By Samuel Whyte
The United States of America Continuing Promise 2010 to Guyana was officially launched yesterday with an official ceremony held in the compound of the New Amsterdam Hospital.
Among those in attendance were President Bharrat Jagdeo, Ministers Robert Persaud and Bheri; Chief of Mission of the US embassy, Tom Pierce; Commodore of The US Naval Ship Captain the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Thomas Negus; Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary Best; and other senior military personnel from both the United States and Guyana military.
Also present were Regional Chairmen of Regions Five, Six, and Ten, Harrinarine Baldeo, Zulfikar Mustapha, and Mortimer Mingo.
President Jagdeo stated that the United States Humanitarian project which is being launched is an indication of the strong relationship between the United States and Guyana.
He said that it is no secret that the United States has the most powerful military in the world, but that country also has excellent personnel who not only undertake military activities, but who are also involved in numerous humanitarian gestures around the world.
“They are definitely among the best at what they do. It is a privilege and an honour and definitely a commendable gesture what the US military has undertaken to do work in Guyana.”
Mr. Jagdeo spoke about the fight the US is leading against the scourge of AIDS and the tremendous assistance Guyana has received. This has helped stabilize the infection rate, he added.
He said that the work that was done by the United States in Haiti which was recently devastated by a powerful and deadly earthquake could have only been done by the US. “What they did in such a short time could not have been done by anyone else.”
The president also spoke about climate change and global warming which he said can have a devastating effect on the world.
He recalled the floods of 2005 which occurred in Guyana that wiped out a large percentage of Guyana’s GDP. He spoke of the role the United States played in helping Guyana recover.
“The US has a diverse, skilful and multitalented people and what you are doing is helping to defeat extremism and poverty.”
Chief of Mission Tom Pierce said that what the United States is doing is part and parcel of that country’s policy to help other nation and they are please to be associated with Guyana.
The country has been doing humanitarian work all over the world and is pleased to be in Guyana. He said the US will continue to do so and be of assistance, whenever called upon.
Commodore of the US Naval vessel the, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) captain, Thomas Negus, in his speech said that the mission is a continued promise of partnership made by the United States.
He noted that the mission is about building and sustaining relationships in the interest of better cooperation and collaboration. He also noted that it is an honor to be working among Guyanese people and noted that the warmth and camaraderie made them feel at home.
The welcome was done By Region Six Chairman, Zulphikar Mustapha
During the ceremony the scores who gathered were serenaded by music from the United States mixed band based on the ship, they dished out a medley of folk songs. The Guyana Police Force steel band also entertained attendees.
After the ceremony Deputy Commander of the United States Military Liaison Office, Lt Jo Guzman, and Public Affairs Officer of the United States Embassy, Charlotte Hu, took the media on a tour to a few sites.
The media visited the site of the incinerator in New Amsterdam, which was one of the projects undertaken by the United States team. The incinerator was put to use yesterday for the first time, after a number of years.
The Central Corentyne Secondary School at Bush Lot, Corentyne was also visited and Soldiers were in the process of constructing a wall to be used as a partition for the classrooms.
Painting, electrical work, the Fence, toilet facilities and the construction of a basketball court are some of the work to be undertaken at the school.
The final stop was at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School where a Medical outreach is being held.
The engagement with Guyana is part of Continuing Promise 2010 as a major component of the Partnership of the Americas Maritime Engagement strategy and Theater Security Cooperation activities. The engagement supports the U.S. Southern Command goals of ensuring theater security, enhancing regional stability and strengthening relationships among regional partners.
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