The final major attempt at settling Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize came in the form of a document called the “Heads of Agreement” in 1981. This culminated in nation wide paralyzing strikes and national convulsion. From time immemorial a claim/threat by a militaristic and aggressive garrison state upon the territorial integrity of another nation, regardless of how small or large, would naturally serve as a unifying force among the people of the target threat. However, this was not the synergy that reverberated across the nation of Belize leading up to its independence on September 21st 1981, and it has not currently manifested itself as we are confronted in the latest ICJ plot. The British colonial rulers not only divided the people of Belize geographically, but racially, culturally, religiously and politically. This model of course, was perfected by the British and they carried out this strategy for more than five hundred years across the globe as they wage war, rape, pillage, enslaved and committed genocide upon the darker people of the earth. Belize was no exception to this rule.
The current ICJ scheme has been packaged and marketed as a “legal issue” for mass consumption. Yet at the foundation of this land claim is geopolitics and natural resource that has become more urgent for trans national corporations (TNC’s) who are the extended tentacles of an unbridled, consuming, neoliberal economic system that has become globally unsustainable. As Belizeans we make the assumption that the men and women who are selected to represent us in political office are informed and knowledgeable of certain vital issues that ares critical to our nation very survival. But this is an assumption we make at our own peril. We are arguing that historically in Belize from the inception of our nationalist movements, these independence movements evolve as dependent nationalism. While the term may appear contradictory, it is a reflection of the extent and degree political developments in peripheral countries like Belize are constrained by economic and political forces of the center. Thus as a consequence our local political directorate’s indoctrination and orientation is to look outward for assistance in their struggle with the metropole without first and foremost build internally those resource necessary to confront the center. Hence, despite a century old claim upon the country of Belize by a proven genocidal aggressor, various local regimes initiated zero sustained process of educating the people about the issues and forces that confront them and the near and present dangers. The circumference of our thinking has permeated around the idea that salvation will come from outside rather than from the development of political bases from within the nation state.
This dependent and decrepit view of our existence has essentially shaped our entire national development and foreign relations, or lack thereof. Various prominent political representatives regurgitated the age old claim that in order for the nation to achieve development it has to attract capital from abroad, coupled with the never ending barrowing which lead to a permanent state of servitude/slavery to the lending institutions. The inability to recognized the human capital and potential from among the very people they lead and the extended natural resource the country possessed as a foundation for national development, has perpetuated a state of perennial poverty and underdevelopment. This type of paradigm shift will not come out of the two main political entities in Belize that has become inseparable from the crippled system of governance. In many respect they have a vested interest in maintaining things as they are, and thus cannot be expected to become true and authentic agents for political, social and economic transformation. This will have to be the outgrowth of a people’s centered mass movement cemented in a clairvoyant vision of allegiance to the nation state.
The debt burden of our country has been shifted to future generations of Belizean, and our unjust land distribution system remain unchanged since the days of British colonialism. The type of radical transformation that is required to begin a process of changing the top down model of governance must be rooted in the communities and principalities of the people. As mentioned earlier our people were never empowered with the knowledge of self and benefitted from popular education that ties them to the land and agriculture, which is the engine of civilization. While all our people to one degree or another have been deeply affected by colonial education, black Belizeans are currently living out the most graphic effects via fratricide and gentrification. We remain essentially a fragmented people with each group nibbling around the edges but lacking the ability to create a national movement with clear goals and objectives. These challenges are not unique to Belize but are common place everywhere the British had meddled.
When war and revolution was engulfing the isthmus, Belize used to pride itself as the only haven of peace and tranquility. We knew little or nothing as to why our brothers and sisters were waging violent struggles in their respective countries. Yet these revolutions were born out of decades of exploitation, injustice, corrupted regimes, brutality and genocides. Those of you who believe that Belize is fine as it is and there is no need for a fundamental structural shift, should take heed of the warning signs. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible shall make violent revolution inevitable.