Monday, September 15, 2008

ALBA debacle crisis with Honduras, Belize and CARICOM


The two major crisis events in Belize this past week, were foreign policy events. First were the collapse of the EPA negotiations and the Eastern Caribbean countries are now talking about re-negotiating with the EU. In Belize, our Prime Minister showed his lack of grasp of the nuances of the EPA contract with the European Union and announced himself ready to sign the EPA as is; anytime the Eastern Caribbean wanted him to. This not only was a disastrous statement, based on lack of knowledge, which he should have known, and obviously the PM did not even take the trouble to either read, or study the situation. George Bush could have done no worse. Furthermore, when the Eastern Caribbean leaders started to complain about the lack of an escape, or withdrawal clause, it was even further obvious how far out of the loop in international affairs regarding the EU and this EPA contract our Prime Minister in Belize and his advisors in Belmopan really were. We were ashamed! The Prime Minister was not protecting the interests of Belize, or seemed to even care about it?

The second crisis event was the toppling of a string of dominos, in that US Ambassadors around the ALBA signatory countries started getting kicked out in the case of Venezuela, and refused recognition in Honduras. It is not clear that Belize is yet a signatory to the ALBA alleged trade group. We still don’t know by the weekend? Nor has the ALBA contracts been discussed in government, or the open PRESS for public debate. What came clear by the FRIDAY debacle in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, when the new US Ambassador was refused recognition by the President of Honduras, was that there is more to the ALBA trade block proposed by 7 socialist countries with tyrannical communist ideological sentiments than was supposed. In fact, from commentator reports, the ALBA trade bloc apparently includes some sections involving united front, International Policy decision making? Something that BELIZE who already is a signatory to a similar CARICOM group, could not sign, or agree to. Trade with ALBA countries yes! International political stances NO! We already have a voice in a united front of Caricom countries for international affairs. Presumably, the port town media will start some investigative reporting and give us some detailed articles on where we stand on the ALBA trade bloc? Our government has already received loans and grants from the ALBA Bank, whatever that means? One gets the feeling that the BELIZE CABINET do not know what they are doing on foreign policy? There is serious lack of leadership and vision. Perhaps some of the bright sparks in the CABINET, like Rene Montero, Edmund Castro and Patrick Faber can turn their attention to long range vision of the future of Belize and foreign policy deals in particular? Somebody needs to do it?

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