Country Listing

Belize Table of Contents


Relations with Other Countries

Depending on international support to guarantee its independence and seeking foreign investment, Belize has sought to expand its diplomatic and economic ties with other nations. It was a member of the UN, the Nonaligned Movement, and the Commonwealth of Nations (see Appendix B). In 1990 Belize appointed a roving ambassador to the European Economic Community. Belize established relations with China in 1987. Then in October 1989, Belize announced a "Two-China" policy and established full diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China swiftly rejected Belize's policy and suspended relations. The switch in relations was apparently motivated by the failure of China to follow through on Belize's expectation of economic assistance, which Taiwan seemed eager to supply.

Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Belize supported the UN Security Council resolutions imposing economic and trade sanctions against Iraq and authorizing the use of force to liberate Kuwait. In supporting the UN resolutions, Belize stressed its own interest in seeing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of small, vulnerable states protected. Although it favored peaceful, diplomatic, and political solutions to the crisis, it regarded the use of force by the United States-led coalition to be consistent with those resolutions. Said Musa also called for a comprehensive Middle East peace conference to resolve the long-standing problems of the region, especially of the rights of the Palestinian people, and for the United States and its allies to secure Israeli compliance with relevant UN resolutions. Although Belize did not contribute troops to the coalition forces, an undetermined number of Belizean nationals serving in the United States military saw action in the Persian Gulf War.

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Tom Barry 's Belize: A Country Guide, Julio A. Fernandez's Belize: Case Study for Democracy in Central America, and O. Nigel Bolland's Belize: A New Nation in Central America all deal with Belizean politics and government in the post-independence era and are recommended. Assad Shoman's Party Politics in Belize is interesting because of the perspective given by a participant in Belizean politics, but it is not as readily available as the above-named works. For an in-depth treatment of the preindependence history, Narda Dobson's A History of Belize is an excellent source. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of January 1992