Belize’s Territorial Troubles Make it on WWW.CHANGE.ORG

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Updated: April 5, 2016

As Paul Golder places efforts in the United Kingdom to gain support and solidarity from the British for Belize on the territorial differendum with Guatemala, Al Smith of Conyers, Georgia, USA has launched a similar undertaking on the site, www.change.org.  This website is widely used in the lobbying of issues ranging from political to environmental.  Smith’s petition for change is based on the dispute with Belize by Guatemala.  The movement for change is dubbed, ‘Stand Up in Solidarity for Belize’.  It has garnered some support accompanied by comments for Belizeans living in the United States.  One Belizean woman living in Gurney, Illinois says, quote, “I am a Belizean and believe strongly that we must unite to make things right. We are urging Belizeans around the world to please like, comment, share, copy and paste all articles on our country. Stand strong Belizeans our country is in our hands.”  End of quote.  Meanwhile, a gentleman living in Bronx, New York wrote, quote, “I’m petitioning for international support as I fear for the safety of my fellow Belizeans who live in towns bordering Guatemala.”  End of quote.  A US resident of Riverside, California, wrote, quote, “I am signing because I would like to see the United States play an active peacekeeping role in the region. Belize is home to many American citizens and has been a peaceful democracy.”  End of quote.  The movement for change is petitioning Mark Takano, an American politician who has been the United States Representative for California’s 41st congressional district since 2013.  It also petitions twenty other representatives and Senators in the United States.  The summary of the change petition reads, quote, “Guatemala has been aggressively encroaching on the borders of Belize. They have laid claim of The Sarstoon River area and have entered Belizean waters to force Belizean’s from entering Belizean lands. They have officially laid claim that this area belongs to them. The aggression is unwarranted and endangers the lives of many people. This disruption fuels an environment that neither helps nor promotes a good relationship between the countries in fighting against crime and violence in the region.   Belize has been a peaceful and tranquil democracy in the region where many U.S. Citizens vacation and live it is important for the U.S. to exert its influence over Guatemala to steer them in a direction that is more respectful toward the sovereign Democratic nation of Belize.”  End of quote.