National Hero Marcus Garvey

Costa Rica declares Marcus Garvey honorary citizen

One of Jamaica’s national heroes, Marcus Garvey, was on Tuesday declared an Honorary Citizen of the Republic by the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. 

A report in the Semanario Universidad publication in Costa Rica said that all 44 legislators in the assembly voted in favour of declaring the honour on Garvey.

Representative Rosalia Brown of the New Republic, during the assembly’s discussions on the honour, described Garvey as “a leader whose fight has left an indelible mark on history”.

He said it was with “great pride” that the assembly saw it fit to declare Garvey with this designation “in recognition of his tireless efforts in defence of the rights of people of African descent and his contribution to Costa Rican culture”.

In acknowledging that Garvey was born in Jamaica, Brown said he travelled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, where he worked as a journalist and producing stories which highlighted the “exploitation of migrant workers on plantations”.

In relation to Garvey’s contributions in Costa Rica, Brown reminded that the Pan-Africanist founded the Universal Association for the Improvement of the Black Man in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican legislator from Limon also informed that Garvey worked for the United Fruit Company and denounced “the conditions of exploitation and discrimination of Afro-descendant workers”.

He said the Jamaican went on to become “a world leader of the black movement, his legacy transcends borders, inspiring leaders like Nelson Mandela”.

On Garvey’s second visit to the Central American nation in 1921, Brown said the Jamaican was “enthusiastically received by thousands of people, he caused a great impact on the workers, especially the Afro-descendant population.”

During that sojourn, the legislator highlighted that Garvey also met with then-President Julio Acosta, to whom he presented proposals to improve the living conditions of workers in the coastal region.

Exerpt taken from Jamaica Loop News, click here to read full article.

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