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Jun 5, 2012

Attorney Godfrey Smith weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Referendum

Godfrey Smith

The date to hold simultaneous referenda to take the Belize/Guatemala claim to the International Court of Justice is set for October sixth, 2013. In both Belize and Guatemala, a massive education campaign is expected to commence to raise awareness on a decision whether the matter will land before the ICJ as the final measure to resolve the age-old territorial claim. Here in Belize, the education campaign is still in draft form but the debate is beginning to bubble. Attorney Godfrey Smith, who appeared as a guest on the Dickie Bradley Special on Monday night, shared his position on the matter, weighing in on the advantages of a favorable ruling for Belize.


Godfrey Smith, Attorney

“You cannot enforce, but what it does for Belize is it builds greater goodwill if the court definitively answers the question in Belize’s favor. Then it is easier to prevail on the international community to support a process of clearing the border; for instance, sufficiently wide so everybody could see plainly where the border is. Right now, nobody wants to touch it because it’s in dispute. So even though it’s possible that Guatemala can say well after that they still don’t recognize it, the point is that in practical terms—because what we are facing right now is practical difficulties: illegal incursions, illegal settlements, illegal harvesting of xate. With the ICJ case resolved in our favor, there are practical things that could be addressed; that would flow from that. People will stop be cagy. If you go to somebody right now in the international community and try to win support and say oh Guatemala has this claim to Belize, people because of how diplomacy works and international relations, will be very hesitant to say the Guatemalan claim is bogus, they are ridiculous, they’re hard headed; we support you a hundred percent. That’s not how it works. But with an arbiter like the ICJ saying so, then it is my view that many practical considerations will flow from that that will help Belize in the preservation of its sovereignty in a practical sense.”

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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2 Responses for “Attorney Godfrey Smith weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Referendum”

  1. Belizean says:

    B.S.!! We are an independent country,… Member of U.N. We don’t have nothing to prove,….. We have established borders,…. why can’t we protect our borders the same way US protects itself against Mexico…. We need leaders with Balls and make our stand..

  2. Mecedario Concento says:

    We need to set another date for referendum , the prime minister wife is ill, we need more time to pampers our little boys giving trouble, our little gangs, we need time to negotiate with them.
    This country as a nation is collapsing !!!
    I see far more corruption NOW than with the past PUP GOV.

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