by Bilal Morris
Soon after the United Democratic Party (UDP) victory over the Peoples United Party (PUP) in December of 1984, it was written that the flamboyant and eloquent Belize Foreign Minister then, Dean Oliver Barrow, was going to become the most prominent political figure of his party, and would also rise to become one of Belize's most historical political leaders in Belize's post-independence years to come.
Since then, those years have come upon us Belizeans, and what became the dream of most black Belizeans at home and abroad to have realized the possibility of a black Belizean Prime Minister since the domination of the imagery of George Cadle Price as Belize's post-colonial leader, and later Belize's first Prime Minister, the mandate of a black majority rule that had appeared as a fleeting illusion, may have come to past.
But has it come at a time too late, when black Belizeans that were once a majority, are now a minority class, and whose destiny of a secure future of prosperity rest in the hands of changing demographics in a country of immigrants who have drastically changed the political landscape, and are demanding their constitutional rights as citizens of the new Belizean nation.
The hope for Belizeans in the diaspora to reclaim their constitutional rights that continues to be a stolen legacy, rest in the hands of Belize's first black Prime Minister, Dean Oliver Barrow, who came to power in 2008. The classic photo in this feature of Barrow's eloquent address given at the Audubon Middle School Auditorium in the heart of the Los Angeles Belizean Diaspora Community, immediately after the UDP's government landslide victory in Belize's general elections in 1984 that ended the historic reign of the Peoples United Party (PUP) government leader, George Cadle Price, presented a prospective future for Belizeans at home and abroad, and the promise to restore Belize from the clutches of a powerful economic and political status quo that would not relinquish power that easily.
Since then, not much has changed in terms of compensating the black majority mandate of a 'peaceful constructive Belizean revolution' of the 1950's and 1960's that was promised but has yet to be attained. While screaming Belizean immigrants who were displaced in the United States by a dream deferred in Belize, especially those in Los Angeles who have become the largest black immigrant group, presses Barrow for constitutional reforms, his reluctance to resurrect the 7th. Amendment against a political manipulative opposition lurks in the shadows.
The first African-American President, Barak Obama's immigration reform speech presented on November 20, 2014, to once and for all begin to address the U.S. immigration problems that remain undone for years against a manipulative Republican opposition that just recently won control of the U.S. Senate, has also placed Belizeans in the U.S. with an ultimatum on two fronts. That is, whether they will abandoned their U.S. citizenships and return to Belize to run in elections and hold political office; come from 'behind the shadows of deportation' as illegal immigrants as their Latino counterparts have feared and return to Belize, or continue to press the Barrow administration from the diaspora to make the constitutional changes to allow Belizeans with dual citizenship to vote by proxy and hold political office.
The U.S. president's new immigration speech has advanced the agenda against Belizeans in the U.S., and will hopefully make them increase the demands on Belize's most influential political leader to date, Dean Oliver Barrow, to speed up the process of Belizean Diaspora demands, despite the treachery of an opposition that has felt that from the onset, that Belizeans abroad never really mattered. Belize Legends