A P.U.P. government would ban Guatemalan with offensive passport
The People’s United Party and its membership have been engaging in a series of consultations formulating a position on whether or not Belize should take its case to the International Court of Justice. While those consultations continue, they have rejected Guatemala’s proposals to amend the Referendum Act. The P.U.P. has taken a bold stance on Guatemala’s recent decision to include in the passport, Belize as part of its territory with a dotted line between the two countries. According to Dolores Balderamos Garcia, P.U.P.’s Deputy Party Leader and Representative for Belize Rural Central, if the P.U.P. was in power, it would ban any Guatemalan that carried the offensive travel document.
Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Deputy Leader of Opposition
“On the twenty-fifth of March, the P.U.P. put out a statement; as a matter of fact, we were the first to put out a statement very strongly saying that we reject the proposals of Guatemala to postpone the referendum date also that they are asking that we change our referendum law in terms of the outcome, the turnout required. And of course the very ludicrous suggestion that Belize should go forward with a unilateral referendum, even though the special agreement back in 2008 said that we should go to joint referenda. So I want to set the context first that that is what we came out with on the twenty-fifth of March. But yesterday, our national executive met at Independence Hall and we unanimously agreed that we should refine that position and perhaps make it firmer by also adding that our party feels very strongly that should Guatemala put out a passport which in anyway shows Belize as a part of Guatemala or dotted line or any such thing; that a P.U.P. government—and this is our party position—that a P.U.P. government will refuse entry, we will deny entry into our country to anyone holding that sort of passport showing Belize as a part of Guatemala or creating a question. And we also want to say that we would call on the government of the day to do the same because we feel that this is an important issue of Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have gone further to say that should Guatemala persists in issuing such a passport—we very much hope that they would not—because if they do so, we would consider it be a very retrogressive step. Instead of going forward with this issue; that they would be stepping hugely backward. And should they persist in doing so, we believe that Belize should take the position of boycotting the meeting of the Organization of American States slated to be held in Guatemala later this year. We believe that defending our independence and sovereignty and territorial integrity is extremely important at this point because our party has taken the position—our party leader actually said—that at this point, we have to question Guatemala’s good faith because you know what the developments are and have been. Belize has participated in the best of faith at all times to try to put this unfounded claim by Guatemala behind us. And here we are in 2013, five years after the signing of the special agreement and it seems that Guatemala wants to scuttle the process. And we still remain willing, but I don’t think that we should bend over backwards in a way that will be showing that we are willing to compromise the principles that we stand on and the principles that almost a hundred percent of the countries of the world recognize with us and recognize with us from back in 1980 when the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of Belize’s independence with all of our territory intact.”
The Guatemalan passport has not been produced as yet and the government is seeking tenders for the travel document.