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Former Foreign Minister Assad Shoman speaks about ICJ Case

nd from Hardwood to hard facts. April 10 is the date set aside for the referendum when adult Belizeans will be able to decide if it wants the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, in the Netherlands, to settle the territorial claim and boundaries of the country. Former PUP Foreign Minister Assad Shoman discussed the claim and the hard facts with the hosts of Love FM’s Morning Show.

Assad Shoman:My latest book is called” Guatemala’s claim to Belize” and actually I have been involved in this topic talking about the referendum for many years because I remember that in 2013 when were about to go to Referendum and Guatemala backed away I started writing and talking about it to the Belizean people so it has been many years that I have been involved in this and now that the date is before us well I am here to try to explain my point of view at least about the Referendum. I personally believe that every Belizean can understand very easily and exactly what this is all about. There is nothing that you need a degree or a Doctorate or a Masters or any degree at all to understand. It is very simple and those who say that I think are disrespecting the people’s intelligence. I think people can easily understand what this is all about for example they say the question is so complicated. The question is simple, do you want or do you agree that the court should decide this matter? You can go into other things like the the nitty gritty. What are the things that they are going to decide? They are going to determine the borders and they will then ask both parties to demarcate etc. but the basic question is very simple. Do you agree that since you failed to negotiate and since you won’t result in force, since there is no other way to resolve it if you want to resolve it do you agree that the court should do it? Yes or no? There is nothing complicated about that.”

Ernesto Vasquez: “No but we come back to the fear and this is how I interpret when people say not enough information. It is another way of saying I don’t trust the information that is out there. You are lying to me, you are hiding things from me so then who do I belive.”

Assad Shoman: “Believe yourself, read the facts, read about it.”

If Belizeans vote yes on April 10, the ICJ would preside not only over the terrestrial borders but also the maritime area as well. Any sharing of our waters with Guatemala would open up south of Belize to offshore drilling for oil.