Acting Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis said The Bahamas and the United States share a rich history
NASSAU, The Bahamas — Acting Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis said The Bahamas and the United States of America share a rich history and the two countries destinies are intertwined.
The Acting Prime Minister brought remarks at the grand celebration to commemorate the 237th Independence of the United States, hosted by the U. S. Embassy and USNORTHCOM at Old Fort Bay Club, Wednesday, July 3, 2013.
“Almost 40 years ago on this historic day that this nation was born, the United States established diplomatic relations with The Bahamas solidifying the friendship of our two countries and acknowledging the same sovereign and human rights the United States declared for itself almost two and a half centuries ago,” Acting Prime Minister Davis said.
“Suffice to say, the United States has left indelible memories of cooperation as numerous as the islands in our archipelago, but time will not permit me to give details of the economic, social, scientific, diplomatic and cultural ties and cooperation over the many years.”
He noted that the United States has been fundamental in sustaining The Bahamas’ tourism sector, one of the pillars of the country’s economy and a major source of foreign direct investment. “The majority of almost five million tourists with whom we are proud to share our beautiful turquoise waters and golden sunsets each year are Americans.”
The Acting Prime Minister said, “Furthermore, thousands of Americans have made The Bahamas their second home. The strong bilateral relations that The Bahamas and the United States have forged has mutually benefited each country in the areas of economic growth, the integrity of our borders, research, training and cultural exchanges.
“So we thank you for always being our friend beginning with the visit of your founding father George Washington. He visited when we were both still colonies of Great Britain.”
He said the United States’ independence resulted from a wonderful declaration by great thinkers who then led an armed defence of the decision to be a free and sovereign state.
“We remained a British Colony for a little longer, 197 years, achieving our independence after a General Election the main issue of which was independence then or much later. We negotiated our independence and a Constitution with Great Britain rather than declaring independence.”
Acting Prime Minister Davis said The Bahamas is going about “the business of crafting a truly indigenous Constitution with the active participation and intimate involvement of a great number of our citizens. Your Constitution as well as your history remains a vital part of our considerations.”
Senior Government Officials, Members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and other dignitaries joined top U.S. officials and guests including Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, John Dinkelman and Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans, North American Aerospace Defence Command and United States Northern Command, Brigadier General Joseph Whitlock.
The Brigadier General said it is fitting the commemoration took place at Old Fort Bay, a location originally designed to combat pirates. “Today, those pirates have been replaced by drug traffickers, human smugglers and international criminal syndicates.
“Truly, the past is prologue to the challenges our nations still face. It is important that we learn from the past in order to combat the modern threats that affect our security and the peace and tranquillity of our citizens.”
Brigadier General Whitlock said since the creation of United States Northern Command in the wake of September 11 terrorists attacks, The Bahamas and the United States have become more engaged in the hemisphere, with the close friends and neighbours – by land and by sea.
“Your partners in USNORTHCOM know how important it is to work closely with our friends and allies to confront the security challenges common to all of us. This engagement is so important Jacoby’s number one priority for United States Northern Command is to expand and strengthen our trusted partnerships.”