Greetings by Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore at July 4 Brighter Days Ahead Virtual Concert

Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore

Greetings by Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore at the virtual concert “Brighter Days Ahead” on July 4 at 6 p.m. to celebrate America’s 245th birthday.

AS PREPARED

July 4, 2021

Good Evening Trinidad and Tobago,

I am honored to have you all here with us to celebrate the 245th birthday of the United States of America.  On this day, our founders gave rise to what was then a radical concept – a new system of government that was committed to developing a more perfect union formed for the people – but radically – also by the people.  As President Biden has noted, we have always been a forward-looking nation, one still striving towards a more perfect union.

This idea that we are not perfect, but that we are driven to be more perfect has clearly been on display this past year in the United States.  Generations of Americans from all backgrounds have fought for this ideal and that fight continues as we confront and address racial and economic inequality, social divisions, and political divisiveness in our country.

Since our inception, U.S. citizens have brought a variety of ideals, traditions, cultures, and innovations to form our diverse melting pot.  Like Trinidad and Tobago, the United States does not belong to one person or one group.  Our countries are a mix of ideals and peoples, constantly building and strengthening the cultural bridges that often unite our two countries, but sometimes divides us.  Together, our citizens will find solutions to the challenges that confront all of us – from fighting the threats of corruption and climate change, to advancing freedom, social justice, equality, and prosperity.  This past year has taught us that we can take nothing for granted and must continue to strive to create an ideal society for all.

On such an important occasion, I must underscore the United States’ commitment to deepening our ties with Trinidad and Tobago.  We are neighbors, family members, and friends who trade with each other, we speak the same language, and we share the same values.  The United States will also support our friends in their greatest time of need.  As I stand here, I am hopeful that the worst will soon be behind us.  The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our people, our economies, and our healthcare systems while thoroughly disrupting our lives.  To those who have suffered from COVID-19, or who have lost family, friends, and loved ones, I offer my sincere condolences.  Both of our countries, as well as those across the Caribbean and the world, have taken extraordinary steps and made great sacrifices to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

We at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain have worked diligently with regional counterparts, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and officials in Washington, D.C., to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean be included in the Biden-Harris Administration’s initial allocation of COVID-19 vaccines.  We do so not as part of a scheme to secure favors or buy influence, nor in pursuit of a hidden agenda.  We do so because, thanks to our scientists and companies, we have the means to offer surplus vaccines, and our sole aim is to end the pandemic and save lives.  With our interconnected world, we know that until all of us are safe, none of us are safe.

We steadfastly believe in, and are committed to, the strength of our bilateral relationship.  We know how important the Caribbean is to the United States.  We’ve donated two field hospitals to bolster the parallel healthcare system.  And because we know that the measures to stop COVID-19’s spread are costly, both financially and in terms of the in-person education our children are not receiving, we have donated personal protective equipment to frontline workers, laptops and tablets for students, and other resources to help Trinidad and Tobago in its fight against COVID-19.

I commend the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on its handling of COVID-19; you have remained vigilant in protecting Trinbagonians and the residents of Trinidad and Tobago, including our Embassy staff and our families.  I am optimistic that we will build on this time of shared strife to seize the opportunity of recovery and continue to do great things together.  I look forward to being strategic partners on the road to economic revival and seeing the opportunities, jobs, and growth the future will bring.  I am also hopeful that we will continue to effectively address and resolve the security issues that confront our countries, our region, and the world.

On behalf of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and my colleagues here at the Embassy, I wish you all a Happy July Fourth.  Five years from now, in 2026, we will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the United States’ independence.  Today, we begin the celebration with our partners at the America250 Foundation and invite all Americans, as well as our friends in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad, to help honor our past and shape our future.

Now, without further ado, please help me welcome our headliners for tonight:  Nailah Blackman and Kes!