No republic status anytime soon – Sir Hilary

Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is not holding his breath in the expectation that Barbados will become a republic anytime soon.

In fact, Sir Hilary believes this country will be the last to remove the queen as head of state.

It was in late March last year that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told a St George South constituency branch meeting of the Democratic Labour Party that “we have to move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future”.

This, observers interpreted to mean it would have happened for the 50th anniversary of Independence this year.

Yet, nothing has happened since, in very much the same way former Prime Minister Owen Arthur failed to follow through after announcing in 2005, his own plans for replacing the queen with a Barbadian president.

Speaking last night at the launch of his latest book, The first Black Slave Society: Britain’s Barbarity time in Barbados 1636-1876, Sir Hilary suggested Barbados was not yet ready to break its direct links with the British monarchy.

“My expectations is that Barbados will probably become the last country in this region to become a republic.  I cannot see it. If you imagine that we cannot even get government to move Lord Nelson [statue] out of Parliament Square … a slave owner has a monument in our parliament square, and each time there is a conversation to move it there’s a public revolt. So how do you become a republic if you cannot remove an imperial warmonger slave owner . . . out of your parliament square?” he asked those gathered at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination for the book launch. Read more

Source: Barbados Today