Nick Pollard Jr not in favour of ICJ

The effort to have Belize settle its territorial dispute with Guatemala at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) appears to be on life support after the Guatemalans continue to insist on postponing the October 6 referendum. But the public campaign goes on and today Nick Pollard Jr. spoke exclusively to PLUS News on an effort he is heading in the Cayo area.

Nick Pollard Jr:
vlcsnap-2013-04-09-20h28m39s60I have tied up along with Adolfo Rosales, a former trade union leader who has a lot of experience and knowledge about the Guatemalan dispute, the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute and we are going to be doing a presentation on the history that lead to the 1859 Anglo-Guatemala Treaty of 1859. There are many incidences prior to that and what we want to do is go back into history as the Europeans came this way and their way of not defining borders because of their looting and enslaving of the Indians in the Americas. So we are going into the deep history of the 1800s to give our audience a better understanding of where we were with the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute and where we are today with the Belize Guatemala dispute.

Pollard outlines where he thinks negotiations went wrong – the 1981 Heads of Agreement.

Nick Pollard Jr:
In 1978, it appears that the Price Government was preparing to move ahead with independence and so they did a consultation with two renowned lawyers, one of the United States and another who was a previous president of the ICJ and together they wrote the joint opinion which apparently paid the way for Price to move ahead, because their opinion was that the 1859 Treaty was a proper treaty and that Guatemala had absolutely no claim and that is how we moved ahead. However, the obstruction came when we go our independence from the United Nations. After we got our independence, Guatemala was not satisfied and that is where England made a big blunder by calling in Belize to say, “Listen, I still owe Guatemala something, so why don’t you all give them these thirteen Heads of Agreement.” So that is where history begins to change, that was a big blunder. England should never have agreed to offer the Guatemala those thirteen Heads of Agreement, because when they did that, they were conceding that they owe Guatemala something.

Pollard is not in favor of going to the ICJ and tells us why:

Nick Pollard Jr:  
I go by the history of the ICJ, I have looked at the blunder that they did between Nigeria and Cameroon, again two colonies of France and England, the blunders that have occurred at the ICJ between Nicaragua and Costa Rica over the San Juan Border, which is San Juan River and the recent incident between Columbia and Nicaragua and the list goes on. So I am not in favor of settling this dispute with the ICJ. I think we need to sit with our counterparts in the area of private sector, Chamber of Commerce of Chamber of Commerce, business sector to business sector and see how we can settle this and both of us can develop trade and industry and work together.

The event takes place Sunday at the Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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