Opposition Leader Owen Arthur believes that in some respect Jamaica paved the way for countries like Barbados to be considered for independence.
Arthur made this observation earlier today as the House of Assembly congratulated Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on the 50th anniversary of their independence from Britain in 1962.
The St. Peter MP said: “We very often forget in Barbados ourselves that a country as small as Barbados becoming independent was for some people inconceivable and an aspect of the debate in the British parliament in regard to it detecting people’s uncertainty as to whether we could make it.
“There is no doubt that Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago paved the way for independence.”
Arthur noted that at an earlier period of regional history there was a Barbadian invasion of Jamaica, an occurrence that made the relationship between the two stronger than that between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. He argued that of all the members in the House of Assembly he owed the greatest debt of gratitude to Jamaica for giving him an opportunity for personal development.
“I lived in Jamaica for ten years, and I think I have to share the sentiments expressed by Christopher Columbus when he saw Jamaica — that it was very much the fairest island that one could possibly see,”Arthur said.
Arthur argued that in many respects his perspective on life was shaped by my opportunity to grow up at an important time in Jamaica. He recalled that during his stay in Jamaica he was given the opportunity to be involved in economic management issues face to face