INTRODUCTION: Constitutional talks on independence for Belize opened in London on Monday (6 April).
GV Marlborough House, London.
CU INT The Honourable C.L.B. Rogers (leader Belize delegation) on right ZOOM TO Mr. Nicholas Ridley MP. (3 SHOTS)
SV & PULL BACK Rogers and Ridley into conference room.
CU Chandelier PULL BACK conference table.
CU ZOOM OUT Rogers speaking. (2 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 5: ROGERS:"Our task, Mr. Chairman, which begins today, is to agree to a system of government for Belize as an independent nation. And that is the issue which has pre-occupied the minds of Belizians since 1963. It was in that year that we last came together to discuss the Constitution of Belize, and agreed then to assert government constitution."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Constitutional talks on independence for Belize opened in London on Monday (6 April). Belize, situated on the Atlantic coast of Central America, is Britain's last colony in the Americas. The independence conference was boycotted by Belize's main opposition party - but went ahead despite a state of emergency in the country after violent rioting.
SYNOPSIS: Marlborough House in London was the conference venue. The Belize representative was Deputy Prime Minister Lindy Rogers, and for the British government, Foreign Office Minister Nicholas Ridley attended the talks. The United Democratic Front (UDP) was not at the opening because it objects to a settlement between Britain and Guatemala, which previously claimed Belize for itself.
The settlement, signed in March, allows Guatemala access to the sea through Belize. In exchange it has renounced its claim to the colony. Four people died last week, during riots against -- as a result -- imposed martial law. Deputy Prime Minister Rogers spelled out the issues.