Who we are

The People’s United Party was founded in 1950 to protect and defend the rights and lives of the people of then British Honduras who lived under colonial rule. The hard work, dedication and determination of men like George Price, Leigh Richardson, John Smith, Nicholas Pollard Sr. and many others forged the early path towards what would be self-government and later, Independence. The same principals, morals and determination of that time are the trademarks of the People’s United Party today. We are determined to continue to Serve the People, to stand strong with them against oppression, whether it be from abroad or from within our borders. We are determined to grow our country and people and to defend to the last breath our sovereignty. We are committed to the Economic Independence of Belize, to the restoration of stability and security and to the unity of all our people.

History of the Party

All these men were men of conviction. They deeply believed in what they were doing and put their reputations and their very lives on the line. This conviction communicates itself intuitively. Anyone watching, listening or even simply reading the text of rally and stump speeches can feel the energy and sincerity of their beliefs reaching out across the arc of time.

On December 31, 1949 the Governor imposed the devaluation of the Belizean dollar over the objections of the Legislative Council, unmasking the total power of the Colonial Government. That very night, George Price and others formed the People’s Committee at the Battlefield.

The People’s Committee faced repression from the Colonial regime, including the declaration of a state of emergency that lasted 137 days, but popular support flourished and on September 29, 1950 the People’s United Party was formed, dedicated to national unity and independence.

“We are called to build this nation; to ensure that it is Christian and prosperous; free. A nation whose citizens are distinguished by correct sense of national pride, dignity, and virtue. We are called to put an end to every trace of prejudice, ignorance and mistrust. Such is the nature and challenge which confront us – this, our appointment with history.”

(Speech given by First Minister George Price at Wesley Church, Sunday, August 5, 1962)

It has been my dedicated task to lead the movement of Belizean independence from the chains of British colonialism; and I have no intention to exchange these chains for the colonialism of Guatemala or of any country…”

  • Entered Municipal Politics 1944
    Member of Belize City Town Board/City Council 1947-1965
  • Mayor of Belize City 1958-1962
  • Founding Member of People’s United Party (P.U.P.)
  • Secretary General of P.U.P. 1950-1956
  • Leader of P.U.P. 1956-1996
  • Member of Legislative Council 1954-1960
  • Member of Legislative Assembly 1960-1965
  • Member of House of Representatives 1965-1984, 1989-Present
  • Member of Executive Council 1957, 1961-1965
  • First Minister and Minister of Finance 1961-1965
  • Premier and Minister of Finance and Economic Development 1965-1984
  • Prime Minister and Minister of Finance 1981-1984, 1989-1993
  • Leader of Emeritus of P.U.P. 1996-Present
  • Senior Minister, 1998-Present

Nevertheless, Mr. Price and his people seemed determined to make their own way in the world. When one expresses skepticism about the territory’s ultimate viability, Mr. Price points out that Iceland is a full member of the United nations with less than double the country’s population.
Financial Times, July 26, 1963

It was Price, more than anyone, with the slogans, the flag, the anthem and his persistence in insisting that Belize was Belize, not British Honduras, that gave Belize an identity. Despite his domination of modern Belizean politics, Price remains an enigma, a private person who rarely socializes for the sake of socializing.
Miami Herald, September 1981

Price is a pragmatist, a combination of small-town politician and a shrewd strategist on the International scene. Twenty-two years of campaigning for independence – against a powerful lobbying from Guatemala – has taught him how to win friends from what he concedes is a “poor and tiny” country.
Los Angeles Times, September 22, 1981

I have worked with George Price for many years and on many issues. I have sat with him in many regional, Commonwealth and international conferences. Over the years and through many challenging issues there are qualities that have always shone through, indeed, seemed to inspire the public work of this great son of Belize.
Michael Manley, 1995

In the annals of political parties in Belize, the People’s United Party enjoys pre-eminent recognition. It was Belize’s first nationalist party. It is the most successful political party in Belize’s history having won over 80% of general elections held since 1957 and 70% of the municipal elections since Self-Government in 1963. The peaceful, constructive, Belizean revolution launched by the P.U.P. and supported by the people gave Belize nationhood: Independence, the name “Belize”, the flag, the anthem, the Belizean prayer and a modern constitution.

