BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 9. 2016–Seven years ago, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sedi Elrington, told the world that the Belize-Guatemala border was “artificial.”
If that was not already damning, on Tuesday during a press conference with the media in Belmopan, he added further insult to the intellect and emotions of many Belizean people.
Firstly, he boasted that while the PUP were on their trip on the Sarstoon, a Guatemalan drone flew overhead. He proudly told Amandala, “they did not see the drone, but the drone was on top photographing every move they made.”
Secondly, though the Guatemalans have been exercising control over the Sarstoon River to the extent that we must now “ask permission” before visiting our country’s southern boundary, Elrington denied that our territory has been annexed.
Belize’s Foreign Minister incredulously said, “you can’t annex what you claim to own.”
Many reasonable and “commonsense” Belizeans are concerned that Guatemala has already annexed the Sarstoon because of the control they exercise over it.
Law Dictionary.org defines annexation as, “the act of attaching, adding, joining, or uniting one thing to another.”
The definition further states, “So the incorporation of newly-acquired territory into the national domain, as an integral part thereof, is called ‘annexation’ as in the case of the addition of Texas to the United States.”
According to the definition, if you take a piece of territory as a part of your country, then you have successfully annexed it.
Elrington further infuriated thousands of Belizeans when he seemed to defend the Guatemalans for tying up, forcefully relocating, and mistreating Belizean Roger Plett and damaging his tractor when it was thought that he had something to do with a fire that crossed the border.
“They were fighting fire, the fire got away and the fire was moving from Belize into Guatemalan territory and the Mennonites had equipment to help to stop the fire and was invited by a Guatemalan NGO to assist, to lend them the equipment to assist, and they resisted, and the Guatemalan NGO decide to take it from them, and decided to use it to clear off the area to make sure the fire would not go any further into Guatemala.
“When they had finished, they gave it (the equipment) back. So I think we have to start to understand that we are our brother’s keeper in this kind of thing, and we can’t get offended by every action that is taken,” exclaimed Elrington.
The stupidity of the comments by our Foreign Affairs Minister concerning Guatemala’s military and existential threat to Belize is indeed mind-boggling.
This was just the latest, but perhaps the most dumbfounding, of a series of irresponsible remarks by our Foreign Minister.