The United States of America recently congratulated the island country of Barbados on its first general elections. This island nation had transitioned to a republic with Sandra Mason as its first president in November, 2021. The US Embassy in Barbados also praised its people for upholding the heritage of democracy of the hemisphere.
The nation had become an independent state and Commonwealth realm on the 30th of November, 1966. Back then, it had Elizabeth II as the Queen. She was replaced by Sandra Mason as the head of the state when Barbados transitioned to a republic recently.
The history of Barbados
According to archaeological evidences, the history of this island country dates back to 1600 BC. This was when the first human settlement is believed to have developed in Barbados. The more permanent settlement was that of the Amerindians during the 4th to 7th centuries. The two main groups of people were the Arawaks and the Kalinago.
These tribes had arrived from South American at different times between the 7th and 13th centuries. Europeans are believed to have arrived in Barbados during the 15th or 16th century. Some believe that it were the Spanish who first came to the island. There are others who believe that it were the Portuguese. The first British settlement began in Barbados on 17th February 1627.
It consisted of 80 settlers and 10 English laborers. By 1680, the number of free whites in Barbados was 20,000 while the number of African slaves was 46,000. Several planned rebellions happened in the later years owing to the harsh conditions endured by the African slaves. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in the year 1833.
Afro-Barbadians started playing much more prominent role in the politics of this country. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was founded with the help of Grantley Herbert Adams in 1938. The universal suffrage was introduced in Barbados during the mid-20th century. Adams became the first Premier of Barbados in the year 1953.
Some of the left-leaning politicians from the BLP broke off from the party. They founded the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the year 1955. It won the Barbadian general election in 1961. Their leader, Errol Barrow became the next premier of Barbados. He became the first prime minister of Barbados when the country gained its full independence in 1966.
Barbados declared its total independence from Britain in December 2021. Queen Elizabeth II was removed from her position as sovereign head of the state. The US Embassy praised the people of Barbados on the recently concluded elections.
The office also spoke about being enthusiastic in deepening its partnership with the Mia Mottley administration. After her landslide victory against Verla De Peiza of the DLP, Mia Mottley retained her position as the Prime Minister. The BLP, led by Mottley, won all the 30 seats in the recent elections.
The party had also dominated the parliament in 2018 with 29 seats. The US Embassy said that it would continue to work with people of Barbados. It is also keen to work towards promoting security, democratic rights, and economic prosperity for the citizens.