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Reparations and ditching the monarchy: a time for change

Since the Queen’s passing, yesterday talks about reparations and a shift from constitutional monarchy to a republic are wide. Many young people on social media feel that it’s time to make the leap; others fear that jumping now will have long-lasting ramifications. Dale McDougall looks at what some of our political leaders have said on this subject. 

Patrick Faber, Area Representative, Collet: “In my view it’s long overdue that Belize joins in.” 

Dale McDougall, Love News: Joins in the discussion on reparations for centuries of slavery. With the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday and with the ascension of King Charles III today, the Commonwealth has a lot on its collective mind. It could be easily imagined that the discussion on reparations for slavery will be amped. Some expect millions, possibly billions of dollars. But it’s not about the big bucks…at least not in a wider sense. 

Cordel Hyde, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “Reparations is mostly about making repairs, self-made repairs on ourselves, mental repairs, psychological repairs, cultural repairs, organizational repairs, social repairs, institutional repairs, technological repairs, economic repairs, political repairs, educational repairs, repairs of every type that we need in order to re-create and sustain black societies.”  

Dale McDougall, Love News:  And that necessary but major significant transformation is also tied in to whether Belize – as a first step – ditch the British monarch altogether.  

Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Constitutional Reform: “I believe that the discussion on whether to keep the Queen as the head of state is one that has to happen. It will be part of the people’s constitutional commission’s mandate to look at whether we want to remain within having the Queen as the head of state and certainly it’s one that I believe that Belizeans will have their say in terms of going forward. So I wouldn’t want to prejudge that consultation process but certainly we have to look at what is the best form of government that we want in our country.” 

Dale McDougall, Love News:  And this talk of reparations, governance, power, money and change…is one that will continue for the foreseeable future, because after all, Belize finds itself at a critical juncture in its history – as DPM Cordel Hyde said, it’s a radical shift from the problems caused by the country and the region’s difficult past.  

Cordel Hyde, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “Today we see all so clearly Madam Speaker every other day we are killing ourselves as our enemies smile contented that we are now doing it to ourselves. It is more than about the money Madam Speaker it is about the rehabilitation of our minds.” 

Dale McDougall, Love News:  …and of course, there seems to be agreement that that change needs to happen. 

Patrick Faber, Area Representative, Collet: We 100% and more if we could Madam Speaker give our support to this motion and I think Honorable Deputy Prime Minister gave a good explanation, I think that is a wonderful pronouncement on how we all ought to feel.” 

Dale McDougall, Love News:  Those who say its time for reparations and becoming a republic seem to agree that it’s more than just a feeling. It’s a shift, which some say will take more than money and political will. Dale McDougall, Love News.