Features — 11 August 2018 — by Bilal Morris

One year before this memorable photo was taken on Sunday, April 27, 2009 in the Los Angeles Belizean community in Los Angeles, California, of the present three-term United Democratic Party (UDP) government led by its Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrignton, the Belize government went on to sign the insidious “Compromis” with the government of Guatemala in 2008 to take the Anglo-Guatemalan claim for adjudication to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The reserved Belize ambassador to Washington, Nestor Mendez, who has now become a big shot in the controversial Organization of American States (OAS), is seen here delivering his message to the Belizean diaspora about their importance and all that to the nation-state of Belize. It’s been a decade since that visit at the Holy Name of Jesus School in Los Angeles, and now his government, the Barrow administration, has embarked on the final stage of enforcing the clause in that “Compromis” or “Special Agreement” of having a referendum in Belize on April 10, 2019 for the people of Belize, at home and abroad, to decide in an election if they want the Anglo-Guatemalan claim to go for hearing at the ICJ.

Meanwhile, the struggle for the Belizean people abroad to participate in the April 10, 2019 referendum has been a protracted one, and one still being resisted by an unwilling government that appears to be rejecting the Belizean diaspora’s participation in the 2019 referendum.

What can Ambassador Mendez and his Belize ICJ Educational Campaign tour of Belizean political pundits to four states in the United States where Belizeans reside, tell the Belizean people abroad that they may have already known? Will his team of spokesmen of what appears to be a selected cadre of “Pro-Yes” ICJ propagandists confirm that Belizeans abroad who are natural born Belizeans will not vote in “2019 ICJ Referendum” but naturalized Guatemalan citizens in Belize will? And what will be that carrot on the stick that will be dangled in front of the Belizean people in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Florida as to ease their anger that they won’t be able to vote for their country’s future?

This is a very serious meeting between the Belizean people in the U.S. with some stakeholders of the Barrow administration in selling the “going to the ICJ” propaganda. It needs to be stated clearly that there are some of us in the Belizean diaspora who will not take any bribes like some of our fellow Belizeans at home in this unjust and antiquated Belize electoral system. The infamous “Compromis” set up to the ICJ should be recalled and there should be judicial review in the courts of Belize to stop it once and for all. The Belizean people were never consulted about its signing, and therefore the entire referendum process must be cancelled.

We Belizeans do not trust the ICJ. We wish to keep Belize as Belize, and stay alive within its borders. So, here comes the ICJ plan. Belizeans both at home and abroad do not want to have to chase the ICJ and its “con” plan right out of town!

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