Letters — 10 October 2014
Neri O. Briceño writes President of Guatemala

October 12, 2014

General Otto Fernando Perez Molina
President of the Republic of Guatemala
Office of the President
Guatemala City
Guatemala

SUBJECT: The Belizean Resolve

Dear Mr. President:

I write to you as we all were born before humankind bestowed upon us medals, honors, positions and titles; just an ordinary man. Belize for us is as Guatemala is to you, our home, our land, our country and our nation. The idea of dividing our nation in any form is as repelling as the 36 years civil war which threatened to destabilize your nation just a few years ago. As a military man you took up the ultimate challenge to put your own life at risk to preserve what you felt was right and just; for that I give you respect. Similarly for those of us on the opposite side of the Sarstoon all we can simply promise to do is just the same. As a former military man I am certain that you more than anyone else understands the notion of love of country.

The belief that Belize is a part of Guatemala is as ridiculous as mankind believing that the earth was flat prior to Columbus discovering our part of the world. However, this myth has been propagated in your schools and today most Guatemalans still believe in your nation’s “Belize belongs to us.” Unfortunately over the years none of your governments has done any significant or reasonable action to reeducation and remove this myth from the minds of your citizens. What has happened instead is that rather than continuing along the lines of open threats of invasion as was historically the case, your government has taken on a more passive aggressive approach of border encroachment, pillaging of natural resources and dilution of our population by your citizens to achieve its identical longer term goals. For that, we can blame no one but ourselves. However, don’t let the historical appeasement policy of our leaders in any way be interpreted as weakness on behalf of its people. The Belizean resolve is strong, vibrant and defiant. While we must admit that your country skillfully schemed with acquiring unrestricted access to our southernmost cayes, what we can assure you and the nation you represent is that not a single grain of proud Belizean sand will be ceded this time around.

As a nation we are not naïve; we understand the strong position that Guatemala holds both regionally and internationally even with our own traditional allies like the US and even our own mother country the United Kingdom. Your country has a robust footing both financially and militarily compared to our beloved nation. But just as your close ally Israel will never give up Jerusalem, likewise we are giving up nothing. As a man who was part of the negotiations to end your country’s long bloody civil war, we ask that once again you turn to those same peaceful principles and publicly renounce this unsubstantiated territorial claim both to your nation and the international community.

As neighbors who share both cultural and traditional ties throughout both of our long history, all we seek is mutual respect and a cordial neighborly relationship. Belize has never been a part of Guatemala, has no desire to and will never be.

Sincerely,

Neri O. Briceño

Cc: Dean O. Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General United Nations
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
David W.D. Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Jose Miguel Insulza Salinas, Secretary General OAS

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