At the core of Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory is the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty of 1859. From the British point of view, the agreement simply declared the boundaries of an area Britain already ruled. Those boundaries still exist today. From the Guatemalan point of view, which was developed after the agreement was signed, it was a treaty of cession, by which Guatemala gave up right to the land. For the treaty to take effect, Britain had to help build a road to improve communications between Guatemala and the Atlantic coast. Because this road was never built, Guatemala insisted that the treaty was broken.
Let’s see… Pass through the Belize/Guatemala border at Benque, travel the Western Highway to Belize City or turn at Belmopan and hit the Southern Highway to one of the Port Towns along the coast..
Seems like they have their connection if you ask me. So what’s the standing issue?
Note also that:
Article Seven stipulated that the parties concerned upon would endeavour to establish adequate communications by road, river or rail, between Guatemala and the Atlantic Coast.
Ride the Mopan river east, that turns into the Belize River that empties out into the Caribbean Sea which leads to the Atlantic Ocean.
As per Google Maps… There is a link directly from Guatemala City to Belize City, the then Port stop in Belize/British Honduras..
belize city to guatemala city
For 13 years during the secretive period from 1962 to 1975, negotiations were carried out behind closed doors. Little information was given to the people of Belize or of the world. The Belizeans were observers in the British team.
And it’s happening again…
In June 1965, Britain, in consultation with Belize, agreed with Guatemala to submit the dispute to a Mediator appointed by the United States Government. The Mediator, Mr. Bethuel M. Webster
The mediator submitted the Webster Proposal…
The plan placed the defence, foreign affairs and, to a certain extent, the economy of Belize under Guatemalan control after independence. The normal channel of communication to international bodies by the Belize government was to be through the Guatemalan government.
In sum, it is believed that the proposals exclusively committed Belize to a hemispheric destiny as a satellite or department of Guatemala. Nowhere in the document was it stated that the Guatemalan claim was revoked. Nor was Belize explicitly given the right to seek membership of the Commonwealth, the United Nations or international bodies outside of the Inter-American system. She was, in short, denied the prerogative of an independent state to choose, or reorder at least some of the priorities of her future.
Bearing in mind the great disparity between Guatemala and Belize in terms of population and resources, the end result, of these proposals, taken together, would have been the effective domination of Belize by Guatemala. Belize accordingly, declared that these proposals were totally unacceptable.
1962 was a significant historical moment because in that year delegates from Belize were permitted for the first time to participate in the Anglo-Guatemalan negotiations which took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the U.K. and Guatemala as principals. Belize had not yet achieved self-government and so the delegates were members of the Executive Council which comprised Hon. George Price, who later became Prime Minister of Belize, Mr. Albert Cattouse and Hon. Louis Sylvestre, along with Hon. Harrison Courtney Sr. as the delegation’s legal adviser.
On September 25, 1981, Belize was admitted as a member of the United Nations. On the same day it became a full member of the Non-Aligned Movement, after being a member with “special status” since 1976. On Independence Day Belize was also admitted to membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Today, Belize plays its full role as a member of the Organization of American States and other international social, political and economic organizations. As an independent state, Belize has gained the respect of most of the nations of the world, including Guatemala. Although the Guatemalan claim has not yet been completely resolved, Guatemala recognized Belize’s independence in 1991, and the two countries have finally established full diplomatic relations.
From 1975 to 1979, the U.S. abstained on all the United Nations resolutions concerning Belize’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Finally, in 1980, it changed its policy of neutrality and voted in favour of the U.N. resolution that called for the independence of Belize. This resolution was adopted in November 1980. It demanded the secure independence of Belize, with all its territory, before the next session of the U.N. in 1981. It called on Britain to continue to defend Belize, and on all countries to come to its assistance. One hundred and thirty-nine countries voted in favour of the resolution, with seven abstentions and none against. Guatemala refused to vote.
That same year, the Organization of American States (OAS) fully endorsed the U.N. resolution. This was an important victory, because until then the OAS had supported Guatemala.
In 1975 at the U.N. the only Spanish-speaking Latin American country that supported Belize was Cuba.