Features — 17 November 2018
The difficulty for YES if South says NO

A number of years ago, I wrote in one of my columns that if the South decides to vote NO I will have to respect that decision. As it stands today, it seems that we are very far from getting that overwhelming YES from the South.

The proponents for the NO vote have made many arguments against going to the ICJ, almost none of them making the grade. Examples of weakness in NO abound. They say the compromis should have allowed for monetary payment. Really, how many times do the Guats have to say their only interest is land? They talk about the Treaty of Amiens. Mexico clearly didn’t put much stock in that treaty when she settled on the Rio Hondo as her border with Belize. They talk about the British owing for a cart road. If that were so consequential the UN would never have supported Belize’s independence in 1981. They say the Guats will be unhappy if they get nothing, so the ICJ will try to appease. The facts on the ground are that much less than 10% of Guat will complain if they get nothing, and 100% of Belize will be very, very displeased if they get piece of our land.

We could go on. If the NO vote were a blanket it would serve no purpose when Joe Naat comes. Too many holes. I say, if one judge of the 17 (I hear it’s now 15 plus 2) at the ICJ fails to understand that Article Seven was just a business deal, wholly separate from the border agreement, I will want to know their name.

I will not discuss here, why, separate from increasing the national tally, a very strong YES vote from the South is essential. I will, as long as I am here, and I am allowed a page in the mighty Amandala, continue plugging for a YES vote. If we are going to vote on April 10, we have to get some positive vibes from out of the South by the end of February.  If we go to the ICJ, we will win.

Guatemala is a real aberration

As long as Guatemala “claims” Spain, Belize has to “claim” the British. You know, Guatemala is a real pain for Central America. The vast majority of people who live in this region are not Spaniard. The coming of Columbus in 1492 was a real horror story to America, and to Africa which was plundered for labor for the vast sugar and cotton plantations. Sure, nobody and nothing is all bad. But we people of color, we many millions of people of color in this region, don’t need to be reminded of the glory days of Spain.

Guatemala insists on claiming Belize as an inheritance from Spain. We are aware that Guatemala has been ferreting in the archives in Spain on the chance that she can find a document which says that Spain gave Belize to Guatemala. She has been ferreting for archival documents too, that show Spain gave Belize to Honduras. I guess that having won a case against Honduras which gave her the Amatique region, she thinks she could use such a document to claim Belize.

It is a fact that the British asked Spain to pass over the papers. But that was long before the 1859 Treaty. Spain, for her reason, preferred to just walk away from all her sins. Spain just wanted to forget.So, the British, the most powerful country at the time, got Guatemala to acknowledge what was the truth on the ground at the time. Belize, at that time, 1859, from the Hondo to the Sarstoon, was already the property of Belizeans.

There are people who say that Guatemala would never go to court if she expected to lose. Well, a lot of Guatemalan leaders don’t see the sense in this case. No, not all Guatemalan leaders are with this aberration. It is only a clique, a very archaic set.

Belize will not attain her potential until Guatemala stops claiming her as an inheritance from Spain. We will forever have to clutch to apron strings, the British, thanks to the archaic clique over there.

One of our eminent historians said that in the 1800s Guatemala (from way over there on the Pacific Coast) declared all the Mayans as her citizens. And she issued a contract or two that involved Belize’s land. On the first, someone should inform them that they are yet to treat the Mayans as full citizens. On the second, the contracts story, people who have their feet on the ground would describe that as a “reach”.

Ah, we know that when the US landed on the moon they planted an American flag. Well, any-who with a little computer literacy could fake a landing too (the American landing is believed to have happened fu true), with a planting of their own flag. It is not impossible that the fighterous Americans would come after them and order them to take down their flag.

Really, we can declare most anything we want. So, Guatemala claimed that all Maya in our area were her citizens.The following is from the book, To Educate a Nation, by Jeremy A. Enriquez. He writes: “The number of Catholics in southern Belize received a significant boost by the influx of near 800 Mayas into rural Toledo District from the village of San Luis in Peten Guatemala around the 1880s. Wearied by the oppressive and cruel conditions meted out to them by Guatemalan government officials, the Mayas escaped across the border and placed themselves under the protection of the British flag.”

Clearly, our Mayan brothers and sisters in Peten heard from our Mayan brothers and sisters here, that life was better in Belize. But, according to the records, Guatemala claimed them as her citizens. Guatemala is like that horrid husband who beat ih wife, and then killed her.

Please, not all Guatemalan leaders are of that ilk. But the ones who claim Belize are.

John Avery’s mushroom device is relentless

If you take a poll in Belize, I believe more than 75% of Belizeans would say that we are under surveillance by Big Brother government. My good friend, Doro Lewis, Sr., told me a story about a man who had to tell, had to say what was on his mind out loud, so he went into the forest and said what he had to say under a tree. And a bohga was up in the tree, doing God knows what!

I hadn’t seen John Avery’s mushroom thing, his vehicle with the big white umbrella gadget, for quite some time, but talk about the devil, it was in my neighborhood last week. No one knows the full capacity of this mushroom, the radius of its pick up. And nobody knows WHAT it is picking up. All we know is that we are under surveillance, and John Avery’s mushroom is big in this business.

I thought my research on the internet would say it is not as bad as it looks, as bad we think, that it is not picking up our conversations when we are in our houses, or walking down the street. Well, it is.

Here’s some real deal on Avery’s mushroom, called a ThirdEye, which I got from the article, “Use of surveillance cameras mushrooms across country”, in the Meadville Tribune (online edition).

Meadville Police patrolman Pete Culver drives a cruiser with a digital camera that is turned on automatically when the officer enables the overhead lights…an unprecedented proliferation of public spying, government is casting its watchful eye on millions of ordinary Americans through largely unregulated surveillance cameras trained on public spaces throughout the nation.

…the increasingly sophisticated general surveillance systems…which are capable of networking to compile and share information about those under view… police-video surveillance of Americans, suspected of no crime, as they go about their daily business…Equally rare are enforceable regulations on such matters as who or what can be watched, how long images can be kept, who can see and share them, where a person’s “zone of privacy” begins…

…Now available, and being installed in several cities, are devices that can record in near-total darkness and are so powerful they can read a license plate up to a mile away or words on a cigarette pack 100 yards distant…

…potential abuse lurks at the turn of every camera…In Tuscaloosa, Ala., state police have been accused of focusing a camera not on the intersection it was supposed to be monitoring, but on the breasts and buttocks of young women walking down the street. In Overton County, Tenn., parents have filed suit against school officials for allowing cameras to film children undressing in middle-school locker rooms…

…The cameras also offer far more chilling opportunities for abuse beyond video voyeurism, such as for racial profiling of minorities or intimidating political or other protesters. Those who patronize gay bars or strip clubs, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or are under treatment by a psychiatrist could be vulnerable to extortion and blackmail…

By the way, John Avery can say this mushroom did not come here while he was the civilian in charge, while he was the person we look to for protection when Ministers of government forget we live in a democratic state. But that is what I recall. If it wasn’t he, I apologize.

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Deshawn Swasey

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