might be disarmed? I understand that the press release of the Opposition can create some confusion. When people get a chance to look at the agreements, they will see that they do nothing more than provide for practical cooperation. There is nothing that Belize is giving away. These don’t represent heads of agreement; nothing of the sort. We had Ambassador Alexis Rosado, for example got a text message of warmest congratulations from Friends of Conversation and Development, who are ecstatic about certainly the agreement that deals with conservation of the environment. And I think to a greater or lesser degree, all the agreements will in fact elicit the satisfaction and pleasure of the Belizean people in terms of these agreements clearly being able to provide benefit for our country in economic terms, but as well politically, the fact that the signal certainly a willingness on the part of Guatemala to accept completely the reality of a separate, sovereign Belize. And their preparedness to cooperate with us on that basis to my mind signals a tremendous breakthrough.”

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