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Re: [borderpoint] Belize Guatemala border

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  • Lowell G. McManus
    In 1991, Guatemala had the first successful transfer of governmental power pursuant to an election in its 170-year history. Presidente Jorge Serrano promptly
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 29, 2010
      In 1991, Guatemala had the first successful transfer of governmental power
      pursuant to an election in its 170-year history. Presidente Jorge Serrano
      promptly extended full recognition to Belize and dropped his country's
      territorial claims. That's when the embassy and consulate were opened in
      Belize. Guatemala also dropped its long-standing veto of Belizean
      membership in the Organization of American States. Alas, Serrano's domestic
      policies were too enlightened, and he was forced to resign in 1993 by
      hard-liners within his own party. The replacement regime coolly continued
      the diplomatic relations, but reiterated Guatemalan claims to certain
      unspecified portions of Belize. The Guatemalan position seems to waver with
      the need of whatever the current Guatemalan regime to stir up its
      population, but the OAS has pressed both countries to agree to disagree.



      Lowell G. McManus
      Eagle Pass, Texas, USA






      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Kevin Meynell" <knm@...>
      To: <borderpoint@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:46 AM
      Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Belize Guatemala border


      >
      >>Did Guatemala recognize the independence of Belize completely, or
      >>only for part of the territory, still leaving a border dispute in
      >>place that people seem to refer to continually?
      >
      > The Belize-Guatemala dispute is rather unknown in the UK (just as the
      > Falklands were before 1982). As far as I know though, Guatemala
      > agreed to recognise the independence of Belize within its existing
      > boundaries, subject to certain concessions that largely hinge around
      > access to the port of Punta Gorda. However, Guatemala subsequently
      > claimed the requisite access road was never constructed, so it then
      > claimed the southern portion of Belize on the grounds that the UK
      > recognised Spanish sovereignty over the British settlements (it was
      > not a formal colony at that time) in the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The
      > northern portion was originally claimed by Mexico, by that was
      > settled in a treaty between the UK and Mexico in 1893.
      >
      > Whatever the rights and wrongs, it's hard to understand what
      > Guatemala now really expects to achieve by pursuing the claims of
      > former colonial powers dating back to the 15th century. It already
      > has access to the Caribbean Sea, and even if it achieved its aims, it
      > would end up acquiring an Anglophone population that would likely be
      > hostile to Guatemalan rule. One can only assume it's one of these
      > foreign policy distractions that periodically get wheeled out when
      > governments are going through a period of unpopularity.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Kevin Meynell
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
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