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May 27, 2016

PM Responds to Guatemala’s Restriction of Access to the Sarstoon

Dean Barrow

Even as our team headed back to Belize City, deterred from entering the Sarstoon but having made the point that Guatemala isn’t playing on the same checkerboard, Prime Minister Dean Barrow weighed in on the incident with extreme prejudice. Apparently he had been briefed by C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell, likely alerted by the B.D.F. at the Forward Operating Base. The PM, who just Wednesday stated in a news interview that Belizeans are now free to go into the Sarstoon, called our team to say that he will get to the bottom of this latest, unexpected move by Guatemala.


On the Phone: Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I am extremely distressed, extremely disturbed by what has happened. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it. As near as I can gather the people in Guatemala are saying well, the Foreign Minister is still travelling and he had not or has not returned to Guatemala since the meeting in Istanbul so that in fact the military had not been apprised of new instructions regarding Belizean civilian traffic along the river. I do not find that satisfactory. Let me put it clearly. I find that most unsatisfactory. We have already alerted the O.A.S. Secretary-General, both his representative and I believe Ambassador Andrews may have spoken to him personally. In any event a formal memorandum is being sent to the S.G. What this tells us is that we need to have the formal meetings to come up with the written protocols convened as quickly as possible and quite frankly I think that we should bypass a straight bi-lateral meeting, Belize/Guatemala and have recourse instead to the good offices of the O.A.S. Secretary-General. You will recollect that he had made plain that if progress was not happening he would be prepared to convene and host a meeting between the two sides with the participation of his officials to ensure that we can make rapid progress on the protocol. That’s where things are. Again I am extremely disturbed. I certainly feel that your having been part of that mission that was turned back cause me to make clear to you personally as well as to the country that what was done was unacceptable especially after the meeting that was held in Turkey.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “PM Responds to Guatemala’s Restriction of Access to the Sarstoon”

  1. Hatari says:

    Gee Whiz, I think we need to form a committee and conduct more diplomacy and send off a strongly worded note and cry baby to the OAS and bla bla bla! What a friggin’ joke! Guatemala will never surrender and that’s that!

  2. lucas says:

    Napoleon Bonaparte won more battles and victories than Alexander, Hannibal, Julius Caesar and Fredrick The Great combined but, for none of these battles and victories is Napoleon remembered other than Waterloo. Anytime his name comes up, waterloo comes to mind and anytime Waterloo is mentioned his name comes to mind. Mr.Barrow may have won seven electoral campaigns in a row, may have been the only P.M. that has won three Prime Ministership one after the other, may be a recognized orator and may be a brilliant attorney. but, if he looses the Sarstoon, his name will forever be associated with that NAME. All his achievements will forever be forgotten by Belizeans except that RIVER. WHENEVER THE NAME BARROW IS MENTIONED, THE SARSTOON WILL COME TO MIND. AND WHENEVER THE SARSTOON IS MENTIONED, BARROW WILL COME TO MIND.

  3. Roy Slusher says:

    Will we never learn that the Guats can not be trusted to honor their words. They have done everything in their power to destabilize Belize. Let’s hope this dispute never goes to the ICJ because they will maintain this claim even if the ICJ rules against them. We need a stronger military to deter aggression by these bullies.

  4. Peter says:

    Need more millitary. Ban guatmala

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