Political Games Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 March 2016 00:00

For some folks pushing their political agenda supersedes all logic and common decency. And for the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) it is no different. For them it seems the end justifies the means. From the get go it seemed like this bunch of political neophytes were willing to play politics with any and every thing. One only need to go back and look to see who makes up the majority of the movers in the BPP and one would quickly get the sense of where they started in their quest of forming a political party. The BPP is an offshoot of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV). They started out to try and gain national prominence by using the one thing that invokes a high degree of passion in most if not all Belizeans. That issue is the age old UNFOUNDED GUATEMALAN CLAIM. Belizeans regardless of where they stand in the political landscape share that no Guatemala stance and the BPP is banking on that. They want to gain power without building a reputation as a party that has paid it’s dues. In effect they want to gain power without putting in the work, getting there by default.

Now for example take the incident that occurred in the vicinity of the Sarstoon Island smack in the territorial waters of Belize when our military were confronted by Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF). Although the GAF did not physically set foot on the land their boats with armed military persons were in Belizean waters. That was clearly an act of AGGRESSION. Rather than supporting our BDF for standing the ground and defending us, the BPP is accusing them and the Belize government of being soft. From what we have heard from the BPP so far it sounds pretty much that they would have wanted the EIGHT (8) BDF who were present, evict the GAF that outnumbered them by how much, we don’t know. What we do know is that there is a GAF Military Camp only a few minutes away from where they could scramble an even larger group that would have vanquished our Belizean sons in a very short time.

We at this Newspaper are proud of our BDF for the way they stood firm and handled that situation on Saturday. Furthermore we are proud of our Government who did the proper things to defuse what could have escalated into armed combat leading to loss of life . We are also satisfied with the other steps our Government has taken to highlight the situation by informing our friends abroad and taken the other channels that are available to us in dealing with such a situation. Included in those steps were but not limited to our BDF Commandant speaking to his GAF counterpart to protest the GAF’s aggression on Saturday. Our  Prime Minister spoke to the Guatemalan President then dispatched our Foreign Minister and Ambassador Assad Shoman to Washington to make a formal complain to the OAS following up on a strong protest note that has been sent to both Guatemala and the OAS in regards to Saturday’s incident. Our International friends including our Caricom member countries, USA, England and Mexico. The Prime Minister also called a meeting of Belize’s National Security Council on Monday in order to guide us through this process. However the biggest news is the bipartisan approach taken by our Prime Minister of updating the Leader of the Opposition about what is being done.

The Opposition it appears is fully in support of the Government’s handling of the situation and has said as much in their Press Statement on Monday. We would like to quote a small portion from that statement for clarity, it states:

......” The PUP joins the Government and all Belizeans in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts, and we demand that the Government of Guatemala ensures that the GAF is instructed to stand down and to respect the long established boundary between Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon.

The PUP applauds the firm and brave members of the Belizean security forces who resolutely defended our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of hostile and imminent threat from the GAF.
The PUP believes that the following issues must be given the highest priority at the Ministerial Meeting scheduled between Belizean and Guatemalan Foreign Ministers for Tuesday 15 March 2016, in Washington DC” ......
They also had a few suggestions they would wish the Government may take on board in it’s approach in dealing with this situation when dealing with Guatemala. It is obvious that the Opposition understands that we are not in a situation where we can hope to achieve any sort of victory over the GAF who are fifteen times larger that our BDF, with just the active size of the GAF. The Guatemalan also have another FIVE MILLION able bodied persons out of their almost twelve million strong population that they can draw from to enlarge their army. While we in Belize if we were to draft every man woman and child in Belize, we would only come up with THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY persons. In this latest attempt to try and get our MILITARY to go to war the BPP/ BTV is on their own. In a sense they may be viewed as the ones responsible for the recent aggressive behavior by the Guatemalan, since this aggression only started since the BPP/BTV started making these trips to the Sarstoon. We are not saying that the Guatemalans were not aggressive before, but it was not like this and on such a regular basis. Another foolishness we have heard them say is for us to increase the size of the BDF and buy more tools of war. Our question to them is where will that money come from? Will they be prepared to pay more tax or will they want to pay more for medical treatment at the public hospitals or do we cut the education budget and cause education to cost more for the already struggling Belizean parents, or better yet do we cut the much needed social programs and government services across the board to pay for a larger sized BDF? Those monies will have to come from somewhere. Pokono-boy stick won’t work this time.