Bevan Springer (26544)

WASHINGTON (June 5)—The president of the United States honored the contributions of Caribbean-Americans on the occasion of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, which began this week.

“Caribbean-Americans are part of a great national tradition—descendants of hopeful, striving people who journeyed to our lands in search of a better life. They were drawn by a belief in the power of opportunity—a belief that through hard work and sacrifice, they could provide their children with chances they had never known. Thanks to these opportunities and their talent and perseverance, Caribbean-Americans have contributed to every aspect of our society, from science and medicine to business and the arts,” said President Barack Obama. 

The president added that during National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, “We honor their history, culture and essential role in the American narrative.”

The president stated that during the annual celebration, it is also a time for America to renew its friendship with its Caribbean neighbors, with whom America shares both “an ocean and a history.”

“To this end, the United States is expanding cooperation with our Caribbean partners as we promote social justice, grow prosperity throughout the Americas and create new educational opportunities for young people across the Caribbean basin, as well as for Caribbean-Americans in our own communities.”

Furthermore, he spoke of making entry to the U.S. easier for peoples of the region, stating, “We are also working to advance common sense immigration reform that will allow future generations of Caribbean-Americans to share their talents with our nation.

“As America celebrates our Caribbean heritage,” the president declared, “let us hold fast to the spirit that makes our country a beacon to the world. This month, let us remember that we are always at our best when we focus not on what we can tear down, but on what we can build up. And together, let us strengthen the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth.”

In proclaiming June 2014 “National Caribbean-American Heritage Month,” Obama encouraged all Americans to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean-Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities, one of which began in earnest this week—Caribbean Week in New York, produced by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.