Jamaica Looks to Drop British Queen as Head of State, Drifts Toward Communist China

KINGSTON, JAMAICA - MARCH 22: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Almost 400 years after the British conquered Spanish-occupied Jamaica, the Caribbean island has indicated it plans to follow Barbados in removing the Queen as head of state and becoming a republic.

The news has been announced during Prince William’s royal Caribbean tour, where they were told by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, of the Jamaica Labour Party, that due to “unresolved issues” Jamaica will be looking to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of their state, and be “moving on” to fulfil their “true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country”.

Before the republican announcement, the royal visit to Jamaica had been overshadowed by unfounded accusations of racism when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge engaged with Jamaicans who came to welcome them through a chain-link fence.

In a separate incident, radical protestors had demanded slavery reparations and for William and wife Catherine, or Kate, to apologise for slavery.

This came despite the fact the Duke and Duchess, born in the 1980s, have never owned slaves. Indeed, slavery had long been outlawed in Britain when the Queen, aged 95, was born, and her father, grandfather, and even great-grandfather, who would today be 136, 156, and 180-years-old, respectively, never lived at a time where slavery was lawful in the British Empire either.

Regardless, Prince William partially caved to the demands of the reparations mob and expressed “profound sorrow” over the Transatlantic Slave Trade and said it “should never have happened”.

Prime Minister Holness did not give a timeline for his plans to remove the British monarchy, but has previously insisted that his party will be putting forward a bill to replace the Queen with “a non-executive president as head of state” — an option which would leave his own powers unchanged.

The Jamaican prime minister had vowed in his 2016 election campaign to turn Jamaica into a republic, but he may require a nationwide referendum to ratify any changes to the Jamaican constitution concerning the status of the monarchy, The Telegraph reports.

Holness has not indicated that Jamaica will cease accepting British foreign aid after cutting ties with the British monarch.

The island nation was given £53 million in infrastructural aid in 2017 alone, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has provided Jamaica with over £60 million ($79 million) in debt relief since 1998.

The motivation for Jamaica moving away from the British monarchy may have something to do with the fact that Jamaica, like many Third World nations, has recently been cosying up to Beijing.

In 2019, Jamaica joined China’s Belt and Road initiative, which establishes trade routes between China and almost 70 other nations, with China fronting bills to improve nations’ infrastructure with the goal of increasing the communist regime’s soft power across the world.

Belt and Road is somewhat of a poisoned chalice, however, as developing nations like Jamaica are left in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of debt to Beijing in what some have branded “debt-trap diplomacy”.

Likewise, China has built essential services in Jamaica, including a children’s hospital in Montego Bay, which are presented as gifts, but in reality such “gifts” come with strings attached, some invisible — such as an expectation that beneficiaries support Chinese foreign policy in international organisations like the United Nations.

This was seen in 2020 when 54 nations backed China’s likely illegal Hong Kong crackdown, many of them — including Caribbean nations Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, and Cuba — being part of Belt and Road.

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