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The oil-rich Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is celebrating its 54th Anniversary of Independence today. And in a congratulatory message to the government and people of the twin-island republic, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque thanked the country for its economic success that has benefited the entire region.
“Having been a founding member of the Community, Trinidad and Tobago has made and continues to make significant contributions to the promotion of regional integration. CARICOM benefits from the leadership on energy and security issues for which you, Prime Minister, have portfolio responsibilities in the Quasi Cabinet of the Conference of Heads of Government,” he said.
“The Community looks forward to Trinidad and Tobago’s continued support for and commitment to the integration process as your country and the Region progress on the path to sustainable development.”
Ambassador LaRocque added that the country’s achievements in various fields, including sports and culture, have served to make its people “justly proud”.
Meantime, in his first Independence message since becoming Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley said he was convinced Trinidad and Tobago’s future is bright, despite the current economic challenges.
“We are all aware of the fall in oil and gas prices, the resources upon which our country is heavily dependent for needed revenue. We find ourselves at a crucial point in our development when we are being asked to make some tough choices,” he said.
However, he added: “Our capacity for innovation, our understanding of international events, our creativity and our characteristic sense of humour will triumph over any adversity we may face. I have faith in our ability to rise to the task of building a better Trinidad and Tobago.”