Former PUP Foreign Minister and historian Assad Shoman had already joined the Government’s pro-ICJ campaign by making presentations for the yes vote across the country. On Tuesday the Leader of the Opposition sent a press release stating that he is continuing his listening tour across the country and expected to make a decision soon on the ICJ though PUP the western and southern caucus have long made it clear that they say no. John Briceno’s statement concluded by saying that the party was aware that there may be some high ranking members of the Party that may make public their preference for the ICJ as the final solution to the unfounded claim. Well today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow pulled out not one but 4 members of the PUP on stage at the Biltmore including: Assad Shoman, Attorneys Godfrey Smith, Lisa Shoman and Said Musa, all former Foreign Ministers and members of the Peoples United Party to voice their support of the ICJ campaign. Love News was there as they signed their support of the Government in its effort to convince the public to say yes to the ICJ.
Jose Sanchez: “Four former Foreign Ministers of Belize joined the Prime Minister Dean Barrow on stage and signed a declaration of support of a yes vote for the April 2019 Referendum: Godfrey Smith, Lisa Shoman, Assad Shoman and Former PM Said Musa, all members of the People’s United Party joined PM Barrow in a show of Bipartisan support.
Honorable Said Musa: “I am here as former foreign Minister first of all, not as representing any political party. I am a PUP and I will remain a PUP. I want to make that absolutely clear. Somebody has approached me and said wouldn’t you be following Dean Barrow the Prime Minister by sitting down at the same table with him on this issue and my answer is Prime Minister Dean Barrow is following me because we were the Government before and we were the ones that took the decision to pursue this path of going to the ICJ.”
Jose Sanchez: “Not since Cordel Hyde and Mark Espat stepped down prior to the 2012 elections did Dean Barrow manage to pull an upset and recruit opposition soldiers to his side. With today’s fantastic five he not only gained support but undermined the leadership of the PUP which is still carrying out consultations on the ICJ.”
Honorable Said Musa: “I don’t see this and this is perhaps dealing with another question, I don’t see this as as causing a rift in the opposition party, I need to make that very clear.”
Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “We can’t have a situation in which our resources can be plundered willy nilly and no effort is made with respect to Guatemala to keep their people in check on ultimately the basis that there are no borders, it’s so indubitable that it has to be in the existential best interest of this country to get this thing sorted out, to get this threat removed so that we might be able to proceed to live in peace and unity.”
Assad Shoman Foreign Former Minister:” Guatemala itself also commissioned at the time by the most renowned Judge of the United States of America called Manley Hobkins and since then he has commissioned other lawyers to give an opinion on this case and all of these that I have mentioned have unanimously said that the 1859 Treaty is a solid Treaty, is a Boundary Treaty, the issue of article seven have not been complied and has nothing to do with the resolution of the question as to the boundaries so defined in the treaty and they have all concluded that those boundaries cannot be changed by Guatemala no matter what they are up to.”
Jose Sanchez: “As a pointer forwarder Godfrey Smith made it clear that there was no nefarious purposes controlling their strings on stage.”
Godfrey Smith: “What motivated this group of former Foreign Ministers to make the declaration and queried whether we were doing it voluntarily or at the behest of some foreign force so I think it is important to respond because it is an important radio talk show and it influences a lot of people. The simple answer is no we have not been trotted out at the behest of any foreign force or power and the idea was generated from among the Foreign Ministers themselves. It is a question of duty, honor and principle and it is as simple as that.”
Jose Sanchez: “The fantastic five made it clear that it is not about politics and it is about conviction.”
Said Musa: “I go beyond my conscience. I go by conviction as well. It’s a matter of principle of honor, duty and conscience.”