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US congratulates St. Kitts, Belize on independence anniversaries

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The United States has congratulated St. Kitts and Nevis and Belize on their respective independence anniversaries, saying that their partnership and bilateral work in the region “can only serve to strengthen our relationsh­ip.”

“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Belize as you celebrate the 34th anniversary of your nation’s independence on Sept. 21,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.

“When he spoke at midnight on the day of your independence, the Rt. Hon. George Price committed Belize to preserve and promote the peace, stability and prosperity in the region of the Caribbean and Central America,” he added.

“The United States is proud to work alongside you in these noble endeavors,” he continued. “Our partnership and bilateral work in the region can only serve to strengthen our relationship – a relationship built on trust and mutual respect.”

According to the Belize Tourist Board, a pulsating showcase of patriotism is the “perfect excuse to travel Belize” during the celebratory month of September.

During the month, national festivities in Belize include the 34th Independence Day Anniversary, carnival parade, J’ouvert and the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day.

St. Kitts and Nevis celebrated its 32nd anniversary of independence on Sept. 19.

“The United States celebrates with you and recognizes the cultural ties that bind our two democracies,” said Kerry in his independence message to the people of the twin-island federation.

“Today, you will gather with family and friends and celebrate the rich culture of your island,” he added. “You will also reflect upon your country’s past and hopes for the future — your youth.”

By continuing to invest in education, the U.S. Secretary of State said the future of St. Kitts and Nevis is “a bright one.”

“By working together, we can create a more stable, prosperous and environmentally sustainable region for both our people,” he continued.

“As you rejoice on this day, from Basseterre to Fig Tree, from Newcastle to Charlestown, know that the people of the United States wish you a happy Independence Day,” he said.

In his independence message, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said former Prime Minister Sir Kennedy Simmonds, 79, was responsible for bringing the federation into nationhood.

“We applaud this only living national hero who today serves as an inspiration to us proud citizens engaged in nation-building,” he said.

“Sir Kennedy you have done well for your country,” Harris added. “We adore your character and say thank you for your sterling contributi­on.”

Sir Kennedy, a medical practitioner, was the founding member of the People’s Action Movement (PAM), according to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

It said Simmonds was first elected to parliament in 1979 when he contested the by-election in Central Basseterre after the death of Premier Robert Bradshaw, renowned as the “Father of the Nation.”

Sir Kennedy quit active politics in 2000, when he lost the general elections. In 2004, he was appointed a Knight Commander in the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael & Saint George.

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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