PRAYER ALERT on Guatemala takes advantage. Belize has given Guatemala crucial advantages in Guatemala’s push to take over 53% of Belize’s territory. Guatemala got 96% of those voting on April 15 to say yes to taking Belize to the International Court of Justice. In contrast, Belize did not even announce when it would vote on the ICJ until two weeks after Guatemala’s vote. Belize’s vote will take place on April 10, 2019. That’s almost a full year after Guatemala’s.
Moreover, Guatemala spent $40 million in its voter education campaign. Belize said it would spend $8 million. But its 2018-2019 budget allots only $40,000 to voter education. A year ago, both major Belizean parties were cooperating in promoting a yes vote. Both expressed the utmost confidence that the ICJ would rule for Belize’s present borders. But the ruling UDP party has stopped consulting with the opposition PUP. Now PUP’s former Foreign Minister of Belize, Lisa Shoman, says that the Belizean vote “will be an overwhelming no” under present conditions.
Shoman advocates first a repeal of the Maritime Act, which now limits Belizean territorial waters to only three miles from its coast. She also says, to gain the confidence of voters, Belize needs a more stronger defense of its right to Sarstoon Island. As of now, the Guatemalan Armed Forces has contested every Belizean effort to visit or even circle that uninhabited island. Belize’s government has failed to stand up to “Guatemala’s bad behavior” in repelling Belizeans there. Shoman thinks Belize should vigorously affirm its internationally recognized borders which include Sarstoon Island.
If Belize’s vote for going to the ICJ is much less than Guatemala’s 96%, we will look like we have much less faith in our case. The ICJ might then consider the overwhelming will of the Guatemalans against the apparently weaker will of the Belizeans. Our relative inaction is allowing Guatemala to take the higher ground and gain more international support for its position. We must pray that God will arise in Belize and confirm “the ancient boundary” which He says should not be moved (Prov. 22:28; 23:10).
PRAY WITH US. Father God, we thank You for our blessings. We thank You for our independence and international favor for our sovereignty. No other nation has ever exercised authority over British Honduras or its heir Belize. But we cannot take that for granted. You see that our government and armed forces are weak. Guatemala’s are strong. And we lack funds to campaign for our court case both within Belize and outside.
Therefore we put our case before the You the Judge. You say “Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set.” So do not let the nations move it. You say of the nations, that You determined “the exact places where they should live.” So affirm our exact boundaries. And You say that the “authorities that exist have been established by God.” Therefore establish Belize’s authorities over Belize and Guatemala’s over Guatemala’s. Do not let any other court or authority overrule what You have established. We cannot count on votes or military might or money. But we count on Your Word. Help us pursue peace, respect, understanding and harmony between our nations. In Jesus’ name, amen.
DailyInsight. The more I find my weakness, the more I find God’s strength (see 2 Cor. 12:9).
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