PM hails Barbados’ progress
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has been highlighting Barbados’ economic development over the past 50 years, as members of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) meet this weekend for their annual conference.
This year’s conference is being held under the theme ‘Barbados at 50 – Journey from Colony to Nationhood’.
Stuart also pointed to the party’s role in that advancement, noting that it was under the DLP that Barbados became an independent nation.
He recalled that during negotiations for independence, there were many who feared that it would spell the end of democracy for Barbados. However Stuart said half a century later those fears have proven to be unfounded, and Barbados is much better off than it was in 1966.
He also hailed the transition from an agrarian to a services-based economy.
“I recall that most of the workers were agricultural workers who wore broad brim straw hats with crocus bags strung around their waist and hoes on their heads. Economically the DLP revolutionised Barbados,” Stuart said.
However he lamented that despite the progress some people are still holding on to the colonial mentality.
“Taking the colony out of some people is a big job. We have to become genuinely independent. Independence is not an end in itself,” he said.
Stuart also reiterated concerns raised at a recent national consultation saying that many people feel frustrated and alienated from society.
“These people feel like aliens in the country of their birth. They feel that they are not touched by what is happening in the society. Day by day the danger becomes more pronounced. It is a threat. We must try to touch as many lives as possible in society.
“When you have dreams, ideals and plans and you get a sense that doors are being closed to you frustration steps in. To many young Barbadians the route to success seems so difficult. There are many young people who have been led to feel that way,” Stuart said. (NC)