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Mar 21, 2016

U.D.P. Whip Says Belize Should Have Gotten a Defense Guarantee from Britain

Michael Finnegan

Barring an official protocol governing the rules of engagement at the southern-most border of Belize, the Sarstoon, there seems little clarity on the situation there. Things came to a head just over a week ago when Guatemalan military came into Belizean waters in front of the Forward Operating Base and informed soldiers stationed there that they could not go into the Sarstoon. Belize sent an immediate protest note, and Guatemala immediately fired one back, denying any aggression but stating that they would continue to operate as normal in the Sarstoon which they have claimed as their own. It’s a tricky situation, but perception on the ground in Belize is that we are being bullied by Guatemala. Senior U.D.P. Minister Michael Finnegan agrees with the perception of bullying. He told News Five on Sunday that it’s because Belize failed to get any assurance of long-term or even permanent defense by Britain when our nation sought and achieved Independence.

 

Michael Finnegan, Area Representative, Mesopotamia

“Phillip Goldson said to this nation and to this country…when they were going for Independence – let us get a secure defence guarantee before we move into Independence. And he said to them…it is important to get a defence guarantee to deter the Guatemalans from Encroaching on our borders. That’s what he said many years ago. If you go to Independence without a secure defence guarantee, he said to this nation that this will happen….that the Guatemalans will encroach on our borders. He said that the Guatemalans will bully us in the Sarstoon and would bully us along the rest of our border. This is what Phillip Goldson said to us, but we were left…we took Independence or we were given Independence without a proper defence guarantee and the Guatemalans know that we don’t have the kind of defence guarantee that we need and they are trying to bully us. What I am worried about is that this will end up with confrontation…military confrontation in those waters and along our borders and I pray God that the government will do everything in terms of negotiation…in terms of going to the ICJ to avoid any kind of military confrontation.”

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1 Response for “U.D.P. Whip Says Belize Should Have Gotten a Defense Guarantee from Britain”

  1. Marie says:

    This is an issue before Belize got independence and now that no one really seems to have Belize back, Guatemala is bulling Belize again. I would believe that as a colony of Britain, the British would atleast say, we will support you of any treat, unfortunately, the Prime Minister past and present don’t care about the country because they can pack bags and leave the people there to face their fate.

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