As you may or may not be aware, earlier this month Prime Minister Dean Barrow, along with former Foreign Ministers, Assad Shoman, Godfrey Smith, Lisa Shoman and Said Musa, who served under past PUP administrations, signed a declaration in support of taking Guatemala’s claim on Belize to the International Court of Justice, ICJ. They were harshly criticized by members of their party. Two weeks later, Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno presented a nine point declaration that stated the PUP’s official NO position on taking the claim to the ICJ. The Opposition is now facing criticism for their stance on the issue. Retired UDP Minister Melvin Hulse says he is disappointed in the PUP. Here is how he verbalized it.
Melvin Hulse Former Government Minister: “They are the pioneers and champions of the ICJ and if George was alive there would be no way they would be taking this position because all the older members of the PUP Government has always supported that and it is disappointing. The one regret I have, the one sadness I have is that George didn’t live to see Guatemala agree to go to a referendum because man you spend 50 years of your life doing it and that to me is saddening. What they need to understand and what George knew perfectly was that the only thing that is going to the ICJ is the 1859 ratified Border Treaty. Whatever Wilfred is talking about and what Minister Elrington is talking about and all these other things that are going to negotiation and none of that is going to be at the ICJ, none. This is your point in history. It has never been done before and here we have a national thing based on a country on a ratified thing to go to the ICJ and they need to step up to the plate. They need to show we are not mouth people, we are as certified winning party that has been Government for many years. Said was right you know, when Said got up and said it that he isn’t going to follow Dean he was right because Said and the PUP has been fighting years for this. Dean has just continued the struggle and the battle of it so it is not Dean initiating it so I am going to ask the PUP just one thing. Be the kind of leader you can be, be the kind of patriot you could be and should be. Don’t let things distract you.”
The PUP stated last week that they will hold a press conference to address their “No” position.//////