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Mar 16, 2016

Minister of Education Weighs in on Sarstoon Flare Up

Patrick Faber

One government official who is known not to mince words is Minister of Education Patrick Faber. He weighed in on the Sarstoon incident, telling the media today that Belizeans should be concerned and patriotism by civilians ought to be applauded. But there are more successful ways to solve the issues with Guatemala in the south. 

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I think all Belizeans need to be concerned indeed and I want to make it crystal clear because there are people who are purposefully trying to muddy the waters; that the Belizean government and the Belizean Defense Force, the police and the coastguard of course take these matters very seriously. Now, what we might not agree on is how do we advance our opposition to what the Guatemalans are doing and you know that there are certain groups especially the group led by Wil Maheia that try to take matters into their own hands. And I applaud all patriotic Belizeans, but I think an element of being willing to stand up and even die for your country is to be applauded. But of course there are other mechanisms that has proven over time to be far more successful at solving these issues and so what is happening in Washington at the O.A.S. headquarters and so on; is to me a good way of trying to resolve these problems. We are not to take anything that the Guatemalans issued but there are proper ways of solving it. But to me it was crystal clear as well after hearing all that transpired over time, you know that I visited the Sarstoon and Cadenas with the military forces of Belize and in fact we saw the Guatemalan military right there and there was point in that trip and I was right there that General Jones went across to sit a while with the general over in Guatemala so that sort of cordial relationship certainly existed up until very recently so all those who are saying that the territorial volunteers who have gone down there, that there have not been a factor in stirring the mud so to speak with what is happening at the Sarstoon would be wrong. And our position has always been in our Foreign Minster’s position especially; that while it is that we are not going to give up not an inch, not a centimeter of Belize. There are some situations that we should avoid and now that the Guatemalans have taken that stance, it is clear to see that it is because of that kind of agitation that readily could have been avoided and also the discussions about solving the dispute in its entirely could continue according to the compris that of course exist and as long as that dialogue is in; let us not try to create the kind of incidents that will see a deterioration in the relationship that is there now.”

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