By A. Shoman
Belize, a small British colony in imperative the United States confronted with a territorial declare and army threats from neighboring Guatemala, overcame hazards of dimension and gear by way of imposing a technique of internationalization that applied new foreign norms and overseas enterprises, particularly the Non-Aligned circulate and the United international locations. This publication, written by means of a key participant within the independence fight, info the heritage of the territorial declare and of the overseas crusade that made it attainable for Belize to accomplish safe independence with all its territory regardless of pressures from Britain and the us to cede land and compromise its sovereignty.
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Extra resources for Belize's Independence and Decolonization in Latin America: Guatemala, Britain, and the UN (Studies of the Americas)
Although the slave trade was abolished by Britain in 1807, in 1820 there were still over 2,500 slaves in Belize. 15 The slaves in Belize were fortunate in that the settlement was surrounded by territories administered by Spanish officials who were only too happy to give them refuge as a means of destabilizing the British settlement. 19 The independence of the Central American countries only made matters worse for the slave owners. ”20 Another contentious issue complained of by the visiting Spanish commissioners was the use made of the land.
Britain’s concept of prestige, its desire to be considered a good international citizen, was highly instrumental in leading it to be mindful of the views of the Belizean government, which were so fully supported by the overwhelming majority of the international community. And when that majority became a consensus (with the adherence of Latin American 22 B E L I Z E’ S I N D E P E N D EN C E states and especially of the United States), this acquired a level of pressure that it was almost impossible for the UK to resist.
Upon taking office in 1964 (by which time Belize had become self-governing and expected to gain independence within four years), Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Labor) believed that Britain had to maintain three defense roles: the strategic nuclear, the defense of Europe under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and a global role: our maritime tradition, our reputation . . 65 This grandiose vision of Britain’s “unique” world power role could not be sustained. ”66 Wilson’s second government (1966–1970) enunciated to Belize its policy of no defense guarantee after independence.
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