Only on two occasions has the P.U.P. not formed the government: 1984-89 and 1993-98. This fact and the blurring of distinction between a party in government and its party machine make the history of the P.U.P., as a party, seamlessly interwoven with the history of the P.U.P. Government’s struggles and achievements in building the nation of Belize.

The history begins in 1950. Several factors converged to stoke the political crucible that sparked the formation of the P.U.P. Under British colonialism the living and working conditions of the people of British Honduras, as it was then known, were deplorable. They were denied any effective say in the decision-making process of the colony. Other issues that agitated Belizeans included Universal Adult Suffrage, West Indian Federation, import controls and immigration and the renewed depression in the chicle and mahogany industries.

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“Full internal Self-Government for Belize is not only a responsibility but a challenge to develop and to improve our country’s resources at all levels; in the villages and towns, in the farms and factories, in a word, on the national level.

Let there be no mistake about it. We are building a new Nation on the Central American mainland – proud and free. Thanks to our endurance and courage, we have gone a long way towards nationhood. Our progress towards independence can be seen in our symbols: our new constitution, our flag, our national anthem. Our proposal to give the country a name which reflects the history and the heritage of the people.”

(Excerpt from a speech given by Premier George Price at Memorial Park September 10, 1963)

“While we shall not surrender even one square centimeter of our national territory, we do not propose to spew recrimination or insults against our neighbours.”
George Price, Wesley Church, August 5, 1962

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The Philosophy and Political Creed of the PUP

I am a member of the People’s United Party because I believe:

(a)      That the nation of Belize is founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of freemen and women and institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;

(b)      In the principles of social, economic and environmental justice, and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the country being so distributed as to serve the common good; that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity; that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality;

(c)      That the will of the people shall form the basis of government in a democratic society, recognizing that people and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and upon the natural law;

(d)      That policies of state must protect and safeguard the unity, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize; eliminate economic and social privilege and disability, creed or gender; protect the rights of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to the ownership of private property and to operate private businesses; profit the exploitation of a man or by the state; ensure a just system of social security and welfare; protect the rights of workers to organize, unionize and strike; provide for a healthy, clean and sustainable environment; promote international peace, security and cooperation among nations and the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order based on interests of the other;

(e)      Further that policies of state must promote the economic independence of Belize by pursuing strategies and programmes of self-reliance, greater production and innovation; stimulate a dynamic partnership between the government, the private sector and all the social partners, so that the ownership and control of our natural resources and national treasures are so managed as to secure maximum ownership and benefit for the Belizean people;

(f)      That the coinage of money and control thereof is the sole responsibility of the duly elected representatives of the people;

(g)      That it is the sacred duty of government to intervene actively in the economic life of the nation in order to achieve full employment and the eradication of poverty and secure a better life for all Belizeans

Aims and Objectives

The P.U.P. is a political organization pledged to create a NEW BELIZE through the peaceful, constructive, Belizean revolution, which will bring to all Belizeans a better life and just share of the national wealth. The principal aims and objects of the P.U.P. are:

 

  1. To consolidate and preserve national unity based on respect for equality of all citizens regardless of race, colour, gender, creed or status with due regard for all regions of Belize.
  2. To defend and maintain the political independence of Belize, its territorial integrity and freedom for its people.
  3. To participate in elections at all levels with a view to forming national, municipal, village and community governments.
  4. To achieve the highest possible measure of economic independence by pursuing a policy of self-reliance and stimulating higher economic productivity through planned development of the nation’s resources for the benefit of all the people.
  5. To ensure that Belize is governed by a democratic government, which entails economic democracy as well as political democracy.
  6. To ensure that every Belizean has the right to freedom of expression, of movement, of religious belief and association, and the right to protection of life and property according to law and social justice.
  7. To ensure that every Belizean receives a just return for their labour based on equal pay for work of equal value, a fair share of national wealth, and a continuously improving quality of life.
  8. To ensure our national resources are owned, controlled and managed so that they are utilized in such a way as to directly benefit the people.
  9. To work ceaselessly for world peace and security through regional cooperation ?and through the United Nations.