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The Belize Triangle: Relations with Britain, Guatemala and the United States*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Anthony J. Payne*
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield (England)

Extract

Within the international politics of the Caribbean Basin attention is only rarely paid to the position of Belize. This neglect is the more remarkable since Belize epitomizes — more precisely than any other territory of the region — the characteristic geopolitical problem of the Caribbean caught, as it were, uneasily between the United States, Latin America and Europe. Yet, despite being threatened by the Guatemalan claim to sovereignty over its territory, which delayed its independence until 1981, Belize has skillfully taken advantage of its British colonial past to carve out for itself a distinctive geopolitical space in Central America and the Caribbean. This has allowed it not only to remain relatively undisturbed by the conflicts which have riven the other states of the Central American isthmus, but also to display a commitment to democratic change strong enough to sustain the electoral defeat — in December 1984 — of a regime which had held power in the country for more than thirty years, as well as the defeat of its successor — in September 1989 — after just one term in office.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Miami 1990

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Footnotes

*

Material in this article was originally presented as a paper at the 46th International Congress of Americanists, Amsterdam (Holland), July 1988.

References

Barrow, D. (1987) Interview with author, 29 May, Belmopan.Google Scholar
Caribbean Insight (1987a) “Belize.” November: 4.Google Scholar
Barrow, D.(1987b) “Belize: Government closes door on immigration.” July: 8.Google Scholar
Barrow, D.(1986) “Progress Report on Belize.” October: 14.Google Scholar
Barrow, D.(1985a) “Belize.” July: 3.Google Scholar
Barrow, D.(1985b) “Britain will maintain defense commitment to Belize.” February: 8.Google Scholar
Foulkes, G. (1986) Statement of M.P. Foulkes to House of Commons, London, 15 December.Google Scholar
Latin America Bureau (1988) The Thatcher Years: Britain and Latin America. London, England: Latin America Bureau.Google Scholar
Latin American Newsletters [London]: Caribbean Report (1985) “Belize: An Interview with Prime Minister Esquivel.” August: 6.Google Scholar
Payne, A. (1981) “Change in the Commonwealth Caribbean” (Chatham House Paper No. 12). London, England: Royal Institute of International Affairs.Google Scholar
Petch, T. (1989) “The Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute.” Unpublished paper presented to the Society of Caribbean Studies Annual Conference, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England, July (mimeo).Google Scholar
(The) Reporter (Belize City) (1987) quoted in the Bridgetown (Barbados) Sunday Advocate, 31 May.Google Scholar
(The) Sunday Times (London) (1983) October 2.Google Scholar
United Kingdom (UK) (1983) “Belize and the Dispute with Guatemala” (Background Brief, February). London, England: United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.Google Scholar
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