New Book and Panel Discussion on Belize’s Independence and Decolonization

The Institute for the Study of the Americas of the University of London is hosting a panel discussion, “Belize’s Independence: Decolonization by Internalization,” Assad Shoman (author of the forthcoming book on this topic), Victor Bulmer, and Thomas Dylan Vernon. The discussion will take place on Wednesday May, 5, 2010, at 5:00-7:30pm in Room 273 (Stewart House, Second floor), University of London, Malet Street, London.

Belize, a small British colony in Central America faced with a territorial claim and military threats from neighboring Guatemala, overcame disadvantages of size and power by implementing a strategy of internationalization that utilized new international norms and international organizations, in particular the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations. Assad Shoman’s latest book, Belize’s Independence and Decolonization in Latin America: Guatemala, Britain and the UN (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), details the history of the territorial claim and of the international campaign that made it possible for Belize to achieve secure independence with all its territory despite pressures from Britain and the United States to cede land and compromise its sovereignty.

Assad Shoman (Ph.D., University of London) has been involved since the 1970s in the diplomatic struggle of Belize for its independence and in finding a definitive resolution to Guatemalan’s territorial claim on Belize. He has represented his country as ambassador in Europe and Latin America, and held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also Ambassador of Belize to the EU and to Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain, and High Commissioner to the UK, Minister of National Development, and Senior Ambassador with Ministerial Rank, Chief Negotiator of the Government of Belize, and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister. A lawyer by profession, he is the author of numerous articles and eight books on Belize and Central America, including 13 Chapters of a History of Belize, the recognized history textbook in Belize. He currently lives in Havana, Cuba and works as a freelance writer.

For more information on the lecture, see

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