In any democratic country, where there are two opposing views on an important national issue such as this Compromise Referendum, since the Government’s Yes Vote position to the ICJ is represented by the Government, the No Vote position to the ICJ by right needs to be represented by a National Umbrella Committee – this is democracy.
As the Compromise Referendum date is coming closer, I have had the opportunity to read and hear on the media that many more Belizeans are expressing publicly their sentiments against the Compromise Referendum and are encouraging more Belizeans to reject this Compromise by voting no to the ICJ on the 10th April 2019. It is indeed important to reject and vote no to the ICJ. To do so, we must organize voluntarily and form a national committee under one umbrella to represent and act on behalf of the No to the ICJ voters.
Will our Belizean history be repeating itself once again? The 10th Day of September is a date loved and veneered by Belizeans and is annually celebrated with pride and devotion. It is a historic date for Belize when our forefathers, the Baymen, decided to vote to stay, and stand, and die in defense of our homeland against a far superior Spanish armed forces whose mission was to wipe out our forefathers from Belize. Sons and daughters of the Baymen’s Clan, we must accept that when the Baymen voted to stay and defend this land, it was and is the first historical homemade binding referendum in defense of our beloved Jewel.
The time has come for us, the descendants of the Baymen’s Clan, to move quickly and organize ourselves as our forefathers the Baymen did when their future was in imminent danger. Our future is in imminent danger, as it was on 10th September 1798.
We are called upon to make a hard decision to vote, Yes or No on the Compromise Referendum to the ICJ. Belizeans, think, a yes to the ICJ is to certify Guatemala’s unfounded claim as a legal claim against Belize’s land and sea. A No Vote to the ICJ is to reject Guatemala’s unfounded claim.
Remember, the Yes Vote authorizes the ICJ to decide Belize’s future. If the ICJ decides to honor Guatemala’s legal claim against Belize, the ICJ may order that Belize be split in half. I beg all present public servants to consider the real possibility that all public servants’ current salaries could be cut in half or less, gratuity and pension payments shall be cut down drastically and massive retrenchment shall follow immediately; to also consider that internal and external commerce shall be cut in half and to further consider how can half of Belize manage to repay our massive foreign debts owed to the Super Bond shareholders, the millions owed to Petro Caribe, and millions owed to Ashcroft and other outstanding foreign debts with less resources.
Belizeans, when Noah built the Biblical Ark, he told his people God will destroy all living creatures with water. He urged people to get into the ark and join his family to save their lives. The unbelievers laughed at him and ridiculed him. Finally, great amounts of water descended from heaven and over the earth. Many knocked at the ark’s door, but it was too late – all perished.
This Government’s position is for a Yes Vote in this referendum and the people are against with a No Vote to the ICJ. The British Government through the Prime Minister’s position was in a similar position to our Government with a Yes Vote to stay in the European Union, and the British people’s position was a No Vote to stay: they wished to exit the EU. The government lost the yes vote. The Prime Minister then considered the No Vote a vote of no confidence in his Government. The Prime Minister was defeated and resigned immediately; a new Prime Minister was immediately elected to comply with the will of the majority. Is this the way things will go for us?
I ask this question: will the Belize Prime Minister’s Government immediately resign and call new general elections if the Yes Vote is defeated by the majority of the NO Voters to the ICJ, to allow a new government to comply with the will of the majority?
Is the democratic Westminster system of governance applicable in Great Britain and not in Belize? Is the democratic Westminster system only applicable in the United Kingdom and not in Belize?
As I see it, a disorganized No Vote on the Compromise Referendum set for the 10th April 2019, will not effectively achieve the desired results expected by all the No to the ICJ Voters. Now is the time for sons and daughters of the Baymen’s Clan to arise and support our second Homemade Referendum against our common enemy, the Compromise foreign-made referendum, as a response and in defense of our national sovereignty and respect for the sanctity of our national borders.
I invite all established organizations in Belize to voluntarily participate in this National Umbrella Committee by selecting or electing one member from each participating organization to form the National Committee and that one or two organizations voluntarily receive the nominees of each organization and to set a deadline to receive those nominations, and set a time frame to elect a chairman, vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, fund raising committee. Political and non-political organizations are invited to join and form this umbrella committee, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NGO’s, Trade Union Congress of Belize, religious organizations, and all other organizations willing to participate.
If we fail to organize this umbrella committee, and also fail to support our local homemade referendum, it will not matter that the majority votes NO to the ICJ – we will remain voiceless, defenseless and unrepresented to move forward to solve this unfounded claim.
The way forward to settle this unfounded claim is to request the ICJ or the UN Security Council for an advisory opinion on the validity of the 1859 Treaty signed between the republic of Guatemala and Great Britain which awarded Britain sovereignty in perpetuity over British Honduras, now Belize.
Are you against the partition of Belize’s land and sea against the will of Belize’s inhabitants?