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May 30, 2016

P.U.P. Calls for Competent Team to Handle Belize/Guatemala Matters

Eamon Courtenay

The P.U.P. release issued today also specifically issues a call for the appointment of a, “national team to competently manage Belize/Guatemala.” So is the P.U.P. saying that the current team is not competent? We asked Courtenay since he is speaking for the P.U.P., but is also a member of the current team in negotiations with Guatemala.


Senator Eamon Courtenay, Opposition Representative, Belize Delegation

“I think the Belizean people want all the persons who have relevant expertise in this matter, who are prepared and are able to join a national effort, to be a part of the national effort. This is unprecedented. Guatemala has claimed the whole country, half of the country, a part of the country at varying times, but we have never had a situation where they are in fact exercising control and for quite some time now over a period. I have said and I repeat, as far as I am concerned, it is an unlawful annexation. When you have an unlawful annexation, it requires a national effort and the People’s United Party is prepared to continue to work with the government. We expect that the matter will continue to be dealt with in a united way, that it will be dealt with urgently, that it will be dealt with aggressively, that it will be pursuant to a carefully measured and calibrated plan. We cannot be having ad hoc meetings; we cannot be having telephone calls and understandings by ways of shadowboxing. We need it in black and white; we need it signed on both sides. And as I said last week, we do not underestimate how difficult this is going to be because we have to start on the premise that the 1859 Treaty, an international law, is the basis on which we will begin and end. But I believe that there is a compelling argument to be made, a very strong case to be advocated in the international community that we need a return to what existed; that is to say a respect for our territorial limits, a respect for our internal territorial waters and a respect for our right to use our side of the Sarstoon and Sarstoon Island.  Guatemala, if you have a dispute and a difference about that, then you have to take it to someplace else—whether it be the ICJ or wherever else. But in the interim, our rights must be respected.”


The P.U.P. is also calling for the recall of Ambassador Alexis Rosado. As you know the Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize was recalled weeks ago, in the wake of the shooting death of Julio Alvarado Ruano. 

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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