CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE – BARBADOS 1966-2016
By Dr. Keith A. P. Sandiford
Former Caribbean colonies are more fortunate than African and Asian ones in that they have completed their first 50 years of political freedom without political and military coups and without the copious shedding of human blood. On November 30, 2016, Barbados will join Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago as fifty-year old sovereign states which have thus far avoided the turmoil of revolutions. It is an achievement worthy of joyous celebration. There is a sense that the island has shown perceptible signs of regression, following the worldwide recession of 2008, but the overall all progress since 1966 has been eminently satisfactory.
The emergence of modern Barbados can be said to have begun in the 1950s with the rise of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU). These were the institutions that destroyed the political hegemony of the old plantocracy. They focussed most sharply on the plight of the non-white majority and led the movement which forced the Colonial Government to overhaul its administrative structures and reshape the electoral laws as well as its fiscal practices. Continue reading