The PUP has been making headlines in the past weeks and today they are in the news once more. This time though not for any in house turmoil but rather for contradicting what Guatemalan Foreign Minister had said earlier this week concerning the military bases in both countries. In a conference on Monday, Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales, said that the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) signed by Guatemala with Belize in 2000 and in 2005 quote, “took the decision to not increase the military bases in the vicinity of both countries,” unquote. In a release issued by the PUP’s Said W Musa, Godfrey Smith, Eamon Courtenay, and Lisa Shoman it stated that quote, “As a Former Prime Minster and former Foreign Ministers of Belize during the period 1998 to 2008, we wish to categorically state … 1. Neither the 2000, nor the 2005 instruments on the Confidence Building Measures between Belize and Guatemala contain or state anything at all about military bases in either country; 2. No decision or agreement was ever made with Guatemala, in the years 1998 to February 2008 by the Government of Belize with regard to increasing or removing military bases in either Belize or Guatemala; 3. The mechanism to “avoid incidents” in the CBMs included the undertaking by Guatemala to dissuade its citizens from trying to settle in Belize, a mechanism to remove all illegal Guatemalan settlers in Belize, and a protocol for OAS verification where necessary. It never included any decision or directive in respect of any military base, or any other manner of Operation Post, Conservation Post or Forward Operating Base; 4. There never was, any commitment made between 1998 and 2008 by Guatemala, to Belize in respect of its own military bases, and any decisions made by them with respect to the same, were made unilaterally,” unquote. This statement follows Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington’s full support and endorsement of the Guatemala’s Foreign Minister’s statement. Conservation groups and activists and the PUP have actively stated that they are not in support of the way the negotiations are being conducted with Guatemala under the leadership of Minister Elrington.
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