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Sep 20, 2018

“You are not crazy if you don’t support going to the I.C.J.” – Minister Elrington Takes Back His Words!

Wilfred Elrington

Minister Wilfred Elrington says there will be a lot more effort in the awareness campaign outside of Tuesday night’s town hall meeting organized by Great Belize Productions/Channel Five.  He says that a combination of mediums will be used as the campaign is rolled out in phases. Elrington told the media that he has been very vocal and passionate about going to the I.C.J. because he has followed it all of his life. That vigour with which he approaches the matter, he says, may have made him say some harsh words that may not have been entirely fair to the Belizean populace. He refers to a statement he made that Belizeans have to be crazy if they didn’t support going to the I.C.J.  In taking back the July fifth statement, he concedes that perhaps he shouldn’t be so emotional.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The campaign is headed by Ambassador Rosado and Ambassador Rosado has divided it into three phases. One phase is where we will simply be telling people to know the facts. At this point in time all we are doing is disseminating information and we are disseminating information in many ways. We are going to have a lot of billboards when you pass through driving you will see billboards in the air. We are going to be putting posters on buses and vehicles. We are going to use Facebook and the other social media. We are going to use television and radio. And then as the date becomes nearer, we are going to be using messaging which is going to be more ones that are inducing people to come to a more favorable response. Rather than just information, there will be those messaging which is going to induce people to vote towards a yes.”

 

Reporter 
“When you say induce what do you mean exactly?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“Encourage. Encourage them. Because I, Wilfred Elrington, am a citizen of Belize and have the rights and cares and interests just like anybody else. When I am talking, I tell people, ‘go to the ICJ’ and because of the knowledge that I have I tend to get emotional like anybody else and have at least on one occasion said, ‘you’ve got to be crazy if you don’t want to go.’ But that is not a fair statement to make because most people don’t know what I know. I have been dealing with this problem from the time I was born. I was born in 1948. That is the year in which the British came. As I said, I have rioted in every Guatemalan disturbance; I have been arrested and convicted of fighting against the Guatemalan claim. I was there at the Webster proposal, I was there at the heads of agreement, and we stopped those initiatives. Had we not stopped those initiatives Belize would have been part of Guatemala today. So, I know firsthand. So, when you hear me say, ‘you got to be crazy if you don’t want to go,’ it is because of the peculiar knowledge that I have. But it doesn’t mean that people who don’t know what I know are crazy. I am much more respectful of my people but I feel so emotional about it. And as I said to a group the other day, maybe I would not be so passionate if in fact they vote no and they alone will go down. But if you vote “no” the whole country will go down; the whole country will become refugees if the Guatemalans come across and start to chase us out. So, I have a personal stake in it. And so I tend to be more emotional than maybe I should be but the truth is that this is a deadly and serious issue we are dealing with.”

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