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Dec 17, 2014

P.U.P. Says Belizeans Should Have Been Consulted In Bilateral Agreements

Francis Fonseca

As we said, the Opposition is not on board with the agreements. The P.U.P. issued a release earlier acknowledged that the opposition has participated in the bilateral discussions and negotiations, but that consultations should have been taken place before any agreement could be penned. The P.U.P. says that it “takes the position that because of the unjust and unfounded claim of Guatemala to Belizean territory, any bilateral Agreement between Belize and Guatemala should have been made known to Belizeans and discussed prior being finalized and signed.”

 

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“We expressed concerns about bilateral agreements that are going to be signed today between the government of Belize and the government of Guatemala. Over the past few months, Belize and Guatemala have been engaged in discussions and negotiations surrounding these bilateral agreements. The P.U.P. through my representative, Senator Lisa Shoman, has been involved in the process of discussing and negotiating those agreements. But our participation in that process has always been on the basis that those agreements will be made public; that the Belizean people would be consulted and those agreements will be disclosed to the Belizean people. I believe there are fifteen agreements and thirteen of them will be signed today in Placencia between Belize and Guatemala in the presence of the O.A.S.  Now many of these agreements we believe are agreements that we can support and the Belizean people can and should support, but we believe that on principle when we are dealing with Guatemala—a country that holds an unjust and unfounded claim against our country—we believe that any agreement that is signed between Belize and Guatemala should be disclosed to the Belizean people. And that is the position of the P.U.P. and we made that very clear to the government. If these agreements were disclosed then we would be in a position to support them. But that has not been done. And in fact, if it were not for our release today, the Belizean people would not have known that these agreements are being signed in Placencia today between Belize and Guatemala. So we believe that it is a profoundly important issue and we have an obligation and a duty to raise this issue and to bring it to the attention of the Belizean people.”

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