On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Venezuela as you celebrate 200 years of independence this July 5.
Our two countries share a close history of cooperation and respect. The idea of individual liberty and equality fueled the imaginations of our founders and led us to independence. For years we have honored each other's revolutionary figures and the powerful, lasting legacy they created. All across the United States – in towns, villages, counties, streets, and schools – you will find the name "Bolívar." And in Caracas, the statue in Washington Plaza memorializes the father of American independence.
This bicentennial is an opportunity to reflect on all that you have accomplished as a nation, and on the natural friendship that exists between our peoples. This friendship will continue to flourish as we work toward our shared goals and our commitment to a better future.
I wish all Venezuelan citizens everywhere good health and happiness on this special day and in the year to come.
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