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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 24 May 2019 00:00

On Tuesday of this week, we saw perhaps the greatest acrobatic performance we have ever seen in Belizean political circles. The performance was done by Senator ‘Pupalick’, Eamon Courtenay. To see the complete 180-degree back-flip the gentleman made was amazing. Readers of this newspaper and Belizeans in general will recall that only a few weeks ago Eamon was the face of the PUP’S ‘NO TO THE ICJ CAMPAIGN.”

He was also the face we saw on the various talk shows and newscasts making the media rounds promoting the PUP’S position. Courtenay was also the attorney of record who appeared on behalf of those persons within his party who took the Government to court thus delaying the April 10 referendum. With Eamon still kicking and screaming, the nation went to referendum a month later on May 8, 2019. The result of that referendum was loud and clear. It was an emphatic ‘yes’ in favor of going to the ICJ.

Prior to the referendum and almost up-to-the-minute before the polls opened, Senator ‘Pupalick’ argued vociferously that there were great risks in US taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim, to the ICJ for a final resolution and settlement. Leading up to the referendum Courtenay said, and we quote him verbatim, “Let us sit down as Belizeans, analyze the risk identified by persons like Senator Hulse, Mr. Ghandi, Sir Eli — assess it and provide not an absolute guarantee that Belize will not lose any territory, because we cannot honestly do that, but tell Belizeans what is the measurement of that risk so that people can make an informed decision.”

Now fast-forward to this Tuesday, which was a few weeks, after the nation had spoken loudly and clearly with an emphatic YES vote in the referendum that was finally held on May 8, 2019. This is what Senator ‘Pupalick’ Courtenay said in the Senate: “The people of Belize have decided that this matter will be resolved by the decision of the International Court of Justice. We should not forget that more than five decades were spent attempting to resolve this issue by negotiations and I make no apology for saying that it has not been resolved, because of the fault of the Republic of Guatemala. The last serious effort was the facilitation exercise, which Guatemala participated in fully. They were the one with the proposals made by Ramphal and Richler after fully participating in it and after fully saying that they will accept the recommendations given by the facilitators. We could have solved this issue by negotiations and by facilitation. We could have been living as good neighbors from way back in the early part of 2000’s. It is the fault of Guatemala that we are now being forced both the people of Belize and the people of Guatemala to spend millions of dollars of scarce resources going to the ICJ.”

He went on: “We as Belizeans expect Guatemala to behave with maturity and respect for Belize whilst we conduct the litigation. It will take anywhere from three to five years and during that time, we expect them to recognize and respect our right in the Sarstoon River, in the Bay of Honduras, in Chiquibul and indeed along the entire border between Belize and Guatemala. The message to Guatemala is clear: 8,867 sq. miles is Belizean territory and the territorial waters that go along with it and the exclusive economic zone and make no mistake about it.”

“When the international court of justice delivers its decision we expect, and we are confident that the result will remain as it is today and therefore we call on Guatemala from now, since you have forced us to go to court to accept the judgment against you that is just years away. We fully support this amendment to the bill, and we call on the government and all partners to let’s move forward together, confront the enemy that is before us and let us assure ourselves of the victory that is rightfully ours,” he ended.

We are still puzzled as to how Eamon Courtenay was able to locate his seat to sit down and not fall after doing so much somersaulting. Eamon must really be a special kind of acrobat indeed. Any other person would have been sprawled out on the ground, but not Senator ‘Pupalick’ Eamon Courtenay; he did it so naturally. Eamon must truly be his father’s son indeed. From a crooked block comes a crooked twig indeed.