On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Barbados as you celebrate 44 years of independence this November 30. The long history of friendship between Barbados and the United States is strengthened by our shared democratic values, our commitment to sustainable development, and our belief in the sanctity of human rights.
I was honored to visit Barbados for the U.S-CARICOM Foreign Ministerial in June this year, and to recommit our nations to the goals of improving the security of our citizens, collaborating on energy and climate change initiatives, building opportunities for youth employment, and expanding social inclusion. The United States is also committed to further deepening our partnership with Barbados through regional efforts including the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, the Partnership Framework for HIV and AIDS, and our common efforts to promote entrepreneurship and economic opportunity. We were deeply saddened by the recent passing of Prime Minister Thompson, and while we mourn his loss along with the Barbadian people, we remain inspired by his vision for greater cooperation and prosperity in the Caribbean.
I wish all Barbadians a joyful holiday celebration with their family and friends. Together, we are moving toward a brighter future for both our countries, and for people throughout the Caribbean.