Belize. The hope of a definitive solution to the old border dispute with Guatemala increased in February after a meeting of representatives of the two countries in Washington, organized by the American cooperation organization OAS. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Belize include Independence Day (September 21) and New Year (January 1). The new agreement included to include a maritime law expert and government officials from Honduras, who are neighbors to both countries, to participate in the final negotiations on the 12,000 km 2 large area of Belize that Guatemala is claiming historically.
The region of Belize has belonged to the great Mayan kingdom, but after its conquest by the Spaniards, it gradually became a base for British pirates. Interestingly, a few pirates had a “permit” issued by the Queen’s Book of England to rob Spanish ships sailing in a cargo of value. The English consolidated their position in the area and it became the Crown Colony, or British Honduras. The region gained internal self-government in Belize name and independence only in 1981. As the only Central American country there, English is spoken as the main language. Hurricanes devastated the old capital so badly that in 1970 the more inland Belmopan was declared the new capital.
- According to abbreviationfinder, BZ is the abbreviation code for Belize.
The country is relaxed and stress-free in the Caribbean. The former capital of Belize City is a dilapidated but very colorful city. On the beautiful beaches of Caye Caulker, mangrove trees and coconut palms provide shade in the scorching sun. There are also some of the most exciting dive sites in the world.
Area: 23,300 km²
Population: 399,598 (estimate 7/2020)
Population: 11% Mayans, 6% Garifunas
Language: English, Creole
Main products: Sugar, bananas, fish products
Form of government: Parliamentary democracy
The political events of Belize, a member of the Commonwealth and independent since 1981, continued to be influenced by relations with neighboring Guatemala, which did not cease to make claims against Belize, despite the fact that a process of normalization of relations between the two countries.
Relations with Guatemala seemed to have reached a turning point in September 1991, when the two countries signed an agreement on the maritime borders of the Bay of Amatique, under which Guatemala gained access to the Caribbean Sea through a limitation of territorial waters. of Belize. In this way the main obstacle to the recognition of the Belize was eliminated, the Guatemalan president J. Serrano Elías officially announced the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This decision was then ratified by the Guatemalan Parliament in November 1992 ; followed, in April 1993, the signing of a non-aggression pact, which allowed Great Britain to evacuate the troops it had left there after 1981 from Belize in difesa dell’integrità territoriale del nuovo Stato.
These developments, however, did not definitively resolve the dispute between Guatemala and Belize, as both Serrano Elías and his successor R. de León Carpio (who became president in June 1993) reaffirmed the territorial claims on Belize after 1992. On the other hand, the terms of the Bay of Amatique agreement also raised concerns in Belize and caused strong disagreements within the same ruling party, the People’s United Party (PUP), which eventually led to early elections. Held in June 1993, these were won by the United Democratic Party (UDP), which obtained 16 representatives in the House (increased to 29 seats), against 13 of the PUP. The new prime minister, M. Esquivel, who replaced G. Price at the head of the government, announced that he wanted to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, which had not yet been ratified by Parliament, and that he wanted to hold a popular referendum. Furthermore, Esquivel sought the support of Great Britain and CARICOM, which firmly supported the sovereignty of the Belize against the repeated Guatemalan claims, which ultimately landed on the United Nations Secretary General (March 1994).
In domestic politics, Esquivel fought the sale of citizenship certificates which had fueled large flows of immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The government’s action against drug traffickers was not very effective. Based on austerity criteria, the economic policy of the executive over the years fueled a growing popular discontent: already defeated by the PUP in the administrative offices of March 1996, Esquivel’s party obtained just 3 seats in the legislative consultations of August 1998, against the 26 gained. by the PUP, whose leader, S. Musa, gave birth to a new government.