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Jun 7, 2016

Did Gaspar Vega’s Comments Help or Hurt an Already Fragile Situation?

Wilfred Elrington

While Guatemalan officials have not hesitated at any point to name and shame Belize, those very same Guatemalan officials have bristled whenever Belizean officials question the actions of their government. From Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ response to Vega in Cuba, it is clear that they were caught off guard. But did the comments create more friction in what is already an uneasy and volatile relationship?


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“It’s not my sense…as a matter of fact; it is my sense that it is helping us to come to a kind of modus vivendi. Remember now, the last position we arrived at in Washington was that we would work together to formulate a mechanism whereby we could use the waters in the Sarstoon without hindrance. And I think all the pronouncements that have been made by the international forum were to support that. They basically support that we live in harmony, peaceful coexistence and they support that we take the matter to the ICJ. That cannot cause any negative because you heard the Guatemalan president himself say that the matter should be dealt with at the ICJ. He was of the view that that maybe that was not the forum that we should use, but really and truly that is the forum.  That’s where you have these organizations; these are organizations where you do political discussions and so it is not our view that we did anything that was wrong. Sort of regretted that he took the view that maybe we should not have raised it there, but we have got to raise these issues in the forum that we think it needs to be raised and we take advice. I don’t go to Cuba…the Prime Minister or the government of Belize can’t send another delegation of Belizeans to Cuba to sit on our thumbs and not really to make known what is happening in our country. We don’t have a military, we don’t have any military alliance with any other country to protect us and we have got to be protected by these diplomatic means.”

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2 Responses for “Did Gaspar Vega’s Comments Help or Hurt an Already Fragile Situation?”

  1. Steve says:

    Very good move. Finally.

    However, I continue to believe that the ICJ is not the way to go. Guatemala wants us to entertain their claim at the ICJ. We should not. Rather, we should go to the UN Security Council, since the UN gave Belize its independence with clear directives to England and Guatemala to solve their own disputes without bothering Belize. George Price, the father of the nation, achieved this for Belize. Don’t come and undo it. You are doing an injustice to this nation by entertaining Guatemala’s claim at the ICJ.

  2. Manuel Pinto says:

    El río Sarstún no se negocia, el articulo I del tratado de 1859, establece que el limite sur de Belice es el río Sarstún, o sea es límite únicamente de Belice, porque el río Sarstún es territorio guatemalteco, el tratado de 1859, no le otorga a Belice derecho de navegación sobre el río Sarstún, el tratado de 1859 no le otorga a Belice soberanía sobre ninguna parte del río Sartstún, el río Sarstún esta bajo soberanía de Guatemala. El artículo VI del tratado de 1859, no le puede aplicar al río Sarstún, porque el río Sarstún no tienen canales, como tampoco tiene islas. El artículo VI del tratado de 1859, se refiere a los límites marinos que están frente a las costas de Belice, porque allí es donde existen canales e islas. El artículo VI del tratado de 1859, preceptúa: Se establece la libre navegación en los canales que forman la línea de agua divisoria de los límites, así como la asignación de islas en esos canales. Esta claro se refiere a límite marítimo de los canales e islas que están frente a las costas de Belice.

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