Letters — 22 June 2016 — by Sidley Leslie
Letter to the Editor: Why?

Why did our Prime Minister after reading the letter sent to him by the Leader of the Opposition advising that the PUP intended to use the opportunity to internationalize Guatemala’s arrogation and annexation of the Sarstoon island and river, unexpectedly withdraw his invitation for their representative to attend the OAS meeting in the Dominican Republic, thereby depriving Belize of a timely and significant opportunity to lobby with the heads of state in attendance for support and the condemnation of Guatemala’s annexation of our southern border? Had the aforementioned representative been allowed to attend, might this not have resulted in a demand by those heads of state present, that the relevant OAS resolution passed should include a directive to Guatemala to cease its aggression and immediately withdraw the GAF from our sovereign and internationally acknowledged territory on the Sarstoon River?

Why do our leaders appear to be so ostensibly afraid to offend or criticize Guatemala despite its overt belligerence, disparagement, aggression and blatant disrespect for Belize?

Why does Guatemala now wish to take Anglo/Guatemalan dispute, now transmuted by diplomatic alchemistry into the Belize/Guatemala differendum, notice a missing country in the new label, to the ICJ? After the Second World War the British, during a ten-year period from 1946 to 1956, offered the Guatemalans the chance to take their claim to the ICJ for legal resolution. They refused, stating that they would only be prepared to adjudicate on an ex aequo et bono basis (none legal) which was a tacit admission that they did not believe that their claim would withstand legal scrutiny. Have the recent OAS confidence-building measures so measurably and definitively augmented their confidence that they are now convinced that the ICJ will rule in their favor? Since then, and more recently, something must have changed to lend support to their newly found confidence.

Why do the Guatemalans, or those to whom some say they answer, desire the southern half of Belize to the extent that they have now begun to use their military superiority to forcibly and illegally annex our land? It is common knowledge that two tectonic plates of the earth meet in this area. This occurrence is considered geologically indicative of the probable existence of large petroleum deposits in the surrounding region. Additionally, it is said that there are significant deposits of gold and even uranium in this part of Belize. This stands to reason as the Maya Mountains are an ancient mountain range eroded through eons to the depth where precious minerals are usually found.

Finally, why the sudden acquiescence to accept Guatemala’s request to change the required percentage participation in the referendum law from sixty per cent to a simple majority participation and the excessive urgency, after so many years since the compromis was signed, to have the referendum on whether or not to go to the ICJ before the year is over?

All things considered, I fear we might be fast approaching the point of no return. The writing is on the wall; let those who have eyes, see.

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