Trump congratulates St. Lucia on independence anniversary

The Donald Trump administration in the United States has congratulated St. Lucia on its 38th anniversary of political independence from Great Britain.

“On behalf of President Trump and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of St. Lucia on 38 years of independence,” said US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in a statement on Wednesday, St. Lucia’s Independence Day.

“We value St. Lucia as our longtime partner and friend,” he added. “Our bilateral relationship stands strong, as we work together to spur economic development and keep our nations secure.

“May peace and joy be plentiful in the years ahead for all St. Lucians,” Tillerson continued.

St. Lucians on Wednesday celebrated the anniversary with the traditional military parade and youth rally.

St. Lucians also flocked to the Daren Sammy Grounds in the north of the island for several activities marking the occasion, under the theme “I am St. Lucian”.

In his Independence message, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urged nationals to put aside their differences in the interest of nationhood.

Chastanet, who led his United Workers Party (UWP) to victory in the general elections last June, lauded the electorate for changing a government “through a remarkably peaceful electoral process”.

Chastanet said that, as a result, a stable government with a clear mandate to strengthen the economy, create a peaceful environment and elevate the standard of living in this country, had emerged “with a highest margin of victory by any government in recent years.

“We are well on our way to strengthening our democracy,” he said. “This achievement has given us the opportunity to take up the challenge of steering this country in the right direction.

“To do so, we must be willing to modernize the policies, practices and systems of governance that will allow the visions and aspirations of our people to be fulfilled,” he added. “We reaffirm our commitment to do so with clear vision, persistency, integrity and transparency.”

Chastanet promised that his administration would not remain stagnant in the face of a progressive world, stating that “we will endeavor to do all in our power to ensure that St. Lucia joins the rest of the world, not just as a small nation but a leader with strong values and principles.”

On Feb. 22, 1979, St. Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations associated with the United Kingdom.

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