VIP Prepares to Take on Its Own Education Campaign on ICJ

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Updated: June 5, 2015

The Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, has been very vocal on several issues and one of them is whether or not Belize should participate in taking Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice. The VIP position is a strong “NO” and they are sticking to it. The Party has notices that the Government of Belize has embarked in a campaign to encourage the public to vote “Yes” to the ICJ so they decide that they too will embark in a national wide campaign to convince the public why we should not go to the ICJ. Public Relations Officer for the VIP, Robert “Bobby” Lopez told us more.

ROBERT LOPEZ

“So we are putting this out, groups, churches, schools that want to have the presentation done where there is actually a person doing the presentation they can call us we would be glad to do exactly what we did in 2013, we did this presentation at Galen in Toledo, Orange Walk, in several areas in 2013 and this was on our own initiative to educate people on why we feel that it should be a no vote. So it’s important that Belizeans educate themselves and make an informed decision because we will have a referendum. In fact we are very concerned because more than once I think it was Mr. Stuart Leslie that has said it and is saying that they still don’t rule out a simultaneous referendum and that is very scary because they are going to try to rush this thing and do it on October 26 like Guatemala and we feel that this is a very serious decision that needs to be made and enough time needs to be given.  So you might have seen last week we put up a press release calling for at least a minimum 12 months for the education period. You might also recall that the Guatemalan Foreign Minister also said that if they were to get a no vote that they would go back again for a yes vote and from what we understand from the compromis it was one referendum and that the decision would have been respected and that the decision would be respected whatever the outcome is. So it seems that maybe we don’t know that this amendment calls for other referendums because the foreign minister in Guatemala clearly said that and to me that sounds hypocritical. Obviously they want a yes vote and they will not stop until they get a yes vote but we are hoping that whatever the outcome in Belize that it will be one referendum and we are not going to continue until we also get a yes vote because this administration and the Prime Minister has said it that they want to take this issue to the ICJ, the VIP is saying no we are calling it a peaceful resolution to this Guatemalan issue and that is why we should vote no.”

As part of their campaign, the Party will be visiting several primary and secondary schools.