In yesterday’s newscast you may have heard the Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat speaking on his personal perspective regarding the issues of the referendum and Belize going to the International Court of Justice to settle the dispute with Guatemala. Espat says that he fully supports a referendum taking place but he is wary of the matter being taken to the ICJ. He says that he does believe that the ICJ is the way to go but he fears that the present government has been lending to the possibility of the ICJ ruling against Belize.
“When you cannot absolutely tell somebody that the borderline is our borderline and you are calling it artificial and you are using legal justification for it that is not a positive way of doing things in my opinion. It doesn’t give hope to our people and this nation and if you do not have hope to defend something then the people on the other side who have no emotional attachment to that decision will say well if we don’t really care for it or if we don’t really see it as important then if they don’t see it as important then why should we as foreigners whose navel string is not there. So that is the fear that I have and nobody ,and you can quote me on this, nobody can tell me that when judges make decisions that you don’t have emotional attachments to it, that is a totally ridiculous thing to say because judges are human beings and when they make decisions yes a major part of it is based on law but an also major part of it is based on what they believe is a way of settling a situation and you can go back in history to look at settling situations people believe that you have to give up something to be able to get something and that is the problem that I have with this situation and so I am not comfortable when the foreign minister even opens his mouth to defend this country because he does not defend it in any way and therefore I would never be in agreement for them to lead us in a negotiation as critical as that.”
Espat added that the Government of Belize has been too submissive to Guatemala and has not been assertive on the matter of our borders.