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Barbados makes a new attempt to become a republic, leaving behind the colonial past

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BRIDGETOWN (Reuters) – Barbados should become a republic and leave behind its colonial past, a senior official said Wednesday after the Caribbean island nation said it wanted to remove Queen Britains Elizabeth as its head of state.

A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, the nation of just over 300,000 has maintained an official connection to the British monarchy just like some other countries that were once part of the British Empire.

The time has come to completely abandon our colonial past, said Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason, delivering a speech on behalf of the country’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

Mottley won a big win in 2018.

Barbadians want a Barbados head of state. This is the ultimate statement of belief in who we are and what we are capable of achieving, Mason said.

Therefore, Barbados will take the next logical step towards full sovereignty and become a republic at a time when we are celebrating the 55th anniversary of independence.

That anniversary will come in November 2021.

But in the Caribbean island country the suggestion has been met with skepticism.

The idea of ​​becoming a republic has been put forward by various governments in recent decades.

Recently, there has been frustration with government delays in removing ea colonial statues.

The bronze statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, erected in 1813, still stands on Broad Street in the capital Bridgetown.

It was planned to be removed last month when various countries around the world began removing similar statues from public spaces as anti-racism protests escalated.

Roy R. Morris, the Barbados prime minister’s press secretary, said in response to Reuters questions that there was no particular reason for the timing of a new push to become a republic other than the fulfillment of a long-standing promise by politicians. islands.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Rob Edison Sandiford; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Cynthia Osterman

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