“Belize Will Not Be Bullied!” Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 29 October 2015 00:00

barrow morlaes.jpg - 58.30 KbGuatemala’s President-elect is a “neophyte”, says Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and “he will learn that the kind of talk that we heard from him at the start with respect to Belize is absolutely unacceptable”.

Those who have been hoping that the Belize-Guatemala issue would negatively impact the United Democratic Party’s chances in the upcoming General Elections grasped at statements uttered by Jimmy Morales in the heart of his campaign for the Presidency of Guatemala to sound the alarm that Guatemala is coming for Belize. With just about a week until elections on Wednesday, November 4, the self labeled independent television stations like Channel 5, Krem and Plus TV have been harping on a clip of Morales assuring supporters that he should “not give up even a centimeter of [Guatemalan] territory” all week long. Irresponsibly, none of these media houses has told viewers when the statements were made.

While Morales’ statements as a candidate were being used by fear mongers in Belize, Morales had long since been back tracking from that hardline position. As it became more apparent in the latter days of September and early October that he was the front runner in the presidential race, Morales began to sound more “presidential”. He has toned down the rhethoric and spoken more about the opportunity to go to international courts to fight for “at least a part of that territory [Belize]”.

This is in line with what political observers have been saying for a while. Ambassador Lawrence Sylvestre, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says the rethoric from Morales is “typical” of what goes on in Guatemalan presidential campaigns but these positions change soon after they get to govern and sit down with career diplomats and technocrats. 

Even members of the international press do not take Morales’ statements seriously. According to the Associated Press, Central American political analyst Carlos Mendoza said, “It seems like a joke,” in reference to Morales comments about Belize. Mendoza goes on to say, “He has to start showing he’s serious, and that starts with putting together a professional governing team that doesn’t have any stains on its honor.”

A professional governing team is what diplomats are saying will teach Morales how to proceed with Belize. Prime Minister Barrow says, “Those around Mister Morales will make clear to him that to proceed in good neighborliness with Belize, to proceed on the basis of respecting Belize’s territorial integrity is the only way to go. If he realizes that—or let me put it another way—the sooner President-elect Morales recognizes that, the better we will all be.” Prime Minister Barrow says the goal for Belize in regards to its relationship with Guatemala will not change when Morales is sworn in January. “We want to live in peace, we want to continue to live in peace, we want to settle the problems peacefully; we want to do so by diplomatic means. We will not be bullied and Mister Morales needs to learn that right quick. Belize will not be bullied. But we make that absolutely clear,” says Prime Minister Barrow.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2015 14:42