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Jan 11, 2019

Eamon Courtenay says Former Foreign Affairs Ministers’ I.C.J. Declaration Was a Publicity Stunt

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Courtenay has made it quite clear what he thinks about the Government’s latest move to push a ‘yes’ vote for the upcoming April tenth ICJ referendum. On Wednesday, five former Foreign Affairs Ministers Said Musa, Godfrey Smith, Lisa Shoman, Assad Shoman, and PM Dean Barrow signed a declaration in support of a ‘yes’ vote three months away from the referendum. The only other ex-foreign affairs minister who was not present was Eamon Courtenay. According to Courtenay, Musa approached him to be part of the group but he immediately rejected the request. He says that the event was a sham. Courtenay explains why he has taken that position.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I thought it was a circus. I thought it was a publicity stunt. I thought that the Belizean people deserved something better than that. It is ridiculous for those gentlemen to go on the stage and sign this document and pretend that they were showing unity, pretending that they were serious and sincere. Sorry to Lisa, gentlemen and lady. I think that if we are talking about national unity and you are aware of this because I have been on this show, calling for a national effort on this issue, a national effort on relations between Belize and Guatemala, on the Sarstoon, on Chiquibul etc. Belizean people do not want a one day show of national unity. Where are these gentlemen and lady now? Are they part of the education campaign? Where is the unity going forward? I believe that if we have a well balance, well resourced, education campaign followed by a persuasion campaign- those who want to persuade people to ‘yes’ or to ‘no’-then it is time for us to do that on a national basis. Not go on a stage for one day, smile before the cameras, pretend that we are all friends and family when in fact that is not so. Let me just say this. Has this document been disseminated to the people?”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Yes.”

 

Kevin Arthurs

“It is public.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“It’s public but has it been disseminated? Do the people in the cane field, in the orange orchards, in the schools have copies of this? Has it been explained to them? It was a stunt and nothing more than that.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Were you asked to join in on this declaration to support a ‘yes’ vote?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Let me tell you. I received an email from Said Musa in October saying that Assad Shoman is proposing that the former Foreign Ministers who are alive should correct the misinformation that is out there. That is what I received in the email. And I immediately emailed Prime Minister Musa back and told him “hell no.”


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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