Jamaica Congratulates Biden and Harris

Today was a wonderful day. It has been a long time coming. I haven’t watched so much television in a long while – I was mesmerized. I enjoyed sharing the occasion with friends online: noting down beautiful quotes, commenting on the fashions (Lady Gaga’s Schiaparelli splendor and Bernie Sanders’ “grumpy chic”); laughing at memes (many variations on Bernie and his mittens); getting a little emotional; enjoying the music and the fireworks. It was a bright, cold day in Washington, DC (a city I love) and a chilly wind was snapping at the military uniforms, fluffing President Biden’s hair and tugging at Michelle Obama’s stylish long coat. Every now and then my husband and I would be wiping away tears.

Last but not least, we felt so proud and happy for Vice President Kamala Harris, whose father is Jamaican, who has broken so many barriers for women and for women of color. Even our famous Jamaican nurse (the first American to get vaccinated, on TV) Sandra Lindsay, spoke on behalf of health care workers.

Yes, it was that kind of day. A lovely day.

President Barack Obama (who served one term in the Senate before becoming President) congratulates Kamala Harris (who served one term in the Senate before becoming Vice President).

Here is the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Statement congratulating the new administration.

STATEMENT BY SENATOR THE HONOURABLE KAMINA JOHNSON SMITH 

MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND FOREIGN TRADE ON THE INAUGURATION OF THE EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

20th JANUARY 2021 

The Government of Jamaica extends warm congratulations to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris on their formal assumption of duties. Today’s inauguration reaffirms the strong democratic foundation on which the United States of America is built and for which it has had a long and distinguished tradition. 

The occasion is special and historic. Even as we renew engagement with President Biden, previously a Vice President, we also look forward to building new relations with the Vice President. Indeed, it is of special significance to Jamaica that Vice President Harris is the first female Vice President of the United States of America, a woman of colour and the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants. We, therefore, join in acknowledging this important milestone and note with pride her own inspiring assertion that while she is the first, she expects that many more will follow her. 

Jamaica values its close friendship with the United States, a key ally and a major development partner. It is a relationship that has been shaped by mutually beneficial cooperation, deep historical and cultural ties, mutual respect for the rule of law and human rights, as well as the large Jamaican Diaspora in the United States. 

The Government and people of Jamaica look forward to the further deepening of this strong and active partnership, under the Biden-Harris administration. We convey our best wishes to President Biden and his Administration as the world seeks to navigate these challenging times. 

Fireworks at the end of a long and lovely day. (Photo: AP)


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