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Dec 31, 2018

An Appeal for Voters to Come Out on Referendum Day

With the dawn of a new year upon us, the perennial issue of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute and its possible resolution via the International Court of Justice also takes center stage in the PM’s address.  While he reiterates his personal position for going to the I.C.J., there is also an appeal for voters to participate in the April 2019 referendum.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There is one other issue facing us in 2019, which some people see as a challenge. I am talking about the national referendum on whether to go to the I.C.J.  The objective of this would be to end any questioning of our sovereignty; to obtain a legally binding reaffirmation of the sanctity of our known, long established borders and territorial integrity. My own ‘yes’ position is based on my conviction, or rather my certainty, that Belize would comprehensively win and Guatemala would comprehensively lose at the I.C.J.  Those who talk about litigation risk need to be reassured that the I.C.J. is obliged, in its decisions, to keep sovereign countries intact. The I.C.J. is thus completely bound by international law and its rigidly applied self-determination principles. And those principles uphold absolutely Belize’s right to live in peace within its 1859 borders. Those principles further make clear that there cannot be even the slightest variation from those boundaries. I therefore appeal to Belizeans to fear not and to proceed with absolute assurance to the April tenth referendum polls. This is the most important national decision we will make for generations to come. And whichever way it goes it will be a supreme reflection of Belizean maturity, Belizean democracy, Belizean wisdom. These three, maturity, democracy, wisdom are the constants of our country. And it is these constants that will make the Referendum result, whatever it is, ultimately acceptable to all Belizeans. For it is they, these constants, that allow us to face all our issues with the sure and certain knowledge that in 2019 and beyond, Belizean strength, Belizean exceptionalism and Belizean unity will always prevail.”

 

The full text of the Prime Minister’s message is being aired on this station.

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