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The Trump administration on Tuesday congratulated the Bahamas on its 45th anniversary of political independence from Great Britain.

“On behalf of President Trump and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of The Bahamas on 45 years of independen­ce,” said U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in a statement.

“The United States and The Bahamas share an enduring partnership built on maritime cooperation, regional security, long-standing exchanges of university students, and trade- and investment-driven prosperity,” he added.

“This partnership continues to deepen, as evidenced by the successful 2018 Tradewinds exercise and regional security efforts through Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos.

“Today, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting The Bahamas as we together harness opportunities to build a safe and more prosperous world for the next generation, as underscored in the Caribbean 2020 strategy,” Pompeo continued. “On this joyous occasion, the United States wishes the people of The Bahamas many years of peace and prosperity.”

On Tuesday, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) joined Bahamians in celebrating the country’s 45th anniversary of independence.

Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque extended the Caribbean Community’s best wishes in a congratulatory message to Bahamian Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

“The Bahamas has made great progress in the 45 years since nationhood, making its mark particularly in the services sector and in sports,” the Secretary-General said.

“Prime Minister, your role within the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet in the area of tourism is greatly valued given that sector’s significant importance to the economy of the region,” he said.

“The Community also looks forward to the continuing leadership of The Bahamas in its capacity as the current Chairman of the Council for Foreign and Community relations (COFCOR)” he added.

LaRocque said the theme for this year’s independence festivities, “Celebrate Bahamas: We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” is “a call to highlight the achievements of the nation and the vast capabilities of the most valuable resource, its people.”

The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining the British monarch, then and currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its head of state.

“The way we regard our flag serves to demonstrate to the world how committed we are in maintaining the profound aims and objectives of The Bahamas as one united nation,” said Gov. Gen. Dame Marguerite Pindling at National Pride Day & Flag Raising festivities in Rawson and Parliament Squares on July 6.

“So, wherever we are in our homes, our schools, our churches or in our communities we must always remember to show respect for ourselves,” she added.

As Bahamians celebrated, she admonished that they always show respect to this “sacred” symbol, according to Bahamasweekly.com.

It said Bahamians, including children enrolled in summer camps, clad in the gold, aquamarine and black colors of the Flag, “filled Parliament Square and beamed with pride as they clapped, danced, and waved their Flags in celebration.

“Government officials, diplomatic community representatives and Bahamians of all walks of life joined in the festivities,” the online publication said.

It said the colorful flag-raising ceremony, led by the Governor-General, was among the activities organized by the 45th National Independence Committee to mark National Pride Day.

Activities included announcement of the winners of the 45th National Independence Essay Competition, organized by the Ministry of Education, which was held for students in the primary, junior and senior high school divisions; entertainment by the Bahamas National Youth Orchestra, Charlie da Yellow Bahamian, the Police Youth Band (Mt. Moriah Transformers), the Scorched Conch Band, and Tropical Depression.

The people’s choice and the judges’ choice winners of the 45th National Independence Recording Artists Search, organized by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, were also announced, Bahamasweekly.com said, adding that the finalists in the song competition demonstrated their talents to the audience with performances in Rawson Square.

Updated 4:49 pm, July 13, 2018
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