Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Jesus Silva, has described Montego Bay as the “Capital of Spanish Investments in Jamaica”, adding that that city is also the engine of the country’s future.
“When I see Montego Bay, I see a future for Jamaica, a very bright future, I must say,” he stated.
“I believe in Jamaica, and I believe very strongly in the possibility for growth of Jamaica, because there is one thing that you cannot change for any other country, which is the Jamaicans themselves, and they are the biggest treasure of this country, by far”, he added.
He was responding to commendations about him and his tour of duty over the last five years in Jamaica, by Government Ministers, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, Dr. Christopher Tufton and Hon Olivia Grange, as well as former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Brenda LaGrange Johnson, at a farewell function at the Rose Hall Great House, on Saturday (September 25).
Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Jesus Silva (left) and former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Brenda Lagrange Johnson (right), are all smiles as she presents him with a gift during a farewell function at the Rose Hall Great House, Montego Bay, on Saturday (September 25). A wide cross-section of the Montego Bay business community attended.
The Spanish Ambassador was very humble in his presentation, expressing the view that he thinks he is taking much more from Jamaica and Jamaicans, than what he has possibly given to the country.
“Especially, I take the friendship of so many Jamaicans and the lovely years that we (my family and I) have managed to spend here. This is something that I really, with all my heart, want to thank you for having us treated like one of yours, for allowing us to be part of your country and for having allowed us to feel really like at home, during this five years,” he stated.
He said that Jamaica has now become like a true home for his whole family, and will never be forgotten.
The Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Chang, said that Ambassador Silva has served both Jamaica and Spain well, and “his memory will be with us in Jamaica for quite some time”.
Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Tufton, described him as a “determined advocate” for ensuring that the Spanish investments in Jamaica proceed and are successful, adding that his representation was very direct and straight-forward, which allowed for frank discourse.
Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, stated that the centuries-old relationship between Jamaica and Spain was re-energized, with the arrival in Jamaica of Ambassador Silva.
“He came as a diplomat, but now he is a friend, and we are really going to miss him,” she stated.
Former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Brenda LaGrange Johnson, while lamenting the fact that Ambassador Silva has completed his tour of duty in Jamaica, described the visit of the King and Queen of Spain to Jamaica, as one of the highlights of his work here.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, argued that the landscape of Montego Bay has been enhanced by the “fruits of his labour”, through the many Spanish investments now in place across the city.
“He perhaps has brought more investments to Jamaica, within a five year period, than any other Ambassador that has ever been to Jamaica,” Mr. Bartlett said. He said that during Mr. Silva’s tenure US$1.2 billion were invested in Jamaica from Spain.
He said that the impact that Ambassador Silva has had on tourism development in Jamaica is difficult to quantify.
Presentations were made to the Ambassador from the Ministries of Agriculture, Tourism, Youth, Sports and Culture, and also from the former American Ambassador.
In attendance at the farewell function was a wide cross-section of the Montego Bay’s business community, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corp and political representatives.