COLA condemns Guatemala’s proposed passports
The news that Guatemala has put out to tender four million passports which will feature a map in which Belize is included as a disputed part of its territory appears to have been greeted with indifference by officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But the always fiery President of COLA Giovanni Brackett, whose name has been linked to such things as the burning of an O.A.S. flag in front of their headquarters in Belize City, is under no diplomatic restriction. He told News Five today that if Guatemala insists on continuing with this passport nonsense, then all bets should be off and any act of playing nice should instantly cease. And he calls on the government to lead that charge.
Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA
“COLA completely is outraged at this even thought of printing four million passports including in the map of Guatemala Belize, as part of it or a disputed area. If this should go into effect, we at COLA call on the government for us to refuse entry to any person, any Guatemalan using this passport. To go even further than that though, to refuse any kind of relationship with any diplomat that uses this passport. And if needs be, we also call on government to boycott this meeting at the O.A.S. in Guatemala should they proceed with this latest passport including Belize. This is an act of mockery to our independence. I mean Guatemala understands very well that Belize is an independent and sovereign nation and we should not be talking to a country that does not respect us. It is one thing to have an unfounded claim, but it is another thing to not only telling your people a lie, but now you are institutionalizing this lie as to put this passport now with Belize as a part of Guatemala. And so we are completely against it. And if it should progress, then maybe we should bring back our ambassador from Guatemala and send back their ambassador. I know that is a bit extreme, but for right now, those are the recommendations that we believe.”
As we understand it, the proposed Guatemala passport bearing a map which includes Belize with the wording territory under dispute…though separated by a broken line, is still some ways away from becoming a reality. It would have to pass approval by the United Nations, which is a part of the procurement process.