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Apr 16, 2019

The I.C.J. Debate through the Eyes of the N.G.O. Senator

Osmany Salas

N.G.O. Senator Osmany Salas, during his presentation in support of the Belize Territorial Referendum Bill 2019, spoke about the confusion that the politicization of the I.C.J. referendum has caused among voters.  He says that voters have found themselves in a tug-of-war between the government and the opposition since the messages being sent are along party lines and not in the best interest of nationalism.


Osmany Salas, N.G.O. Senator

“So today, from some of the comments I’ve heard before, it’s almost as if we are debating if we should take this unfounded Guatemala claim to the I.C.J. or not, that’s not why we’re here today.  Today we’re here to debate whether we should approve this bill in order to allow for a referendum to be held so that our Belizean electorate can make that decision.  So the problem is this, U.D.P. says, government says, we must have a referendum at the earliest since it was announced a year ago and because the process leading to that started even way before that.  The opposition says we must hit, and a couple of my colleagues say we must hit the pause button.  And I have to ask, for how long?  I’ve heard two years being said, I’ve heard three years being said.  I’ve heard about a twenty-five year deep freeze.  The U.D.P., the government is adamant that we should have the referendum during this current administration.  That is my read, while my read is that the opposition is determined to kick this can down the road.  I have to ask, to when?  To the next administration?  Maybe hoping that they will be there.  To when?  To when?  How long?  When would we ever hold a referendum?  Ever never?  Never ever?  So this is the bind a lot of our voters are in Mr. President. Who to trust?”

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