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May 3, 2016

Briceño says Bipartisan Approach to Guatemalan Dispute has been Lost

John Briceño

You have heard the Prime Minister say there was no time to invite the representative of People’s United Party to the discussions to be held by Minister Elrington in Washington. The P.U.P. says there have been other recent instances where the opposition has been left out which signals that the long established bipartisan approach to the Guatemalan dispute has been lost by government’s unilateral actions. 

 

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“On the first one what we are saying is that we believe it is an unjust law, the Sarstoon law, we in effect are preventing citizens to go in an area that clearly belongs to us as Belizeans and what in effect the government has done for the next thirty days is that preventing us from going there yet the Guatemalans have unimpeded access to the entire Sarstoon island and the river even on the section that clearly belongs to Belize. Secondly: Where I believe that we gave always felt that when it comes to defending the territorial integrity of our country that this is a national effort that we should not play party politics on its. That is why when I became the party leader, I decided immediately that we are going to cooperate and work with the government. The government has assured us that we are going to be partners with them and that we are going to be consulted every step of the way when it comes to issues pertaining to Belize/Guatemala. Unfortunately, certain actions that the government has taken has shown that they no longer believe in this bipartisan effect; I will give you just three recent examples. The passing of the or signing the SI of the Sarstooon law, we were not consulted, we were not a part of that discussion; secondly the Foreign Minister had a meeting with the Bahamas where the Foreign Minister of CARICOM and the Foreign Minister from the UK and at no time did the Foreign Minister sit with us for us to discuss what it is we are going to present to the Foreign Ministers of CARICOM. Thirdly, we have just been informed and just by; we had somebody that they leaked to us that the government, the Foreign Minister, Sedi Elringotn will have a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala and we were not invited to be a part of that discussion which goes contrary to the assurances that we have been given by the government. But whenever it comes to any discussion with the Guatemala that we were going to be a part of that discussion.”

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