Minister Godwin Hulse should be declared a national hero!
Citizenship is the single greatest honour that can be bestowed upon an individual; it affords a person certain privileges and protection, but it also imposes certain duties. One of the most important duties imposed by citizenship is the duty to defend one’s country. Societies all over the world understand that it is extremely difficult to perform this duty when a person shares allegiance with two or more countries, and particularly so, when those countries are in conflict with each other.
The Belize Constitution also recognizes this challenge and made provisions for it at Section 29. However, despite a clear constitutional ban, government after government since 1981 has granted Belizean nationality to citizens of Guatemala. The politicians who sponsored this sustained breach of our Constitution did so not because the Guatemalans brought any special skill or talent to Belize. Their behavior was and is motivated solely by the fact that these Guatemalans represented votes. It was and is, more important to the political class to attain high political office notwithstanding the adverse national security implications of this unconstitutional practice.
Incredibly, it took more than thirty years for a brave and patriotic Minister of Immigration to stop the treasonous behaviour of granting Belizean citizenship to Guatemalans. It took Godwin!
I do not know what motivated Godwin to have taken this brave stand, but he must be supported by ALL Belizeans. Godwin is undoubtedly under significant pressure from the elected representatives who believe that they must win by any means necessary even if that means trampling upon the Belize Constitution. Godwin must not be left exposed and without the full support of the Belizean people, because at the end of the day he is defending our interests.
There will be those who refuse to see the importance of this historic move by Godwin, even as some plot his undoing. The good thing is that general elections are at least four years away so we have time to consolidate this victory; this is important to do because there is no guarantee that Godwin will still be in charge of immigration come the next general elections. As you know general elections bring their own kind of heat and whoever is in charge of the “papeles” during campaign season will be in for a difficult time if this policy remains in place.
Let us now direct our minds to the questions that follow logically from Godwin’s brave actions. What next? Should we set out to annul all those citizenships that were clearly granted ultra vires the Belize Constitution? Should we seek legal remedies against all those Ministers of Immigration who facilitated this process knowing full well that it was unconstitutional? How we answer these questions as a nation will prove how serious we are about nationalism, self-preservation and the rule of law.
Respect Godwin! Big respect!
Major Lloyd Jones