Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has described human trafficking as a dangerous form of slavery.
He made the comments over the weekend while delivering remarks at the start of the production From Bussa to Barrow and Beyond, at the historic Golden Grove Plantation in St. Philip.
Mr. Stuart told the hundreds gathered: ???The battle fought and won by General Bussa still has to be fought because although slavery as we knew it then was abolished, today a much more subtle but no less dangerous kind of slavery is very much a part of our global landscape. It rejoices in the name of human trafficking, which is what slavery was and when we had all thought that we had put that behind us, it has now reappeared in a new form.???
The Prime Minister expressed the view that the battles fought by this country???s National Heroes were some of the same ones Barbadians were fighting. ???Those who have gone before us have done their part, it is now up to us to do ours, to pass on to future generations a Barbados better than the one which was bequeathed to us,??? he contended.
He stressed that all of our National Heroes in their time, committed themselves to the development of Barbados. ???In many respects, they put their lives on the line to fight for those human values which are the defining features of any credible civilisation,??? he suggested.
Mr. Stuart noted that in 1816, the National Hero, the Right Excellent Bussa, led an unsuccessful slave rebellion at Bayley???s Plantation which had its reverberations at Golden Grove and other parts of Barbados.
He stated that the impacts of that rebellion were still being felt today and there was still much debate about it. ???I urge you not to ignore the debate that continues to rage over whether Bussa in fact led the rebellion, or whether it was led by Joseph Pitt Washington Franklin, or whether they both led it together.
???These debates are important, not from a historical point of view only, but because they have a contemporary echo. They are not debates really about the past, they are debates about the present because depending on how those debates are settled, other issues relating to how power should be distributed and who should have the right to distribute it are resolved in the present,??? he said.
Directed by Sonia Williams, the production was in honour of the bicentennial of the Bussa Rebellion. It was one of several iconic events being held to celebrate Barbados??? 50th Anniversary of Independence.