FM responds to leaked diplomatic letter from Guatemala


On May 28th, 2016 the Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize wrote the Government of Belize a letter refuting and expressing consternation, in diplomatic language, about the May 24th Cabinet release referring to untrammelled access to the Sarstoon. We had been told that the Guatemalans informally agreed to a situation in which Belizeans, civilians and military alike, would have unimpeded access to the Sarstoon river, minus the usual stoppage of the Guatemalan armed forces. But the Ambassador’s letter read quote “As soon as the Guatemalan Foreign Minister was informed of the Belizean statement dated May 24th, he immediately expressed his concern to Foreign Minister Elrington and Ambassador Rosado because such statement did not reflect the content of the conversation and told them that that was the reason of having agreed to the contents of a joint statement. Guatemala is concerned about the disclosure made regarding agreements reached in meetings between the two countries and requests that such public disclosures reflect strictly what was agreed and stated in the contents of joint communiqués issued.” End quote. That letter was leaked and as a result, Minister Elrington was publicly called a liar in some quarters. Today, we asked him to clarify the situation:


Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Well people are not really familiar on how these things work. Perhaps one of the most famous documents that was signed between vlcsnap-2016-06-23-17h02m36s049Belize and Guatemala was the heads of agreement. When George Price’s administration announced the head of agreement, the details about it and the explanation that was given to it and then the Guatemalans announced it the meanings were entirely different from the meanings that George Price attributed to the Heads of Agreement in Belize. So it is not unusual for parties to take different interpretations of a document. That is why you have the courts because that happens every day with peoples’ contracts. You have a contract it seems very clear to you what the situation is but the other party takes a different view, so that is natural and normal. People who are not familiar with the process will suggest that the truth is not being told, it has nothing to do with the truth not being told, it’s just the question of interpretation that has been given to certain documents and statements. If you follow the United States politics you will see that everything that is said by the president is given a different interpretation by the Fox News media. The other news media tends to say what the president intended. Fox always has a different angle and a different spin on it. So this is so natural and normal and in a society where politics is so dominant even the media people use these things for political Football. Things like that I don’t pay attention to.”

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