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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Dr. Sharpe, it’s an honor to be with you.  And to all of you, thank you, thank you, thank you.  To terribly misquote Bob Marley – (laughter) – the sun was shining, the music was sweet, makes me want to dance my feet.  And that is the way you make all of us feel.

One of the things I’ve learned traveling around the world – every corner – is that nothing, nothing brings us together more than music.  And it breaks down barriers, brings people together.  It helps each of us share in our common humanity.  And so for the music that you’re providing – and the Caribbean has provided so much; the soundtrack, the rhythms of our lives not just in the United States but all around the world – you do more than anyone to bring people together.  And we need that more than ever.  So thank you, thank you, for the music, for the rhythm, for the joy that you bring to our lives.

It’s great to be with you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future