U.S. Ambassador to Grenada, Barbados and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean, Larry Palmer, announced February 7 that the United States would contribute $25,000 to the Organisation of American States’ upcoming Election Observation Mission for Grenada.
Ambassador Palmer, visiting Grenada for Independence Day festivities, announced the U.S. Government contribution in a meeting with Terrence R. Craig, OAS Representative in Grenada.
“I know the pride that the people of Grenada place in their democratic tradition and institutions and encourage all Grenadians to exercise their civic duty this month at the ballot box,” said Ambassador Palmer.
He added, “As support for free and fair elections is something that unites the peoples of Grenada and the United States, I am most pleased that the U.S. can contribute to this important OAS election observation mission.”
In his conversation with Craig, the Ambassador noted that the United States would contribute monitors to the mission as well and he thanked the OAS for organising this election observation mission, which is just one more example of the central role the OAS plays in supporting human rights and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.
General elections are due in Grenada on February 19.
Washington played a pivotal role in helping Grenada return to elected government when U.S and Caribbean troops stormed the island on October 25, 1983 to bring an end to nearly five years of non-elected Marxist rule by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.
It helped to put down a military junta that had seized power in a bloody coup in which Bishop was executed at the height of a power struggle for control of the then ruling New Jewel Movement (NJM) with his deputy, Bernard Coard and his supporters.
Elections held in December 1984 saw the New National Party (NNP) under the leadership of Herbert Blaize win 14 of the 15 seats.
Grenada held subsequent elections in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2008.
Meanwhile, the new U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry sent the following congratulatory message to St. George’s on the occasion of the island’s 39th anniversary of independence.
“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique on your 39th anniversary of independence this February 7.
I commend your Independence Day theme this year, “Celebrating 39 Years of Achievement with Renewed Optimism.”
The United States celebrates alongside Grenada our shared achievements, from the health of our citizens to the security, stability, and prosperity of our region.
In addition to our strong bilateral cooperation, we are pleased to work with Grenada toward multilateral goals, such as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, the Partnership Framework for HIV and AIDS, the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, and the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program.
The United States is committed to strengthening the ties of friendship between our countries as we face the challenges of our region together.
From Grand Anse Beach to Petite Martinique, as you celebrate your independence, know that the United States stands with you and that we look forward to working with you to build the brighter future that all our people desire and deserve”.