Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Belize Foreign Minister Elrington takes philosphical intelligentsia view of cabal in Honduras

BElize Foreign Minister Elrington


I caught only the last bit of the Elrington interview on Channel 5 TV this morning show. Elrington is the Foreign Minister of Belize and he was trying to explain his attitude, to what is happening in Honduras, prior to the election for President only about five months away in Honduras.
Our Foreign Minister made the Belize official position, joining with CARICOM and the OAS in condemning the ouster of Zelaya as President of Honduras as clear as he could make it.
From our viewpoint in Western Belize rural parts, we divide the debate into two parts as to Belize Foreign Policy. The first part was Elrington came across in his decision making process, as dealing from an academic, lawyer type point of view. Sort of an intellectualist point of view, based on abstractions.
What seems to have bothered him and CARICOM, was the midnight seizure and expulsion of ex-President Zelaya. The fact that Zelaya was hustled out of his house in his pajamas by some soldiers to an airplane and flown to Costa Rica.
Since the Foreign Policy decision in Belize was made by Elrington on the basis of academic and intellectual arguments, rather than pragmatic things. What was not discussed was the NATIONAL INTEREST OF BELIZE. The decision Elrington made did not have anything to do with pragmatics, or the future in Belize and how the decision effected our long term relationship with Honduras would continue.
I thought Elrington’s reasoning was not pragmatic enough, but in the short or long run, is unlikely to effect our relations with Honduras over either the intermediate term, or long term. So what Elrington voted on behalf of the nation of Belize, will probably not matter. Basically it is a tempest in a teapot, as it worked out. But it could have been worse for Belize if Zelaya had succeeded. Down the road could have been some really god-awful problems and interference in our own economy and politics if Zelaya had succeeded with his coup, which got pre-empted, by his own political party, congress and Cabinet.
I did find it disturbing that our UDP CABINET are not working in the BELIZE NATIONAL INTEREST. Foreign policy decisions should be pragmatic. While Elrington kept referring to the Military Coup, and recently the international media including Elrington have stopping using the word Military as it is now obvious it was not a military coup. Though Elrington and through him representing the voice of Belizeans, keeps calling it a coup. Though now he calls it a coup by the rich oligarchy capitalists in Congress. The interview on television though, was more about a Congress and Supreme Court made of Oligarchs, or Capitalists. The reasoning left me cold. Elrington himself is a rich capitalist and an Oligarch in Belize circles.
There was a coup attempt by ZELAYA who wanted to be PRESIDENT FOR LIFE. He could only do so, by using the power coming out of the barrel of a gun. ZELAYA is a capitalist lumber industry Baron and an oligarch in Honduras and belongs to the crowd he was trying to bypass and usurp. Yet his personal ambition is more to do with egoism and a lust for dictatorial power. Zelaya was attempting to use the military to circumvent the Congressional representatives, elected by the majority of people of Honduras. What happened was an internal power struggle, between a dictator wanna be, attempting to use the military to enforce a unilateral coup attempt, in going around the legal government mechanisms on separation of powers of the executive. His compatriots in the Congress, pre-empted him, when in his dictatorial anger, he fired the Generals who refused to use force to do his illegal referendum, much like has been done successfully by Presidents for Life, in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. They then in Congress decided after consultation to get rid of Zelaya instead. Hence the midnight raid and expulsion. They would have been all for the firing squad anyway if Zelaya succeeded.
From the NATIONALIST INTEREST OF BELIZE viewpoint, a dictator such as ZELAYA in power in Honduras, enslaving the military by putting in puppets and getting rid of opponents in Congress would have been BAD FOR BELIZE. The intermediate and long term ramifications could have been worse for Belize. We’ve had refugees from Honduras dictators many times in Belize and at Caye Caulker. At least at the moment, the status quo has been maintained. You must remember ZELAYA’S advisors, like Presidents for Life, -Correa of Ecuador - President for Life in Venezuela, Chavez ,have been seizing businesses, closing down businesses, exiling or jailing people who are opponents and now in both Venezuela and Ecuador there is no long any television and other media opposition viewpoints. Zelaya wanted the same for Honduras in the longer term. In Belize we cannot tolerate that.
I think that in this particular case what Belize votes in the OAS, or CARICOM does not matter. Events after all worked out well in the end and Zelaya is gone. He was due to be gone in six months anyway, which is why he tried his own coup, under the guidance of Chavez, and from the viewpoint of the immediate future, there is going to be less problems and interference with Belize, because Zelaya the wanna be DICTATOR ( President for Life ) is gone.
That said, I do think that our BELIZE FOREIGN OFFICE should be thinking in USA terms, which is the NATIONAL INTEREST OF BELIZE, which means the ‘economy and money’. Not all these silly arguments that are academic and University level student, midnight coffee shop chatter in the nature of CARICOM intellectuals, who cannot even build and run a business, but must work for a poor government salary, represent an exploration of maturing of student youngsters. Interesting to discuss all night with student friends when you are between 18 and 24, but not practical in the real world. We hope Honduras elects a good capitalist President in the November elections. Pragmatism though should be our goal in Foreign Policy in Belize, not this high brow academic intellectualism. Of course, I’m just a retired fisherman, so my viewpoint tends to be more in what works best, not the abstract philosophies.

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