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Jan 10, 2019

Guatemala Inherited Belize from Spain? Rubbish, Says Assad Shoman

Assad Shoman

With all the talk of an age-old territorial dispute and a possible resolution at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the unfounded claim brought by Guatemala isn’t as clear-cut as one would think.  According to Assad Shoman, the nature of Guatemala’s demand is conflicted, since it has argued in the past that the territory which Belize occupies was inherited from Spain prior to the 1859 Treaty.  Ironically, Guatemala’s independence was not recognized until four years later.  Likewise, he says that Guatemala itself recognizes Belize as a sovereign state.


Assad Shoman, Former Foreign Minister

“There was a problem about getting Guatemala to be precise, what are you claiming, because obviously it would be nice to know that.  They were in a very difficult position because, first of all, remember that historically they have claimed the entire country, saying “Oh, we inherited that from Spain.”  Which is rubbish and I could tell you why very quickly, because, for example, Spain did not recognize Guatemala at all until 1863, years after the 1859 Treaty.  So how could they inherit anything from a country that didn’t even recognize them?  But anyhow, that was their problem.  That was their position that they inherited all that territory.  So how are they going to say anything less than that?  Well, they got into a worse problem when Belize became independent and the whole world recognized Belize.  How are you not going to say that it has any territory?  But even worse, when Guatemala itself recognized Belize.  How can they say that a state has no territory and they have recognized that state?”

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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