Belize Commemorates Emancipation Day with First Official Ceremony
Belize held its first ever official ceremony yesterday to commemorate Emancipation Day. Belize placed the observance on its country calendar in 2021, and declared August 1 as a public and bank holiday. It is a day that marks the abolition of slavery from the British Empire with history archives showing the first set of slaves arriving in Belize in 1724 to work in the logwood and mahogany business. Slavery in Belize continued through the colonial period, and was brought to an end in 1964 when Belize gained self-government followed by independence in 1981. It wasn’t until 2021, however, that the Government of Belize declared August 1 as Emancipation Day. In the first ever Emancipation Day ceremony in Belize, Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, lamented on how long it took Belize to observe this day.
Minister Francis Fonseca also spoke on the event, reiterating his statement from two years ago, that Emancipation Day should see Belizeans, as a nation, renew their commitment in correcting this injustice and addressing these inequities. He added that it must be done by creating greater opportunities for education, employment, land, and housing ownership,