No to ICJ-Belize/Guatemala Dispute
Vision Inspired by the People, unconditionally upholds the right of our Belizean nation to self-determination along with our sovereign territory as defined in our 1981 independence constitution. We declare that this God given right of nationhood is not subject to negotiation. It is on the basis of this right that VIP views as gravely misleading and perhaps treasonous, the efforts of Belize’s current government to hold a referendum that could lead to the ICJ, altering Belize’s borders from those defined in our 1981 independence constitution.
VIP hereby declares that Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory is illegitimate, outdated, mutually counterproductive and downright immoral. This claim directly conflicts with the goals of the United Nations to finally eradicate the remaining ills of colonialism. The Guatemalan government has never occupied or exercised sovereignty over Belizean territory. We are reminded that the Spanish government which may have had a claim to Belizean territory under the unjust establishment and growth of colonialism was a non-voting member in the United Nations vote for Belize’s independence. This conscientious position by Spain not to participate in the vote was a fitting end to any and all claims on Belizean territory that were based on colonial principles.
VIP hereby urges the government of the United Kingdom to do the right thing in this matter by settling its dispute with the Guatemalan government, thus settling the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute. Belize’s territory and the right of Belizeans to peace and self-determination should not continue to be held hostage out of vexation rooted in colonial rule. We see the unsettled Anglo-Guatemalan dispute as an insult to injury upon the Belizean people.
In this same vein, VIP urges the Guatemalan government to act in accordance with its commitment as a member of the United Nations, to further international peace and to cooperate for regional security, economic development and human rights. Under this commitment, there is no room for threatening or domination of a fellow member of the United Nations.
VIP also urges the OAS not to waste its resources on financing referenda in Belize and Guatemala in this matter. The US60 million committed to the two countries (as we understand it) could be productively used to mark the borders between the two countries using an ecologically friendly planting of forestry trees that would span half a mile into both countries along the border. This massive plantation would serve as a joint economic venture for both countries, bringing much needed jobs and environmental improvement to our region.
And finally to our fellow Belizeans we must say that Guatemala and eventually all our neighbors will seek to dominate us while we are weak and underdeveloped. We must therefore, demand development from our government. Development will begin only when we are properly represented. A well represented Belize will unite. A united Belize will produce. A productive Belize will raise progressive families. Progressive families will take care of their less privileged members, allowing for social justice to flourish. When Belize stands strong, developed and resolved, we will be able to sit with dignity at the table of nations, giving our worth and taking our due and none will dare dominate us.
- Government of Belize
No to ICJ-Belize/Guatemala Dispute
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