Belizean independence is a celebration of a real struggle that took place in this country for decades, to achieve final independence in 1981. It took 14 years of negotiation and the skilled and determined leadership of George Price, who led the People’s United Party to Independence in spite of local opposition within the country. Doing all this while under the threat of Guatemala looking to acquire most of the country. So independence is celebrated with vibrance and a mark of determination and an appreciation of history. And so the celebration takes the form of marches and parades throughout the country. There are musical concerts, expos and, of course, carnival all over a period of celebration in the country.
This year’s theme for celebration is ‘Hope Ignited, Hands United, Vision Renewed, Belize at 42’. And Prime Minister Johnny Briceño living up to that motto in his statement and in his activities. Belizeans have a special appreciation for its independence, because the country had to take its case to the United Nations, for decolonization of the country, and for years it had a constant struggle with the United
- Advertisement -
Kingdom in so far as the need for independence. With the acquisition of independence, there is a genuine celebration of independence and a special connection, amongst its citizens and those abroad; that the struggle has created in a country with a diverse population and certainly many challenges. Belizeans have been and have seen a struggle for survival and coming out of that struggle has been a real force of personal development and a community celebrating success and we all must commend the Belizeans for their determination and persistence.
Like so many of their Caribbean neighbors, Belize is struggling with high crime rates and that has been of particular concern, especially when its dependance on tourism is a high percent of its income. It is struggling to bring the security situation under control.
A small nation of approximately 355,000 in population and just over 22,000 square miles Belize has progressed in spite of its highly militarized neighbor, Guatemala. Belizeans are very proud of their resilience and their ability to survive. This has created a special love of country in Belize and a people friendly and ready to share with the world some of its beauty and attraction.
The capital of the ancient Mayans, a diversified population a natural treasure. The durability of the Belizean spirit and imperishable ability of Belizean soul keeps this small nation together and has brought about world recognition of its fantastic natural wealth and its potential. This spirit that guides Belize is strong today, as ever before.
We wish to congratulate Belize on its 42nd year of independence and salute the Belizean Americans for their contribution to the United States and their continued support and interest in Belize and the Caribbean region. Belizeans have much to celebrate and we wish them a Happy
Independence and a bright and glorious future.