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William and Kate cancel Caribbean trip after Belizean villagers protest over ‘colonial legacy’

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William and Kate have canceled a major engagement planned for the start of their Caribbean tour after villagers staged a protest over the royal visit.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were due to tour a cocoa farm in Belize for the first full day of their tour on Sunday, but their office has removed the event from the calendar.

The issue threatens to overshadow the start of the couple’s eight-day tour to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and raises questions about the planning of the trip.

Protesters voiced opposition to the royal visit due to a dispute over “disputed ownership” between residents of the Indian Creek village and Flora and Fauna International (FFI), the conservation charity that William supports as a patron. .

The Cambridges’ helicopter landing site reportedly caused more trouble amid claims that residents were not consulted about the location, which is at the local football ground, according to Channel 7 media. Belize locals.

A protest was reportedly held on Friday against the royal visit to the Akte ‘il Ha cocoa farm.

Photos posted on social media showed protesters holding signs, including one that read: “The colonial legacy of theft continues with Prince and FFI.”

Sebastian Shol, chairman of the Indian Creek village, told the Daily Mail: “We don’t want them to land on our land, that’s the message we want to send. They could land anywhere but not on our land.”

A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that due to sensitive issues involving the Indian Creek community, the visit has been moved to a different location – more details will be provided in due course.”

The Belizean government said in a statement: “Indian Creek was one of several sites that were considered. Due to problems in the village, the Belizean government activated its contingency planning and another location was selected to showcase the family’s entrepreneurship.” Maya in the cocoa industry”. “

Channel 7 said the background to the situation centered on tensions between citizens and the state over the “meaning of consent in the context of communal land rights, rights to land that was expurgated in the colonial period by the British.” .

Voyager, the ministerial jet, will fly the Cambridges during its tour along with its 15-member entourage, likely to include Kate’s hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker and other personal staff, along with private secretaries and her press office team. .

The highlight of the pair’s tour will see them renew their friendly sporting rivalry as they take to sea for a sailing regatta in the Bahamas in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

In Jamaica, the Cambridges celebrated the island’s musical and sporting heritage amid speculation that Usain Bolt might be involved.

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