US congratulates SVG on independence anniversary

US congratulates SVG on independence anniversary
United States Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson
Associated Press / Richard Drew

The Trump administration in the United States has congratulated St. Vincent and the Grenadines on its 38th year of political independence from Great Britain.

“On behalf of the United States, we offer our best wishes to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as you celebrate 38 years of independence,” said United States Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in a statement on Friday, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Independence Anniversary Day.

“The United States enjoys our partnership with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in advocating democratic principles, economic opportunity and regional security cooperation,” he added.

“Today we celebrate our strong people-to-people connections and look forward to working together towards shared goals stated in Caribbean 2020, for a more secure and prosperous future,” Tillerson continued. “We wish the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines a happy Independence Day celebration, with peace and prosperity throughout the year to come.

As Vincentians in the US Diaspora continue to celebrate their 38th year of political independence, Ambassador to the United Nations, I. Rhonda King, noted “just a few” of the country’s “recent blessings,” urging her compatriots to join her in giving thanks in the process.

In addressing an Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving at The Church of St. Mark’s Episcopal in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, organized by the umbrella Vincentian group in the United States, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc., (COSAGO) – King said that, while “it is often man’s practice to focus on what is wrong, to lament what he lacks, to brood over the distance he has yet to go,” the Holy Scriptures, however, “tell us in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The envoy listed the opening of the country’s first international airport, the Argyle International Airport (AIA), on Feb.14, atop “just a few” of the multi-island state’s “recent blessings.”

She described AIA as “a beautiful, state of the art facility, arguably, now the most beautiful in the Caribbean.

“Let us give thanks for the rapidly increasing speed of accessibility to our shores; let us give thanks for the new possibilities this accessibility will bring,” she added. “Infrastructure and accessibility are critical components in our quest for more sustainable development. They are not optional; indeed, they are imperatives.”

King also asked that thanks be given the Zero Hunger Trust Fund, “established by our government with full bipartisan support some time ago, but it continues to be lauded by the international community – in particular by the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) as visionary and a superb example of public-private partnership worth of emulation.”

She said this is just one example of the Gonsalves government’s efforts to eradicate hunger and fight poverty in the country, urging that thanks be given for the projects already underway, through this initiative, in the schools and communities in rural mainland St. Vincent, for instance in North Windward, “ensuring that children don’t go to school hungry and parents can develop skills to assist them to better care for their families.”

In addition, the ambassador urged that thanks be given to, among other things, the “Education Revolution” in the country and “the excellent Common Entrance, CXC and CAPE examination results this year.”

King said the nation must be praised for its ability to open its doors to hundreds of displaced students from hurricane-ravaged Dominica.

“Let us give thanks that we are able to assist our sister island in their time of need,” she said. “Let us remember that their plight could so easily have been ours.”

King said while Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Jose and Maria may be over, the devastating impact of their path continues.

Vincentians in the United States actually began celebrating their 38th anniversary of independence two Saturdays ago, when the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Massachusetts, Inc., held its Independence Dinner/Dance at the Irish Social Club in Boston.

Last Sunday, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nationals Association of Washington, D.C., Inc. (SVGNADC) held its Annual Independence Church Service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

COSAGO’s Independence Cultural/Social Evening took place Friday night, Oct. 27, Independence Day, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.

SVGNADC Annual Independence Dinner and Dance took place Saturday night at Martin’s Crosswinds, Greenbelt, Maryland.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ independence celebrations continued in the US with COSAGO’s Independence Luncheon, on Sunday, Oct. 29, at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Vincentian independence activities in the United States culminate on Saturday, Nov. 4, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania’s (SVGOP) Annual Independence Dinner and Dance at Penn’s Landing Caterers in Philadelphia.

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