Prime Minister the Right Hon. Freundel Stuart says that slavery though abolished still exists in new forms. He therefore urges persons to continue the fight to rid the island of these ills.
“The battle for Independence is a continuing battle and is today as much a struggle for us as it was for him [the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow] 50 years ago because all around us are threats to the very independence for which he fought and the very independence which he secured in 1966. The battle fought and won by General Bussa still has to be fought because although slavery as we knew it then was abolished, today a much more subtle, but no less dangerous, kind of slavery is very much is a part of our global landscape. It rejoices in the name of human trafficking, which is what slavery was, and we all thought that we had put that behind us [but] it is has now reappeared in a new form.”
He continued, “I am here to tell you tonight, these battles continue to be our battles. Those who have gone before us have done their part. It is now up to us to do ours and to pass on to future generations a Barbados better than the one which was bequeathed to us.”
His comments came as he addressed last Saturday’s theatrical production, ‘From Bussa to Barrow and beyond’ held at Golden Grove Plantation in St. Philip. The Sonia Williams directed piece was staged in celebration of the bicentennial of the 1816 Bussa Rebellion and the 50th Anniversary of Barbados’ Independence.
The Prime Minster expressed a hope that the audience would “mark, learn and inwardly digest and that you will take away from what you see here tonight and what you hear here tonight lessons that will inspire you to pursue the path marked out for us by General Bussa and all of the other National Heroes including the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow for their struggle continues to be our struggle and we let future generations down if we do not rise to the occasion.”
Prior to the start of the performance, Chairman of the Barbados Reparations Committee Professor Pedro Welch passed on the reparations baton to Guyana’s Deputy Consul General in Barbados, Monique Jackman.