JIS News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, has hailed the Organization of American States (OAS), as a symbol of the unity and independence of the Americas for which late Venezuelan Liberator, Simon Bolívar fought.

He was addressing a protocolary meeting of the OAS Permanent Council held on July 24 at the organisation's headquarters in Washington D.C., to commemorate the 229th anniversary of Bolívar’s birth.

"As we celebrate his birthday, we should look around at where we are today, at a point in history where nearly all the countries of the hemisphere are free democracies.  The ideals of Bolívar remain a guide in the continued efforts to make the Americas a region of liberty, democracy, development, peace and prosperity," he stated.

He noted further that countries in the Americas have moved away from isolationist thinking, towards working co-operatively on goals in many important areas, such as development, democracy and human rights. "Where there were once walls, we now see bridges and where we once pursued many independent objectives, we now pursue collective dreams," he stated.

Professor Vasciannie, who is Chairman of the Permanent Council, said the region should reflect on these changes and be thankful for the significant contribution that Bolívar made, not only in bringing freedom to Latin America, “but in shaping the Americas that we are today and will continue to be tomorrow".

Born on July 24, 1783, Simón Bolívar was a military and political leader, who played a key role in the independence struggle of Spanish America, notably Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

In 1815, during his stay in Jamaica, Bolivar wrote the Charter of Jamaica, which was a very important political doctrine in which he expressed his ideas on the republican government and the unity of Latin America.

Prior to the formal session, which was held in the OAS hall named for the liberator, representatives of the member states laid floral tributes at the Bolivar monument located across the street from the main building of the OAS.


By Derrick Scott

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