Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2022. 2:28 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias:
After being told by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness that Jamaica plans to ditch the Queen as the Sovereign and become a republic, Prince William said in the Bahamas that the Royal Family supports any decision taken by countries that still have the Queen as their Head of State.
During a speech in the Bahamas, the final leg of the three-country tour that previously took the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Belize and Jamaica, Prince William said relationships change but the United Kingdom and such countries would remain friends.
“With Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to say this: We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future. Relationships evolve. Friendship endures,” said Prince William.
Though the Duke mentioned Belize, and despite a number of foreign-based reports that say Belize is intending to follow Barbados, there have been no open serious discussions on Belize becoming a republic and no member of Government had many any declarations specifically on the matter until Minister of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform Henry Charles Usher brought it up on Thursday during the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, a couple of days after the Cambridges had left.
“Madame Speaker, the decolonisation process is enveloping the Caribbean region,” Usher said. “Perhaps it is time for Belize to take the next step in truly owning our independence. But it is a matter that the people of Belize must decide on.”
On Тhurѕdау, Аuguѕt 19, 2021, after meeting with Minister Usher, the Веlіzе Nеtwоrk оf Nоn-Gоvеrnmеntаl Оrgаnіzаtіоnѕ (ВNN) Ѕtееrіng Соmmіttее said thеу “wеrе рlеаѕеd tо nоtе thаt thе Міnіѕtеr rесоgnіzеѕ thаt Соnѕtіtutіоnаl Rеfоrm іѕ а vеrу іmроrtаnt раrt оf thе dесоlоnіzаtіоn рrосеѕѕ, раrtісulаrlу bесаuѕе Веlіzеаnѕ іnhеrіtеd а Соnѕtіtutіоn whісh wе dіd nоt hаvе аn орроrtunіtу tо ѕhаре.”
The Network said its rерrеѕеntаtіvеѕ аgrееd wіth Міnіѕtеr Usher “thаt іt wоuld bе а trеmеndоuѕ mіѕѕеd орроrtunity іf wе dо nоt wоrk tоgеthеr … tо еnѕurе thаt а brоаd-bаѕеd Соnѕtіtutіоnаl Аѕѕеmblу іѕ ѕеt uр tо оvеrѕее аnd сооrdіnаtе thе rеfоrm рrосеѕѕ,” but back then no mention was ever made about Belize becoming a republic.
Many Belizeans, responding to a question posed by Breaking Belize News on social networks, said that Belize is best served with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State considering the Guatemalan claim.
We’ll see where we go from here, but for now Jamaica, as Holness said, is ‘moving on’ and has already started the process.
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