While the matter is one being dealt primarily by the National Security and Foreign Affairs ministries, we did ask Cabinet Minister, Anthony Boots Martinez, what his weigh-in is on the matter.
ANTHONY BOOTS MARTINEZ
“As Cabinet we operate collectively and so the discussion has been intensive and I think that government is working hard to make sure that there is a solution. I think that, put it this way, there has to be some way for a solution and I think that the time has come for us to unite and make a decision as to where we go from here. This long standing claim has been over our heads for years so I think at some point in time we need to make a decision as a country as to where we go.”
And while Minister Martinez has all confidence in the Barrow administration to resolve the dispute, Minister Michael Finnegan reflected on history and the foresight of the late Philip Goldson.
“When we were going into Independence in 1980 to 1981 Phillip Goldson said to the then government “before you go into independence and before you take independence you must postpone independence until you get the necessary defense guarantee for the country of Belize because if you don’t get the necessary defense guarantee for the country of Belize the Guatemalans will encroach on our boundaries, they will encroach on our waters, they will bully us in the Sarstoon and they will bully us on our borders.” This is what was said by Philip Goldson. He was replied to by the then government “We have defense support from the British Government and the defense support from the British Government will be for an appropriate period.” Goldson then asked “What is an appropriate period?” Nobody could have told Mr. Goldson what an appropriate period is and they refused to tell Mr. Goldson what an appropriate period of time and Goldson said to them “whenever that appropriate period is run out you will see the Guatemalans encroaching on our borders and try to take this country piece by piece until they devour us; those were the words and wisdom of Phillip Goldson back in 1980 and 1981. Now I want you all to understand me quite clearly, I am not anti independence you know, please understand me clearly; I am just explaining to you all how Goldson looked at the situation back then and everything he said back then is coming to light.”
According to Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, talks on the territorial differendum will continue throughout the Easter break.