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Belizean-Guatemalan Territory Dispute

Belize and Guatemala have had a longstanding conflict that goes back centuries, well predating the establishment of Belize in the 20th century and even Guatemala in the early 19th century. The conflict between the two sovereign countries harkens back to colonial times, when the Spaniards controlled all of South America (with the exception of Portuguese-controlled Brazil) and Central America by dint of a Papal decree.

Map of Americas Ruled by Spanish and Portugese Colonies in 1790
Map of Americas Ruled by Spanish and Portugese Colonies in 1790
Map of South America 1790

The conflict over what is now the internationally-recognized independent and modern-day State of Belize began in the 17th century, when the Spaniards found themselves unable to gain and retain control over the territory now known as Belize. On the one hand, the Spaniards failed to fully subdue the indigenous Mayan people who lived there. On the other hand, they refrained from settling that area, contrary to much of the rest of the continent. The British, who were the Spaniards’ colonial competitors and controlled most of the islands in the Caribbean Sea as well as North America, took the opportunity of Spain’s failure at controlling Belize to move ashore onto the mainland and to settle the area instead of the Spaniards. …

It seems safe to say that coronavirus has affected nearly every aspect of our lives these days. It has shut down the economy, kept us confined to our homes, and has been completely dominating the news. What else could there be to do other than watch the constant reports about the numbers of hospitalized and dead? How can we avoid falling into a rut of fear about an uncertain future?

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Well, I would argue that there is plenty to do. In fact, now is the perfect time to work on planning a strategy for the future. Yes, right now. If this crisis does nothing else, it should be a demonstration of how important it is to have a sound, comprehensive asset protection strategy. Why? Because this crisis will eventually end, but the necessity of having a long-term financial perspective will not. This is imperative for dealing with any other world crises that may come our way in the future. Our current situation demonstrates the plausibility of such crises quite well and while there is no need to panic, being well prepared is essential. …

While it is true that the ideal time for legal planning may have been prior to the coronavirus outbreak, those that have not yet tended to these affairs need not look at the past with regret. First, to do so is pointless. Second, the best time to plan ahead from this point forward is actually right now. Many of us may have a bit more time on our hands through working from home and being in isolation of one sort or another. This presents a great opportunity to ask ourselves whether we have sufficiently structured our business and personal affairs correctly, or whether we have even done any type of planning at all. Taking a critical look at the quality of one’s business, investment, and estate planning can be gratifying for some, terrifying for others, and confusing for many. But we really have to ask ourselves — if we don’t use this time now to take care of planning for both the inevitable and the plausible, then when will that time be? …

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Many people ask me whether banking options still exist for Americans to open a bank account in Europe. The answer is “yes”…but. The truth is that global banking regulations led by the US and EU have made it more difficult to bank on the other side of the pond for citizens of both. I’ll leave Europeans trying to open a bank account in the US for another day, but today we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages for American banking in Europe.

Numerous regulations, such as FATCA, The Patriot Act, Sarbanes Oxley, have forced up the compliance costs that banks have to bear when doing business, especially business with foreigners. So it’s not a question of whether it is legal or not for foreigners to bank in other countries (it is completely legal), but rather whether a European bank “WANTS” to have clients from the US and if so under what circumstances does it make economic sense for the bank to serve Americans. So before we look at the opportunities for Americans to bank in a Europe, let’s have a brief historical overview of the major legislative and regulatory actions that effect Americans investing and banking abroad. …

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Strategies for Launching a Cryptocurrency-Interfacing Bank

So you’ve decided to launch your own startup bank. And you want it to be competitive in the global banking world while interfacing with cryptocurrencies. Well, you have your work cut out for you because you’re going to find yourself in the middle of an epic battle between governments, which want to regulate everything, and many elements of the crypto world, which want nothing regulated. If you still wish to go forward, consider the following important points.

The Truth About Crypto Transparency

First, let’s dispel some common misconceptions about cryptocurrencies and transparency.

The era of cryptocurrency began with Bitcoin, which radically disrupted the financial marketplace. Today, there are roughly 500 cryptocurrencies traded on a blockchain platform with more coming online almost daily. …

By Scott Lambert

I recently had the great pleasure of talking with the retired Austrian Ambassador Kurt Hengl about his time as an Austrian Ambassador and his working relationship with Ambassador Joel Nagel.

Ambassador Hengl and Ambassador Nagel worked together at the UN. Ambassador Hengl has been the Austrian Ambassador to Israel and the Austrian Ambassador to the UN. Joel is the former Ambassador for Belize to Austria and the current Ambassador to the UN for Belize. …

This interview was conducted by Scott Lambert:

Recently I had the great pleasure to talk with Dr. Longoria, Director of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), to find out what the IAEA is doing for the country of Belize. Dr. Longoria oversees the assistance that the IAEA provides to the countries in the region of Latin America and all of the Caribbean.

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Dr. Longoria, photo:

Following is my very interesting conversation with Dr. Longoria:

Scott Lambert:

Many times people think that the IAEA is only involved with issues surrounding nuclear weaponry, but I have learned that there are many other areas that the IAEA is involved in that help many countries. …


Joel Nagel

Husband, father, attorney, entrepreneur, diplomat, founder of Nagel & Associates LLC. Views my own.,

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