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Reigning 2011 Soca Monarch and Road March King, Machel Montano is scheduled to perform at the White House in Washington DC this afternoon as part of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, but like most events of a political nature, Montano declined to comment directly on the details beforehand. Late last week, information on the ground-breaking event was leaked to members of the media, but all attempts to confirm Montano's attendance were met with a mute wall of strategic silence.
His mother, Elizabeth Montano said Machel and the HD Team were advised to keep quiet about the event until after it was over due to security concerns and added that they were "trying to avoid saying anything which might jeopardise the opportunity, or inspire external parties to make offensive or negative comments".
"We are going to make history," she said, "but not everyone will appreciate the opportunity and celebrate the moment with us. Unfortunately, there are some people who may want to say things out-of-timing and we'd rather not invite any negativity on this grand occasion."
Passed in the US Senate on February 14, 2006, the resolution which instituted Caribbean-American Heritage Month was sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee in June 2005 and recognises "the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States".
Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognising June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the occasion and official recognition by the US Government that "since the 16th Century, the destinies of the peoples of the Caribbean and the American continent have been inextricably linked".
In a Presidential Proclamation dated May 31, 2011, the Obama Administration states:
"The fabric of our Nation has been woven together and enriched by the diversity of our people. Our legacy as a Nation of immigrants is part of what makes America strong, and during National Caribbean American Heritage Month, we celebrate the rich history and vibrant cultures Caribbean-Americans have brought to our shores".
Another section adds:
"Caribbean Americans have prospered in every sector of our society and enhanced our national character while maintaining the multiethnic and multicultural traditions of their homelands. They are doctors and lawyers, public servants and scientists, athletes and service members. Their successes inspire individuals in the United States and abroad, and we take pride in the contributions Caribbean-Americans continue to make to the narrative of our Nation's progress. Their achievements are borne of hard work and ambition, and my Administration is committed to creating pathways to prosperity that ensure future generations of Caribbean-Americans, along with all Americans, are able to pursue and realise the American dream".
Undoubtedly, this declaration has given Caribbean nationals across the globe more reason to proudly celebrate our heritage and as part of this celebration, Reigning Soca Monarch and Road March King, Machel Montano is scheduled to perform at the White House today, Friday June 24 from 11 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Later this evening, Montano is also scheduled to perform at the DC Star Nightclub as The Commission presents "Eyes Wide Shut Carnivale" as part of ongoing festivities for the annual Washington DC carnival weekend.