Belize celebrating 40th anniversary of political independence from Britain

By Rumi Samuel Published on September 22, 2021
Belize celebrating 40th anniversary of political independence from Britain

Belize is celebrating its 40th anniversary of political independence from Britain on Tuesday, with Prime Minister John Briceno urging nationals here and abroad to participate in the various activities mindful of the presence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has curtailed much of the celebrations. 

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Briceno wished “all Belizeans at home and abroad a blessed 40th anniversary of our Independence”,, adding “I encourage all to celebrate safely and peacefully, remembering to adhere to our COVID-19 protocols”. 

The country observes the celebrations under the theme “Belize at 40: Hopeful Hearts, Steady Hands, Together We Rise”. 

Belize has implemented a state of emergency and extended the COVID-19-related eight-hour nightly curfew until  September 3. 

In a congratulatory message, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Dr Carla Barnett, a Belizean national, lauded the Belize government’s commitment to the Community’s most pressing priorities, including advocacy against climate change which she noted has brought great benefits. 

She said this year's celebration theme “unifies all citizens in calling on them to continue to work hard, harness their collective strengths, focus on progress, and seize the opportunities at hand, including the benefits of regional integration. 

“Honourable Prime Minister, CARICOM has greatly benefitted from the commitment of the Government of Belize to the Community’s most pressing priorities, including the Community’s global advocacy against climate change, especially the mobilisation of expertise in the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26), its leadership on matters of importance to small states, and its responsibility as the lead for justice and governance in the quasi-cabinet of CARICOM Heads of Government,” she said in her congratulatory note to Prime Minister Briceno. 

The United States government also praised Belize for the accomplishments achieved over the past four decades of independence. 

“Our nations are bound by a strong friendship and partnership, safeguarded by our mutual commitment to democracy, security, and joint prosperity.  We continue to stand with Belize in facing shared challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, transnational organized crime, and the climate crisis,” Washington said in a congratulatory note. 

“As you celebrate your 40th Independence Day, may the bond between our nations continue to be an example of what is possible through a partnership between vibrant democracies with shared values and common goals,” it added.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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