Bahamas Ambassador to Cuba Receives Letters of Appointment

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His Excellency Arthur Hanna, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas presents former Director of Immigration Vernon Burrows with his Letters of Appointment to the post of The Bahamas Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, during a ceremony at Government House.

Nassau, Bahamas – Governor General His Excellency Arthur Hanna presented former Director of Immigration Vernon Burrows with his Letters of Appointment as The Bahamas’ Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba.

The ceremony took place Monday, January 12 in the Drawing Room of Government House. Mr Burrows leaves the country on Thursday, January 15 for Cuba. Mr Burrows will present his credentials to the Cuban Government at a date to be announced.

Upon accepting his Letters of Appointment, Mr. Burrows, who turned 60 on January 2, said asking to serve his country and its affairs in a foreign land is possibly the “greatest honour” any country can bestow on its sons or daughters.

He said because of Cuba’s close proximity to The Bahamas, it is “most necessary” that both countries establish and maintain a very good relationship.

Following his retirement from the Department of Immigration after more than 40 years, Mr Burrows said he has had time to review the various agreements and initiatives between both countries and is looking forward to improving mutual ties.

He said that his new post calls for some adjustment, as he has moved from managing illegal migration into the country to serving abroad.

Mr. Burrows thanked Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham for appointing him to the post and pledged to ensure that the country’s best interest would be displayed in Cuba.

Vernon Edward Linheart Burrows was born on January 2, 1949, in New Providence. He is a career civil servant who has given more than 40 years of service to the country in the Department of Immigration.

He has the distinction of being the only person in the Department of Immigration’s 69-year history to have risen through all ranks to become Director of Immigration in December, 1999.

During his tenure as director, he travelled throughout the world attending all major migration conferences and initiatives. He is regarded as one of the more knowledgeable and respected migration managers in the region.

He has established an excellent working relationship with his counterparts within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), neighbouring countries and also international agencies such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

His achievements within his own organisation are numerous. However, he has given all the credit to the department’s staff, some of whom he has mentored and others who have performed beyond expectations in the department’s offices throughout The Bahamas.

Most recently, the department under his leadership introduced a border control management system that was implemented at all major ports of entry within The Bahamas by the end of October, 2008.

In September, 2008, the department introduced a comprehensive E-ID card system for the issuance of work and residence permits and certificates currently being issued by the department. These initiatives are expected to establish The Bahamas as a leader in the region in secure documents and border management.

Mr. Burrows is the father of two children, a son, Vernon Seth, and a daughter, Turia Michelle. He is an Anglican and a member of Saint George’s Anglican Church.

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