On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Venezuela as you celebrate 199 years of independence on July 5.
The cultural ties between United States and Venezuela are deep and enduring, and it is fitting that we celebrate our independence anniversaries within one day of each other.
We share a common history of emancipation and democratic aspiration. Patriots across the Americas committed their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of independence and to ensure that all people would have the right to chart their own destinies. The development of our nations has been driven by common values and a belief in individual liberties, fundamental civil rights such as freedom of speech and expression, and a right to self-determination. Living up to these values is our shared responsibility.
As both the United States and Venezuela celebrate our independence days, let us recommit ourselves to the high ideals of our founders and to the promise of democracy. I wish all Venezuelan citizens everywhere a safe and happy independence day. And I hope that our cultural and familial bonds will only grow deeper in the years to come.