Letters — 24 October 2014
Major Lloyd Jones, not so fast!

Dear Editor,

When we last left the saga of the misinformed Major Lloyd Jones, in a response to my reference to him as a second class citizen in his own country he simply stated, “I’m no second class citizen;” he did not qualify that with any legal proof, but merely by his statement he declared so.

Major Jones, you are not very informed of your rights I see. Let us first define second class citizens. Wikipedia says this: “A second-class citizen is a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there. While not necessarily slaves, outlaws or criminals, they are often subject to mistreatment or neglect at the hands of their putative superiors. Instead of being protected by the law, the law disregards a second-class citizen, or it may actually be used to harass them.”

This defines you and me, Major, and every single born Belizean who thinks they are spiting the Diaspora by refusing to extend full rights to us by denying themselves the same rights. Section 58 (1) of the Belize constitution, Mr. Jones, is what makes you a second class citizen in Belize.

Sure it excludes me to the delight of yourself and others who think it just desserts, but let’s look closer. Belize Constitution “58.-(l) No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives who – (a) is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or State.”

This is what makes you sir a second class citizen in Belize. But you are in good company with the likes of Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and all his cabinet members, Hon. Francis Fonseca and all the PUP who are natural born Belizeans.

In fact all natural-born Belizeans are second class citizens in Belize. Why? Though the law says “by virtue of his own act,” it means if I am born in a foreign country and come to Belize and become a naturalized citizen, I may still hold on to my birth citizenship as it was not “by virtue of my own act”! Got it, Mr. Jones?

All immigrants to Belize, no matter from where they come, have more rights than all natural born citizens of Belize at home or abroad because of this provision meant to spite the Diaspora, but it really is spitting into the air only to have it fall back into your face.

This is why UDP candidate Denni Grijalva, a born Guatemalan, has the right to hold dual citizenship and still be elected to parliament, but you don’t have that right, Mr. Jones.

Another example of Guatemalans having more rights in Belize than you, sir, is Yolanda Schakron! She was born in Guatemala. She may also be a representative of government and she holds two passports or possibly three.

For you to serve in parliament, Major, you can have only one. You and any born Belizean. I find it so difficult to swallow that this is acceptable to Belizeans. PUP helped to defeat a UDP bill, the original proposed Amendment 7, which would have corrected this! This tells me the PUP are OK with this situation!

Let us look at Ralph Huang, another immigrant and born Asian. He is also a dual citizenship holder, yet he is a UDP candidate for representative. He You are not allowed by law to have the same right! When others have rights in your country that you do not have, it makes you a second class citizen.

I hope if not yourself, that all born Belizeans who read this are made aware that they hold less rights than the immigrant Chinese, Arabs, Guatemalans, Salvadorans Indians, Pakistanis and any other immigrant group who become naturalized Belizeans.

The immigrants in Belize are the only first class Belizeans! Other notable second class citizens in Belize Hon. Johnny Briceño, Lisa Shoman, Evan X Hyde, Rufus X, Silvaana Udz, Mose Hyde, Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon Boots Martinez, Hon. Julius Espat, Hon. Ivan Ramos. As long as your birth certificate says born in Belize, you do not have to be a Diasporan to be second class in Belize; you don’t have to ever leave Belize, and you are still a second class citizen!

I have proven to you legally, Mr. Jones, that you are a second class citizen! Good day, sir!

Joseph Guerrero

Proud Belizean Diasporan!

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