BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 25, 2019– Today would have been the birthday of Belize’s national hero, Hon. Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, who was born in Belize City on July 25, 1923, and passed on October 3, 2001.
One of the founder/leaders of the anti-colonial People’s United Party (PUP) in September of 1950, Mr. Goldson was charged, convicted and jailed for sedition by the British government authorities here in 1951. Along with Leigh Richardson, another PUP founder/leader, he served nine months in jail at the old Her Majesty’s Prison where the Central Bank building is now located.
In 1956, Mr. Goldson and Mr. Richardson left the PUP and formed the Honduran Independence Party (HIP). Mr. Richardson went into exile in Trinidad in 1958, whereupon Mr. Goldson led the HIP into a coalition with the National Party to form the National Independence Party (NIP) that same year.
Mr. Goldson, who then dedicated most of his time to running Belize’s then leading newspaper, The Belize Billboard, became NIP Leader at the end of 1961 when NIP Leader Herbert Fuller became seriously ill. Mr. Philip was elected to the House of Representatives to represent Belize’s Albert constituency in 1965, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, and 1993.
In early 1972, Mr. Goldson closed down his newspaper and travelled to London to study law. During his absence in 1973, the United Democratic Party (UDP) was formed, amalgamating the NIP, the People’s Development Movement (PDM) and Liberal Party. Since he was the only non-PUP in the House, Mr. Goldson remained official Leader of the Opposition until the UDP won six seats in the 1974 general election and Mr. Dean Lindo, Fort George area representative, became UDP Leader and Leader of the Opposition.
In 1991, Mr. Goldson left the UDP to form the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR), of which he remained Leader until his death. Mr. Goldson and NABR formed an alliance with Hon. Manuel Esquivel’s UDP to win the 1993 general election by a narrow margin.
Tomorrow, Friday, July 26, marks the anniversary of the attack on Cuba’s Moncada Barracks by a group of revolutionary activists led by Fidel Castro. The attack failed, and Fidel was jailed for two years.
After being released, Castro travelled to Mexico where he began training, along with luminaries like Camilo Cienfuegos, Juan Almeida, and Che Guevara, for an invasion of Cuba. Their Cuban Revolution overthrew the dictator, Fulgencio Batista, on New Year’s Day, 1959, and Fidel Castro went on to become an international icon and inspiration for young activists all over the world until his death a couple years ago.
To paraphrase the immortal Burning Spear, Kremandala recalls two great men, who fought for their people instead of for personal material possessions.