Headline — 27 November 2015 — by Adele Ramos
New Guat prez bypasses Belize on SICA tour

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 26, 2015–Belize has been excluded from a one-week tour inaugurated on Monday by Guatemala’s president- elect, Jimmy Morales. An article appearing this week in Guatemala’s Prensa Libre says that no explanation has been offered on why Belize was excluded from the courtesy calls of 6 countries, including all other members of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and Mexico, an observer of SICA.

Amandala has contacted the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out if they knew anything about the tour and Belize’s exclusion. Our sources there said they did not know anything, but informed us that Morales has invited Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow to his inauguration slated for January 2016.

This Monday, Morales made his first courtesy call not on Belize, but on the president of Honduras, where he met with that country’s president – Juan Orlando Hernández, after which he traveled to meet his counterpart in El Salvador.

Nicaragua and Panama were his next stops on Tuesday, and on Wednesday he flew over to the Caribbean island nation, Republica Dominicana, almost 1,400 miles away from his home base.

Today, Thursday, Morales is visiting Costa Rica and he is slated to conclude his tour in Mexico on Friday.

Belize, Guatemala’s immediate neighbor, is the only SICA member excluded from Morales’ tour, although some news reports from the region have erroneously included Belize on the itinerary.

In the run-up to the recent presidential elections, Morales made statements in support of Guatemala’s unfounded territorial claim over Belize, saying that the loss of Belize would be “deplorable.”

Both countries signed an agreement seven years ago agreeing to have the matter settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—but only if the electorates of both countries vote in favor of that route of resolution.

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