Roseau, Dominica – March 28, 2008……. Minister for National Security, Immigration and Labour, Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore has highlighted the strength and depth of the relationship between the Commonwealth of Dominica and the United States of America.
The Minister made the disclosure at a handing over of four vehicles by the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Her Excellency, Mary Ourisman to the Government of Dominica at the Police Training School at Morne Bruce recently.
” Today’s event and today’s small ceremony undoubtedly represents a fine moment in the relationship between the United States of America and the Government and people of Dominica. One only needs to go back to the genesis of this relationship to get a true sense of its strength and magnitude,” Hon. Blackmoore commented.
Hon. Blackmoore underscored the consistent support of the United States government over the last twenty-five years to Dominica in the furtherance of Dominica’s national policy objectives. The Special Services Unit(SSU), the Marine Coast Guard and the drug squad have all benefited directly as a result of cooperation between the US and Dominica over many years.
Today further demonstrates that strength in our bond, in our friendship, the Minister stated.
The provision of those four vehicles, according to Hon. Blackmoore is consistent with government’s policy to ensure that every police station, every department is equipped with a police vehicle.
Mr Blackmoore told the short ceremony that the United States Government’s assistance to Dominica is not restricted to law enforcement , but it includes ” social and economic endeavours that the Government has been pursuing over the past years which would have been very difficult on its own were it not for your intervention and support …”
Minister Blackmoore added that a team from the Pre- Deployment section of the US military reserve (MEDRETE)was in Dominica in February, 2008 to do the preparatory work for their return to Dominica on June 14, 2008 for two weeks to provide medical care to Dominicans free of cost.
The Minister used the opportunity of the handing over of the vehicles to flatly reject talk that surfaced a few weeks ago about Dominica being a part of some military alliance against the United States.
” This country is the most beautiful country in the universe and never before have we seen that strength of the alliance that we have forged, dating back to 1983. So the alliance is strong, I want to say to you again that Dominica will never be part of any alliance, military or economic against the United States of America.
” Our attempt as a Government thus far with other countries has been on the basis of functional and economic cooperation for the expressed purpose of enhancing the quality of life of Dominicans. And that is what this Government has pledges to do from day one and will continue to pledge so now and forever. And I am confident that the United States of America will continue to assist us in those practical ways.”
The cost of the four vehicles was $312,000 ECD. In the last twelve months, the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force has received twenty-one vehicles (21), a development which has prompted the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Matthias Lestrade to state that this Labour Party government ” has initiated a revolution in police mobility ” in Dominica.
Also in attendance at the handing over ceremony were Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. Felix Gregoire, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Matthias Lestrade, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officials of the United States government.