Barbados To Remove Queen Elizabeth As Head Of State And Declares Plan To Become A Republic

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Barbados To Remove Queen Elizabeth As Head Of State And Declares Plan To Become A Republic

Photo: Queen Elizabeth II pictured during a visit to Barbados in 1989 - AP/1989

The Caribbean nation of Barbados has stated that it will become a Republic and remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. The island nation intends to complete the process in time for celebrating its 55th year of independence from the United Kingdom.

It does appear that the idea to move towards a republic will not be put to the people of Barbados in a referendum, and instead will be imposed unilaterally by the current government. The move however is seen as having widespread public support.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced the move in a speech in which she said:

"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence."

Barbados as a British colony was prized for its sugar exports, on which the country still receives significant income. However, it was also, in earlier times, a place where the British Empire would export slaves to work on the sugar plantations. The majority of the population of Barbados are descended from former slaves.

The economy is now growing at a significant rate and it is one of the richest countries in a region blighted by poverty and social issues. The economy has also seen a significant boost due to growth in both the tourism sector and the finance industry.

Buckingham Palace released a statement on the decision in which it said stoically:

"This is a matter for the government and people of Barbados."

Barbados is hardly the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic. Guyana became a republic in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.

It is thought that the current high-level of publicity for black rights, not only in the United States but across the world, has played a part in the decision for Barbados to move away from its colonial history and embrace greater independence, even if this greater independence will be largely symbolic. The British monarchy plays little to no part in the actual running of the nations over which it remains sovereign.

Queen Elizabeth II still remains sovereign over a number of major nations, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as smaller nations such as Jamaica, The Bahamas and Papua New Guinea. It is certainly possible that many of these nations will move towards becoming republics in the future.

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Thinking Humanity: Barbados To Remove Queen Elizabeth As Head Of State And Declares Plan To Become A Republic
Barbados To Remove Queen Elizabeth As Head Of State And Declares Plan To Become A Republic
The Caribbean nation of Barbados has stated that it will become a Republic and remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
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