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JM | Jun 30, 2022

US Ambassador N. Nick Perry | US committed to its partnership and friendship with Jamaica

/ Our Today

Nick Perry, United States ambassador to Jamaica.

The following is the speech delivered by United States Ambassador to Jamaica Nick Perry on Tuesday evening (June 28) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel where a ceremony was held to mark the 246th anniversary of America’s independence.

On behalf of the United States Mission to Jamaica, thank you for joining us as we celebrate the 246th anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America.

Tonight, as we celebrate America’s independence, we also celebrate 60 years of partnership between our two countries. Together we have promoted democracy, human rights, and our shared security concerns.

As a Jamaican American, I am humbled and proud to stand before you as the U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica and as a living embodiment of that partnership.

I am one of more than a million proud Americans with Jamaican ancestry. I am part of a long history of individuals shaped by both our nations like:

·      Kamala Harris, the first woman and first Jamaican American to be Vice President

·      Former-Secretary of State, the late General Colin Powell

·      Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice

And the many social and cultural figures such as:

·      Harry Belafonte

·      Claude McKay

·      Shaggy

·      And my granddaughter, Justine Skye, who is a recording artiste and actress with over four million social media followers, is well on her way to being added to that list.

I could go on for ages, but the sentiment is clear: the cultural and social ties that bind us are indelible, and the spirit of our unity endures.

Look around you. You will notice photographs on display highlighting how important that partnership is to the United States. Just ten days after Jamaica gained independence in 1962, the US established an Embassy in Kingston. Many American political and cultural leaders have come to meet with and show their respect for the Jamaican people from the first Black woman in space Mae Jemison to Martin Luther King, Jr. As a young man, I was actually in the stadium in 1965 when Dr King delivered his famous ‘Facing the Challenge of a New Age’ speech.

These visits underscore the United States’ commitment to the steadfast partnership and friendship with the people of Jamaica.

That commitment continues today.

Over the past 12 months, we have collaborated with the Ministry of Labor to issue a record number of H2 visas, bringing a critical temporary labor to the U.S. while providing jobs for thousands of Jamaicans that resulted in millions of dollars in remittances.

Over the years, the United States has delivered billions of dollars of assistance to strengthen Jamaica’s economy, make it citizens healthier, improve education, and increase resiliency to natural disasters.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has provided more than US$16.4 million in support to Jamaica, including hundreds of thousands of vaccines donated by the US.

And the Peace Corps is also celebrating 60 years of partnership in Jamaica. Since 1962, more than 4,000 volunteers have served countless communities across the island. Due to the pandemic, volunteers have been absent for the past two years.

But tonight, I am very pleased to announce that, come September 2022, our volunteers will resume their work with the people of Jamaica.

Two hundred and forty-six years ago the United States set upon its quest to form a more perfect union. I want to thank Jamaica as a friend and partner walking beside us in sharing the ideas of democracy and freedom with its people for the last 60 years.

Now, as we look toward the future, it is the courage, imagination, and strong determination of the people of both the United States and Jamaica that will lead us to a safer and more prosperous Caribbean.

There is no place I would rather be than here with you tonight as we celebrate the Independence Day of the United States.

I would now like to ask you to join me in a toast.

To partnership and prosperity. Happy Birthday America. Here’s to many more years of friendship with Jamaica!


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