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Jan 11, 2019

Courtenay Proposes ‘Deep Freeze’ as I.C.J. Alternative

Eamon Courtenay

During the discussion this morning, Courtenay proposed an alternative to holding a referendum and taking Guatemala’s claim to the I.C.J.  Courtenay is proposing a ‘deep freeze’ scenario in which both countries would agree to halt negotiations for two and a half decade.


Eamon Courtenay, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

“My belief is that we should agree with Guatemala for a minimum for twenty five years that there will be no attempt to resolve the territorial dispute, there would be no negotiations unless Guatemala is prepared to accept our borders. In the meantime, we have to sign a defense non-aggression pact. We have to sign and implement a treaty that protects the environment that fights crime and fights illegal immigration. You will recall that two years ago they signed thirteen agreements between Belize and Guatemala. Why haven’t we implemented that? I am suggesting that my position is let us put to one side the dispute, let’s live as neighbors and I believe that another generation who have lived together without aggression, without education people about ‘Belice is nuestro’ we can resolve this by negotiation. That is my view.”


Marleni Cuellar

“If you put forward a decision now as an alternative to going to the I.C.J.  The first question that any person would ask is that you were at the helm. You were Foreign Minister. You had the position, the capacity to introduce an alternative when you held that post. Why not then?”


Eamon Courtenay

“I don’t think you are listening to me. I said that while I was in the process I argued endlessly for my position but my government, Prime Minister Musa, call right now and ask him. Call Stuart Leslie. Call Ambassador Leslie. Call Assad. That has always been my position and I argued for it. I was out numbered and out voted. We went in the 2005/2007 process and we end up at the ICJ. So to be clear, I have been consistent in advocating that module.”

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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