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PUP ‘bob and weave ‘ on ICJ, Maybe No but some might say Yes

From mid-2018, the Leader of the Peoples United Party, John Briceno indicated he would go on a listening tour across the country to formulate an official party response as to whether the PUP would agree to saying yes or no in the April, 2019 referendum. It was not a secret that the PUP southern Caucus had already pronounced a resounding no from the onset, but with three months remaining before the referendum, Briceno has come to a decision without finishing his tour. Local psychic and sports guru Press Cadogan could have predicted the final result would have been no. late today, a press release from Briceno says  “it is obvious that a majority of the Party’s supporters, for various reasons, are not in favor of submitting the unfounded claim of Belizean territory by Guatemala to the ICJ for final adjudication…I am sufficiently convinced that an overwhelming majority of our Party members and supporters are going to say no and as the leader of a mass party that makes decisions in a democratic way, I have an obligation to accept the views of the majority. I am certain that in the final analysis, our Party will say no to the ICJ.” It’s a hard choice for a leader who had made it clear that in his personal opinion, a yes vote would be the best option. The incongruity of the situation is that the process that is leading to a referendum started many moons ago with a PUP administration.  But does this mean that the PUP is now officially united? That’s also negative. The letter from Briceno says “I am made to understand that some previous Foreign Ministers who served under different PUP administrations will be signing a document, along with the Government of Belize, that will be advocating – yes to the ICJ. I want to make it abundantly clear that these persons do not speak for the People’s United Party on this issue.”  No doubt Assad Shoman is on that list since he had been publically presenting the case for going to the ICJ.    Despite the clear and unequivocal message, the Party leader’s statement then flip-flopped by saying in the coming weeks, the Party will complete the process of consultation and will formally announce to the nation its full and final decision.