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EDITORIAL, November 2nd. 2018

EDITORIAL, November 2nd. 2018
November 02
09:55 2018

By: Harry Lawrence

IF Belize should make the tactical blunder of not going to the ICJ to defend our righteous cause, Guatemala will hail this decision as a victory vindicating her claim!

Belize would be playing right into Guatemala’s plan, which is to create an international impression that she has a legitimate legal claim on Belize.

The Guatemalan Master Plan is to undermine international confidence in Belize. If voters cannot be bothered to defend their right and title to Belize, it must be because they do not have the confidence to do so. This is what Guatemala will say.

No one should discount or doubt Guatemala’s determination to pursue her claim against Belize. The Referendum of April 10, 2018 and Guatemala’s approach to the ICJ are important elements of that Master Plan.

If Belize neglects to take her case to the ICJ knowing that Guatemala has already done so, we are ceding an advantage to Guatemala that she not have before. Guatemala can then claim the high ground – that she tried to settle the dispute in Court, but that Belize was unwilling.

This is the scenario as we see it:

1. Guatemala will claim a moral victory and will say that Belize does not want to settle the claim.

2. Guatemalan will tell her people that they have won, and that by doing nothing Belize has conceded.

3. At this stage Guatemala need not take any other overt action. Guatemalan farmers, hungry for land, will get the covert message that it is all right for them to settle in the area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.

4. They will come in their hundreds. Taking a page from the people who organized the caravan of immigrants now advancing towards the United States, they will come, bringing their women and children and Belize will not be able to keep them out.

5. It will be a “spontaneous” caravan of people looking for land. The Guatemalan hand in all this will be well hidden. But the enclave carved out of the Chiquibul will be Guatemalan.

6. Belize will make a frantic effort to keep them out, just as Mexico tried to stop the peace caravan from coming through. But it will be a nightmare. Belize and her BDF will not be able to stop unarmed men, women and children from crossing the border and taking up residence in Belize.

7. Belize will appeal to the United Nations. We will invoke the powers of the Security Council. We will turn to Britain and the United States for help. But what can they do if the migrants are already inside the gates?

8. After a few bloody encounters with civilians, Guatemala will send in her military to “protect” human rights and to safeguard Guatemalan lives.

Do you think that this is an impossible scenario? Do you remember the events that led Prime Minister George Price in 1982 to establish the Valley of Peace Community?

He wanted at all costs to avoid a Guatemalan enclave from being established on the western border. So he brought in the new immigrants and gave them land – something he did not do for Belizeans!

If we establish our borders clearly and unequivocally in such a way thatGuatemala cannot challenge them, we may still experience border problems.

But Belizean law will prevail. We, not them, will be in charge! There will be no Guatemalan troops stationed on our Belizean land!

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