Brit-calm to this Carribbean colony which calm to this carribbean colony which has been shaken for several days by an invasion threat from neighboring Guatemala.
No precise figure has been disclosed on the number of additional troops Britain has sent. The figure for the force present in the country was estimted last week at between 1,000 and 2,500. There are 350 Belizean soldiers.
Britain has said that Guatemala has massed 8,000 to 10,000 troops along the border,
Reports from the frontier said that British troops had begun digging in there. The Single-runway airport here is under a heavy guard of British and Belizean troops. An anti-aircraft battery has been set up there and British fighters maintain a constant patrol of the skies.
Neverthless the city appears normal except for occassional British army truck rumbling through the streets.
The arrival of the troops and Harrier aircraft and the stationing of the frigate Achilles off the coast has convinced Belizeans that the Guatemalans could not carry out a successful invasion.
But until the builders there had been deep fear of an imminent attack. Many persons living along the border fled to this coastal city, bringing reports of Guatemala troop concentrations in the area. A German Mennonite farmer in town to pick up supplies said he felt there was "much danger."
There was general agreement that this is the worst crisis yet in the history of relatives between Belize, formerely known as British Honduras, and Guatemala.
"Feelings are running much higher on both sides," said British Governor Peter McEntec, in a meeting today with reporters. He said that because of Guatemala vows to move against Belize. "We came to the conclusion that we had no choice but to call in reinforcements."
Although Belize was settled by the British and its population of 130,000 are predominantly English-speaking. Guatemala has clained for 150 years that it inherited the territory from Spain.
Britain has announced its intention to give the colony its indepedence but Guatemalans have expressed fear that Belize would be too weak and an easy prey to a Communist takeover. Cuba could use it to dispatch Communust infiltrations into Central America they said.
Observers here think it unlikely that Guatemala would attempt an invasion be sea and the airport seems too well-guarded to make an airborne attack feasible. As for a land invasion the thick jungle and pine woods would seem to limit the Guatemalans to the sole dirt road that crosses the border. It is thought that this route could be defended easily.
There was no popular support for Guatamalan to be found among people interviewed here. "I wouldn't spend one minute under their military government," one black Belizean said of Guatemala.
Similarly the large Spanish minority expresed no wish to join with Guatemala. Most are descendants of Mexican who emigrate from the Yucatan Peninsula in the 19th Century and they show little affiniy with their Latin cousins.
"We have it good here," one Spanish cab driver said in English . "THere's no reason to change."
One British enlisted soldier said. "Lets finish it, one way or the other."
ize Cabinet ministers. A joint communique issued Thursday called for more talks and a reduction of tension.
"We have succeeded in internationalizing the issue of our independence," said Price, 58, adding that "it was not a happy feeling" to be in Washington when his homeland was under threat of invasion. "But we were assured by the presence of the British," who reinforced their garrison there, he said.
Price said he has one dispute with Britain - its refusal to offer a military guarantee of Belizean territory after independence - remains unresolved.
Price asked U.S. suport for a U.N. resolution he expects to be introduced atthe fall General Assembly calling for independence and guarantees for Belize.
Price and his multiracial delegation met the press at the Sheraton-Park Hotel. He said that the fact the majority of Belizeans are of African descent is a source of friction with the Guatemalans, who are largely of Spanish and Indian origin.Price said his ancestors were African, Asian Mayan and Welsh.
Belizeans speak three Mayan languages and Carib-African Gauirfuno as well as Spanish and English, he said. Then he introduced his attorney general. Assad Shorman, whose father was a Palestinian "My father lost a country and I'm still trying to find one," he said.
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Adoflo Molino Arantes met yesterday with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and told reports afterwards that "we made it very clear we demand some territorial arrangements," perhaps a corridor to the sea in any settlement, while not demanding the entire colony.
Belize insists that Guatemala's only legitimate claim, based on an 1859 treaty, is for a promised cart road never built - and this should be compensated for financially, not with territory.
A State Department spokeman expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the talks which were held at the Organization of American States, saying they had "substantially cased tensions."