Celebrating Belize's Independence in Belize City, long ago
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September 21, 2021

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Celebrating Belize's Independence in Belize City, long ago

A look back at Belize's Independence Day, September 21st, 1981

Hector Silva on the Independence of Belize

MY FELLOW BELIZEANS. - LET US KNOW THE TRUTH HOW BELIZE GAINED ITS INDEPENDENCE. " I will give it to you in a Nut Shell.

Many stories have been floating around about the Independence of Belize, and the ARCHITECTS and PEOPLE who toiled during those THIRTY ONE YEARS. - ( 1950 to 1981.)

The British Honduras Colony was established in 1862, from the British Settlement in the Bay of Honduras. - This Settlement was forced into MAYA TERRITORY.

This Colony was established for one purpose, to EXPLOIT the Natural Resources therein. - Log Wood, Mahogany and Chicle.

After 88 years, as a Crown Colony, ( 1862 -1950. ) the British Subjects could TAKE IT NO MORE.

ON the 31st Day of December, 1949, at Mid night, the British Honduras currency was devalued, which caused great hardship especially to the poor and working class of people.

IMMEDIATLLY, Young George Cadle Price, 31 years old, invited other young men and senior advisors to his home, to Plan many OPTIONS. - The result was, to form a People's Committee and begin PASSIVE RESISTENCE. - ( Meeting was held around the ROUND TABLE in the picture below. )

Agreements were,

" TO GO PUBLIC TO THE PEOPLE AT THE BATTLE FIELD on January 6th, 1950 ."

" TO HOLD PUBLIC PROTESTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS all over the Colony. "

" TO START A MOVEMENT, FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE COLONY OF BRITISH HONDURAS.

" THIS MOVEMENT WAS TO BE FORMED INTO A POLITICAL PARTY. ( The People's United Party, on September 29th 1950. )

THEREFORE THE MILLION DOLLARS QUESTION IS.

HOW was independence gained, and WHO contributed to this struggle and Victory.

THE ANSWER WAS GIVEN BY THE FATHER OF THE NATION The Right Honorable George Cadle Price

" WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE, WE GAINED OUR INDEPENDENCE. If we did not have that support said the Mr Price "WE COULD NOT HAVE ACHIEVED INDEPENDENCE." Cool as that,

SO please, don't come to me with this, and this individual, or individuals, - Lawyers, Ambassadors, Technocrats, IIlumminaties or else. - They were all paid MESSENGERS of the People.

" IT WAS THE PEOPLE " SAID our great Leader and Father of the Nation, who earned our Independence. "

THE STRUGGLE FOR BELIZE'S INDEPENDENCE WAS THIRTY ONE YEARS. 1950 to 1981.

CHAPTER ONE The struggle for Belize's Independence.

From 1950 to 1960 was a period of Trials and Tribulations. The People's United Party was under heavy attack, by the Colonial Regime. As it gained strength, so it was politically attacked from within and without.

First attack against the PUP was, in 1952, when the PUP won a MAJORITY of seats in the Belize City Council. -

The opposition members presented a MOTION, no doubt under the instruction of the Colonial Secretary requesting councilors to display a PORTRAIT of King George, at CITY HALL.

City Councillor, George C. Price asked, " what was the reason for such as request now, when it had not been done before ? "

Further more said the PUP Councillors, NOT UNTIL BETTER ATTENTION WAS GIVEN TO THE NEEDS of THE BELIZE CITY PEOPLE, such as, water, electricity, jobs, streets and other needs. )

This infuriated, the all POWERFUL COLONIAL GOVERNOR, RONALD GARVEY. SO, HE DISSOLVED THE COUNCIL IN 1952.

AGAIN in 1952, a High Ranking PUP Member, no doubt at the request of the Colonial Office, requested the PUP, to fly the Union Jack at its Public Meetings ( British Flag at their Public Meetings. ) THE PUP blankly refused this request. - The PUP MEMBER RESIGNED.

FAST FORWARD TO 1956, when the matter of the Colonial West Indian Federation surfaced, whereby the Colonial Office wanted to bring 400,000 Poor West Indians to settle in Belize and 600,000 in British Guiana. - Cheap labor for the Exploiting Companies.

THE PUP BLANKLY OPPOSED IT, VEHEMENTLY and held large DEMONSTRATIONS.

Suddenly, TWO of the HIGH RANKING LEADERS of the PUP who supported this policy, were EXPELLED from the PUP, at the Riverside Hall in mid 1956. ( Mr Richardson and Mr Goldson and others. ).

THIS INFURIATED the BRITISH COLONIAL OFFICE so MUCH. that they decided to DESTROY GEORGE PRICE.

( I already gave the story of the failed London Talks,the Arrest of George Price, and the cause of further defections from the PUP.

SO, THE PUP SPENT TEN YEARS OF ITS EXISTENCE, IN DEFENDING AND REGROUPING ITSELF. It was a long HAUL.. But the PUP VOWED to go " FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER. "

Note. - I give you this preamble, so that you will better understand the coming BELIZE STORY which I promised..

A look back at Belize's Independence Day, September 21st, 1981


Timeline: Historical Events Leading to Belize's Independence

BBC news coverage on Independence day. 1981

Photograph courtesy Institute for Social & Cultural Research

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