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Barbados becomes the World’s newest republic

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    7th Dec, 2021

Context

Recently, Barbados has officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become the World’s newest republic, around 400 years after it became a British colony.

About

The country profile

  • Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of the Americas, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands.
  • It is in the western part of the North Atlantic, east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Its neighbours include Saint Lucia, to the north, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, to the west, and Trinidad and Tobago to the south.
  • Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt.
  • On November 30, 1966, Barbados gained its independence.
  • Dame Sandra Prunella Mason and Mia Amor Mottley are the current President and Prime minister of Barbados.
  • Barbados is part of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which was formed in 1973.
  • While it is an Atlantic island, Barbados is closely associated with the Caribbean and is ranked as one of its leading tourist destinations.

Key-Highlights

  • After removed Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the state.
  • Dame Sandra Prunella Mason took over as the President of Barbados.
    • Mason was selected to become the first president of Barbados in October 2021.
    • Mason was selected as President of Barbados, at a joint meeting of both the Houses of Parliament of Barbados.
  • His name was announced by Speaker of the House of Assembly, Arthur Holder.
  • Barbados will not be the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic.
  • Guyana took that step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Britain. Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.

Background

  • Barbados is said to have been made a ‘slave society’ by the British.
  • Barbados first became an English colony in 1625. It was a part of the British Empire for over 400 years, a link in the lines of trade, commerce and oppression that English mercantilism and colonialism fostered for centuries.
    • It gained its independence in 1966.
  • Slaves, indentured labour, a lack of democracy — the Caribbean was home to some of the most institutionalised and invisibilised horrors in history.
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