The Freundel Stuart administration is being urged to make Barbados a republic.
The advice has come from a man of the cloth who says it is time for this country to move away from the monarchy and take control of its future.
Pastor Carlos Brathwaite also urged the Government to stay as far as possible from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I believe that the time has come for this country to change from a monarchy to a republic where we have our own president. We don’t have to wait until they send us . . . ,” the preacher told the congregation at the Dunamis Outreach Ministries in Staple Grove, Christ Church where Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer and employees of the Labour Department gathered to celebrate the department’s 75th anniversary.
“We, with God, can manage our own destiny,” he added, saying that replacing the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country’s final appellate court was a step in the right direction and a move which other Caribbean nations should follow.
As he made a case for Government to remain in control of its affairs, Brathwaite warned against any move to enter into an IMF arrangement.
“I want to say to the Government that unless God says to do it, do not shake from where you are and do not allow the IMF to come into this country unless God says so. We can manage our own affairs and with God on our side, we shall come out victorious. I believe that with all of my being. Because when the IMF comes in, they’re going to have conditionalities and they’re going to insist on several things so we have to learn to manage our own affairs,” the pastor insisted.
“We can manage our own affairs despite the downgrades by the rating agencies to almost junk bond status. I want to say to the Government, it will not be always so. We are going to rise again, in Jesus’ name.”
Though he pointed out that Barbados had “lost a lot” as a result of the economic challenges, Brathwaite expressed confidence that the country would emerge from the crisis.
Prophesying that change was on the horizon for this country, the pastor declared that “barley season is about to come to Barbados” and residents needed to “hold out a bit longer”.
He also blasted residents, including several columnists, who have spoken negatively about the minimal growth projected for the island by the Central Bank of Barbados.
“We must learn to give God thanks for small mercies, we must learn to appreciate. I am not here at all about BLP [Barbados Labour Party] or DLP [Democratic Labour Party]. At the end of the day, I am a Barbadian . . . . My passport is stamped Barbadian, and I love this country and I’m tired sometimes that some of us are just bringing down the country,” Pastor Brathwaite lamented.