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Barbados Becomes Republic

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Africa's Diaspora Communities | Barbados November 30, 2021

(Photo: National Heroes Square, Downtown Bridgetown, Barbados)

Barbados on November 30, 2021, ditched the Queen of England and became officially a Republic, as it also marked its 55th anniversary of independence.

The transition from a Realm to a Republic took place with replacement of the Queen as the country's head of state with a President, in a ceremony held at midnight on November 29, 2021, at the National Heroes Square in downtown Bridgetown. Sworn in as the first President of the new Republic, was former representative of the Queen in the country Governor General Dame Sandra Mason. She was elected President by the country parliament in October 2021.

Attending the landmark change in constitutional status of Barbados, were Prime Minister Mia Motley, Prince Charles of England, and Rihanna, among many other dignitaries.

Barbados was a British colony from 1625 to 1966. The country has, therefore, a very long colonial link with Britain. However, the link is said to have been purely exploitative, by which the former colonial power enriched itself immensely from produce from plantations supported by labor from African slaves. It is not surprising therefore, that some local activists are demanding more than simple apologies from Britain for its past involvement in slavery there. The activists want to see Britain also making financial compensation alias reparations to Barbados for the looting it carried out in the country during its colonial rule.

Notwithstanding, the new Republic of Barbados will remain a member of the Commonwealth.

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