If you have been keeping up with news you’d know that the Minister of Foreign Affair Wilfred Elrington travels to Guatemala this weekend where on Monday he is to sign an amendment to the Special Agreement between Guatemala and Belize. The Amendment allows for Guatemala to conduct a referendum separately an on their own rather than simultaneously with Belize. The prime minister on one side has said that the Opposition gave them the go ahead to sign the amendment. As is customary the opposition always participates in dealing with matters concerning Belize’s territorial integrity, but the opposition has decided not to have representation at the signing of this special amendment to take place on Monday. Today we go the Deputy party leader’s take on it.
“You participate in issues where you believe in it. You cannot not participate just by having participation. We do not believe that just by having participation. We do not believe that the process right now is beneficial to the country, therefore the party leader and the party have decided that we will not send someone from out party. It sends a signal, we are not in agreement with the way you are handling and therefore we will not participate.
Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter
” Was an invitation handed out for you to participate?”
Hon. Julius Espat
“I don’t know, I am not a part of that committee.”
“As far as you are concerned, is this the only time that the opposition is not participating in the matter concerning the territorial integrity of Belize?”
Hon. Julius Espat
“How can we participate if continuously the Prime Minister disrespects everybody. It does not really matter if we participate or not ,in the end he does what he wants. If we had been participating in clamoring for the thirteenth senator and he refuses. We have participating for a restructuring of the pact and he refuses. We have been participating in how to better distribute the Petro Caribe fund and he refuses. We are playing games and we stopped. The game playing is over. We have to be serious about what we stand for and we stand for that we don’t believe that we don’t believe that the Foreign Minister is capable of leading us into any negotiations when it pertains to our sovereignty,”
“Part of the argument of the Prime Minister is that that it is a trifled matter in which it does not put Belize at any disadvantage, in fact, he says it gives Belize sort of an advantage having Guatemala do a referendum in their country first. What is the portion of the People’s United Party?”
Hon. Julius Espat
“As I have said before, what the Prime Minister says comes with zero credibility now. so he can say what he wants. That does not move us. Reality is that Belize is being looked at very negatively in the national stage. We nationalized two companies, that does not go well for us. We have not been doing our diplomatic rounds the way George Price did when we were about to become independent. Right now, Belize is not looked at in a positive way and it is not the right time to be able to do any kind of negotiation. I do not see how Guatemala going before us can be beneficial for us. It just shows that we are weak. It shows that we giving them the opportunity to go before us and after that we will follow. No. I think we should follow it the way it was before. If we are going to sign this thing, it should be done at the same time and it will be done when both sides are in agreement, not like we are following Guatemala in any point of view. “
As we said the signing takes place on Monday May 18th.