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Barbados Swears in First President and Ends British Rule

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Barbados Swears in First President and Ends British Rule

Barbados turned a republic and swore in its first president, Sandra Mason, 55 years after the Caribbean island gained independence from Britain. The ceremony formally severed ties with Queen Elizabeth II and ended practically 400 years of British rule.

“Presidential salute. Present … arms.” [rifle shot] [music] [rifle shot] [music] [rifle shot] “In 1966, we were seeking to define ourselves, our national identity and to stamp our place in the world. Since independence, our heroes and our humble citizens, our crews and passengers have built an international reputation anchored on our characteristics, our national values, our stability and our successes. Drawing on the lessons of those intervening years, possessing a clear sense of who we are and what we are capable of achieving in the year 2021, we now turn our vessel’s bow towards the new republic. Today, debate and discourse have become action. Today, we set our compass to a new direction, girded by the successes of the last 55 years. We are Barbadians. We the people must give Republic Barbados its spirit and its substance. We must shape its future.”

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