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Dec 31, 2003

Belize bows to pressure on Int’l Court

Belize has finally succumbed to U.S. diplomatic pressure and signed an agreement to exempt that country’s military and civilian employees from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Under U.S. law, had Belize not agreed to the exemption, we would have become ineligible for U.S. military assistance. Belize follows Guyana and Antigua as the third CARICOM country to toe the United States line. While the decision was a blow to regional unity, Belize’s position as a small mainland state with long borders and genuine security concerns, made the move all but unavoidable. The declaration released by the White House press office yesterday also applied to Macedonia, Fiji, and Panama.

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